The good news and the bad news…

December 13th, 2014 atam Posted in Climate change, Peak oil | No Comments »

Amazing: just when you think the oil price can only go up, it’s taken a tumble to a level not seen for quite a few years.

The good news of course is that cheap oil will make a few things cheaper, although Hong Kong motorists have cause to moan that cheaper supplies have not translated into cheaper prices at the pumps. The bad news, for anyone who’d read a blog such as this one, is that there is much less incentive for governments and businesses to invest in renewable technology.

The economic case is gone, they’d say. When oil is expensive it’s easy for them to portray themselves as climate-aware greenies; now oil is cheap it’s just as easy for them to say they’re giving people the cheapest option available. Never mind that fossil fuels need to be phased out, whatever the price. If global warming is factored into the oil price, it’d be several times more expensive than what it is today.

But now, while the oil lasts, people will become even more addicted to the age of oil than ever before, and when both conventional and unconventional oil becomes prohibitively expensive because what’s left is so hard to extract, expect riots and protests everywhere.

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