As I mentioned the other day, our town rated badly in a report produced by the Institute for Sensible Transport titled, “Oil Vulnerability in Melbourne – Research Project“, which describes our plight when oil prices inevitable rise. Being Mr Sustainable in our town, the local press were quick to contact me for a comment regarding the impact that this might have on our community and how we could prepare.
You can read the article called, “Report calls for change ahead of petrol price hike“. Any press about Peak Oil is good press as far as I am concerned, and can only awaken people to what lays ahead.
Well, of course they didn’t print any of my thoughts about Peak Oil, just some figures that I rattled off regarding the cost of commuting by car vs train. At least they painted the fuel economy of my Hybrid in a good light, but I believe that most people would realise that it is more economical to run a 1.3 litre, 4 cylinder Petrol/Electric Hybrid than a petrol guzzling 5 litre V8! Well maybe not all, because I felt that I had to connect the dots when speaking to the reporter, so maybe the average punter would have the same issue of understanding.
Also, not one mention of why oil prices were going to rise. Maybe it is all just a little bit scary to tell the average person on the street that the age of cheap oil is over, and that we are on the rock downhill slope of decline. More motor vehicle transportation infrastructure will not solve the problem, especially new Free-ways, as the days of happy motoring have nearly finished. We have no immediate replacement for oil as a transportation fuel that doesn’t rely on more energy to produce it than it actually provides us. that is the beauty (if you can call it that) of oil. It was extremely cheap to extract, energy dense stuff, easy to transport and store. There has never been an energy source quite like it in human history.
Anyway, it will come as a massive shock to most folks as this fiesta comes to a close. This is why it is so urgent to curb carbon emissions because as soon as energy becomes a scarcity, we will not have the resources or capital to combat the effects of climate change. Sure, we won’t be burning as much oil, but with the current levels of CO2-e in the atmosphere we have probably locked in a couple of degrees of warming already. Guess what the powers that be will attempt to replace oil with? You guessed it, Coal, in a liquid form. That is all we bloody need!