This piece details why the citizens of our western democracies hardly know about peak oil, or why otherwise sceptical ‘myth-busters’ like Dr Karl actually accept the unpopular notion. Dr Karl can count. Unlike the IEA, he respects the authority of oil geologists working on publicly available data. And he hasn’t been fooled by the economic rationalisations of the IEA. The IEA seems to just believe that new oil will appear as the marketplace demands it. I remember reading a statement along the lines of “Non-technical considerations”, which is basically code for we WANT more oil so it will appear!
So the Guardian picks up on the UK government’s ‘belief’ in the IEA. No wonder the Guardian is one of the more popular English newspapers!
Isn’t that the trouble? Climate change is a stealthy foe, hard to feel, see or identify. Unlike peak oil. So here’s another question: did western administrations know that the International Energy Agency (IEA) had been consistently concealing the imminence of peak oil? One might hope our leaders would know about something as serious as this. But if they did, why is it that renewable energy replacements haven’t been far higher on the agenda, for much longer and addressed with rather more conviction? This is the question George Monbiot put in a freedom of information request sent to the Department for Business in February 2008, asking for details of the government’s peak oil contingency planning.
“The answer I received astonished me,” he wrote in the Guardian. Hardly surprising, considering the answer: “The government does not feel the need to hold contingency plans specifically for the eventuality of crude oil supplies peaking between now and 2020.” Eighteen months later, the Guardian published the IEA whistleblower story and the 2020 cover was blown. Were the government really taken in by the duplicity of the IEA? Or were they in on the act, making it difficult to appear sanguine about an imminent and permanent disruption to energy supplies?