Elephant-spotting

April 16, 2008 at 8:13 am 2 comments

If anybody listened to the Today programme this morning, at about 8.30 there was a discussion on rising oil prices, during which Roger King (Chief Executive of the Road Hauliers Association) said the following:

“The government should establish a benchmark, say $110 a barrel for fuel, and every time it rises above that, reduce the element of fuel duty to give the opportunity for a more stable transport cost within the UK.

We cannot go on like this. If the fuel price is going to rise ever higher, then there is going to be a very, very substantial problem for the whole of the UK and we need some kind of government intervention, I think now, because otherwise we are facing a real crisis.

Transport is at the bedrock of our modern civilisation… We have got to contain the rising costs of that element in our society, otherwise the consequences are going to be substantial. We cannot go on facing ever-increasing oil prices without somebody adopting a strategy to accommodate the worst impact of this, we cannot just leave it to the market.”

Now, I’m not an economist, so I don’t really feel qualified to comment on the suggestion of stopping taxing oil after a certain amount (aside from a gut reaction that we want people to drive less, not more, and to be less dependent on oil, so making it more affordable is only going to exacerbate the problem, or at the very least only ease it in the short term – but don’t take me as an authority on this, please!), but while I was listening to this, I wanted to jump up and down pointing at the huge elephant that had just lumbered into the room.

Okay, so it was refreshing to have such an honest, frank acknowledgement on the Today programme of just how much oil underpins our society and just how vulnerable we are when it gets more expensive: these are things we need to talk about very loudly. However, to quote Crude Awakening, “they aren’t making a whole lot more dinosaurs these days”.

Maybe our strategies for accommodating the worst impact of this could be something other than scrabbling around trying to prop up our oil-dependence with short-term fiscal measures…. Maybe? Anyone?

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Entry filed under: peak oil.

A whole village that grows its own food! Wildlife gardening???

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. emma  |  April 16, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    i totally agree! i just get flabbergasted when people talk about how dreadful fuel prices are! can’t they see there’s a reason for it! ITS RUNNING OUT!!!! argh. sorry for all the exclamation marks but seriously, i just completely and totally agree with you.

    Reply
  • 2. Hamster  |  April 29, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    Sooo glad it’s not just me!

    Reply

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