Friday, December 02, 2005

Lord Browne On Peak Oil

Sounding the same notes that got this blog launched, Lord Browne of BP talks about peak oil production in a speech to the Brookings Institute. Excerpts:
The last two years have brought energy back to the top of the agenda in this country, and around the world.

There are at least four reasons why that is so.

First global demand for energy is growing day by day. Demand now is nearly 50 per cent higher than it was only 20 years ago.

Demand is driven by the twin forces of population growth, and the spread of prosperity.

The world’s population has risen by almost 10,000 in the last hour- so far this year by around 80 million.

More and more of those new citizens have the resources to buy the energy they need. They want the heat, light and mobility which we take for granted.

As economic prosperity spreads and poverty recedes more people can afford that energy. On some estimates there are perhaps 200 million new customers for commercial energy every year.


Some believe that these problems will escalate to the point of crisis, and in particular that prices will rise and rise.

You could call that the “peakist view”. We believe that is a mistaken view because it ignores a fundamental characteristic of human behaviour, which is to respond to perceived risk by finding an alternative way forward.

Much more over there, of course. Thanks to Eric McErlain for the link.