134. PEAK OIL HYSTERIA
-- by Wildwell
Peak oil hysteria can be measured on a parallel scale to:
1) Car ownership and car dependency
2) Planning regime and geography of a nation
The most worried people are those that live a lifestyle that requires the use of a motor car and see little or no alternative for the foreseeable future. It's notable that Europeans are more 'laid back' abut the issue and so on.
This does not mean that there isn't a problem; merely the perceived problem is less in the minds that don't follow daily fuel rises and so on because of a need to go about their daily business. A typical commuter in London, Paris, Madrid, and Tokyo would just not notice the problem using electric trains, buses and having little to with agriculture.
In the United Kingdom, London centric news is reported first. There can be major problems in rural Wales, but this would not show up on the radar in London, simply because it doesn't figure in the minds of people who take electric trains, deal in IT or many service industries and have large incomes. Indeed, sales of SUVs in London have doubled in the last 12 months, despite record oil prices - proof of the relative disposable income of some sectors of the population.
British telecom recently ran an ad in a Transport professional's magazine looking at their view of the future. It described 'Green webs'
The ad starts 'Sustainability, and the management of scarce resources' are becoming increasingly key issues that will shape the future'. It goes on to describe how 'Green Webs' will manage travel, transport, energy, water supply, recycling and industry supply chains. Later it talks about a staggered rush hour, efficient mobile devices and networks. Essentially it talks about the 'Information age' and mentions things will change because of oil rising above $100 a barrel and how highly production of food localised will be done using robotic machines. The point of the ad is that transport is about to go through an IT revolution with real time capacity allocation, yield management, tracking and automation - spreading the load and maximising resources.
The ads run from page 12