Richard Branson

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…

From CNN Money:

Virgin unveiled the latest addition to Richard Branson’s luxury fleet on Friday: an underwater plane that will fly riders into the depths of the Caribbean Sea.

Guests on Necker Island, a retreat in the British Virgin Islands, will be able to dive underwater in a submarine dubbed the Necker Nymph for $25,000 a week. But that’s only after shelling out around $300,000 for a one-week stay on Necker, the private island owned by billionaire and Virgin Group chairman Richard Branson.

Beginning on Feb. 20, two riders and a pilot will be able to take the plunge from land, or from a boat. The underwater plane uses the downward pressure on its wings to fly through the water for up to two hours at a time, while an open cockpit will give riders a 360-degree view…

Charlie Jane Anders writes on

Do you know why Richard Branson was in such a hurry to unveil SpaceShipTwo last week? It’s not because he loves cool toys — it’s because he was worried an inventor who’s created a personal UFO would steal his thunder.


Or at least, that’s what a new press release from UFO guru Luke Fortune claims. Fortune, an inventor, has put the plans and patents to allow you to build your own laser-fusion-powered UFO online for free.

The prototype will cost $60,000 for you to build, but don’t worry — soon, building your own UFO will be dirt cheap, and everybody on the planet will be flying them, according to Fortune’s press release. And this will transform the world’s economy.