Richard Branson Predicts Peak Oil In 2015

As the owner of a major airline, Virgin’s Richard Branson must think about the prospect of peak oil more than most of us. Apparently he’s a believer, as reported in the Christian Science Monitor:

Long-accustomed to being dismissed as alarmists, the arguments of those warning of an impending peak oil crisis are now being bolstered by support from multi-billionaires like Richard Branson.

A major report funded by the Virgin Airlines owner and other British business leaders warned this week that the world is running out of oil and predicts shortages and price spikes as soon as 2015. A future of painful hikes in the cost of food, heating, and travel in a world unprepared for surging oil prices was forecast by the Industry Taskforce for Peak Oil and Energy Security.

“Don’t let the oil crunch catch us out in the way that the credit crunch did,” wrote Mr. Branson and other business executives in a forward to the report.

But it’s not just the powerful backing from Branson and company that is suddenly giving heart to those warning of peak oil. They also point to signs that even the British government is opening itself up to the possibility of an oil drought.

“Some people see peak oil (as an) imminent and high probability threat, others say that demand will peak first,” Chris Barton, the British government official responsible for planning the country’s energy security, said Wednesday at an event to mark the release of the report. “So who is right? Well, we don’t know who is right, but we do recognize that the risk of rising and volatile oil prices is real.”

In the highly polarized debate over peak oil, researchers blame the poor quality of data available to them and a lack of transparency from oil producers and corporate interests as the main reasons for why the picture remains clouded.

“It gets worse for where it really matters, such as the big Middle Eastern producers and the OPEC countries,” says Steve Sorrell, the chief author of a separate report last year by Britain’s biggest research center on sustainable energy systems, which claimed conventional oil production is likely to peak before 2030, with a significant risk of a peak before 2020. “It’s also certainly the case that those industry bodies that do have the data may deem it not to be in their interests to be fully transparent.”

A real threat?

So is ‘Big Oil’ really keeping some nasty truths from the public?…

[continues in the Christian Science Monitor]

, , ,

  • Darren

    I believe peak oil has already been upon us for a good while. There WAS an ocean of oil under the middle east and the companies there have been exploring for offshore drilling sites for years now. Offshore oil testing for prime oil costs 10's of millions of dollars and they would not be doing it if they were not at peak oil. The 1970's oil crisis caused gas prices to quadruple because of what, a 5% shortfall of oil production? 8%? Wonder what fun awaits us all for when it's at 15-20% in a few years. Become informed. http://www.collapsemovie.com/

    • Anonymous

      if the depletion worldwide amounts to over 5% there is likely no chance nations can avoid severe effects. If you want to get really scared, look at Cantarell in mexico. 75% Decline in four years!

      This is not some banker conspiracy, this is ecological feedback. The best you can do is know the SODIS method, have plenty of hemp seed to eat when food doesnt get to the shops and have your loved ones close.

  • FergalR

    Whoa, I was worried there until I remembered that we have approximately 8 bazillionmegafucktonnes (bmF) of coal that can be easily and (at today's prices) cheaply converted to oil. That'll keep us going for centuries.

    Unless we spend all our money on useless fucking windmills instead of coal-to-oil conversion plants.
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/wind_ene

    Or we let a bunch of bullshitting Lysenkoist Maoists prevent us from exploiting it. Obviously.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/85116

    • tonyviner

      Explain this coal thing to me, I just bought a train.

      • tonyviner

        I mean, really, FUCK THIS PLANET!!!

  • http://www.simplecircuitdiagram.com/ Circuit diagram Addict

    oil demands will always be higher and higher, big big trouble!

  • Anonymous

    I mean, really, FUCK THIS PLANET!!!

  • Guest

    Coal to liquids is costly to perform and damages the engine that its used in. I would start cultivating hemp in a big way and convert it to ethanol. Hemp is left out of all biofuel conversations and is the best candidate for widespread implementation within the current circumstances.

    They say that Hemp is gods plant, the USA should never have turned its back on it.

  • Anonymous

    Coal to liquids is costly to perform and damages the engine that its used in. I would start cultivating hemp in a big way and convert it to ethanol. Hemp is left out of all biofuel conversations and is the best candidate for widespread implementation within the current circumstances.

    They say that Hemp is gods plant, the USA should never have turned its back on it.