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Well done but you don’t get it

Submitted by: MikeC (Admin) on 28-May-09 02:44:25 PM

It’s really good to learn that both Ed Miliband, Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), and Sadiq Khan, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the DCLG, attended the 2009 Transition Network conference at the Battersea Arts Centre last week, at which the Transition Towns movement premiered its new film, ‘In Transition’.

Both MPs were “key listeners” at the event - as opposed to speakers - partly because of the reception Miliband received on-stage at the recent premiere of ‘The Age of Stupid’, where Pete Postlethwaite pledged directly to Miliband that he’d hand back his OBE to the Queen if the Government makes “the wrong decision” at the Copenhagen Climate Summit in December (view on YouTube).

It’s not the aim of this post to go into what Transition Towns is about (you should know), just that it’s safe to assume that at least two serving ministers are now on record as being exposed to the threat of peak oil.

But, in this interview with Peter Lipman and Rob Hopkins of the Transition Network, recorded at the event, Miliband seemingly brushes aside peak oil, describing it as a “second order debate”.

In fairness, he rightly goes on to say that by tackling climate change we transition away from fossil fuels.

But he still doesn’t seem to either understand, or want to admit, peak oil (“Whether you think peak oil is 2020, 2030, or 2040.”). Brushing it aside he said: “I don’t even need to have the debate about peak oil and the precise date of peak oil - the truth is it’s difficult to pin down – to know we have to make the transition as quickly as possible.”

Except, Mr Miliband, that when the thumbscrews begin turning again – as they already are with today’s news that petrol is back to a quid/litre, and OPEC declaring that demand is once again rising, particularly in Asia – more of our money will be sent abroad to buy oil at increasingly higher prices, thus stoking inflation, driving-up the cost of goods, and further thwarting our transition.

Then it becomes a debate of primary order, as it did last year when oil hit $147/barrel, leading truckers to protest across Europe.

Officially the Government’s position is that oil production will peak around 2030. Several people have now come out and declared last year (2008) as the year of peak production of oil.

A good interview nevertheless.

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