Wednesday 28 July 2010

Summer reading

"As an Anglo European white guy from a very long line of white guys, I want to thank all the brown, black, yellow and red people for a marvelous three-century joy ride. During the past 300 years of the industrial age, as Europeans, and later as Americans, we have managed to consume infinitely more than we ever produced, thanks to colonialism, crooked deals with despotic potentates and good old gunboats and grapeshot. 

Yes, we have lived, and still live, extravagant lifestyles far above the rest of you. And so, my sincere thanks to all of you folks around the world working in sweatshops, or living on two bucks a day, even though you sit on vast oil deposits."

Wednesday 14 July 2010

Lloyd's insurance warns on Peak Oil

And so the chorus grows:

Lloyd's adds its voice to 'peak oil' warnings

"One of the City's most respected institutions has warned of "catastrophic consequences" for businesses that fail to prepare for a world of increasing oil scarcity and a lower carbon economy."

That's from the Guardian (UK).

The actual report released by Lloyd's of London in co-operation with Chatham house has more interesting snippets inside it.
  • Businesses which prepare for Peak Oil transition will prosper - the rest will go down
  • Low cost [liquid] fuels are gone
  • Asia is now part of the global energy security mix
  • Global oil supply crunch and price spike coming
  • Energy infrastructure is vulnerable
  • Just-in-time production/warehousing will have to adjust
  • Big business opportunities in transition
This is the "easy oil is gone, but we will transition through a rough patch" type Sunday matinee scenario for the whole family. All the really disruptive parts are left out or between the lines.

Yet, some of the graphs are quite telling:

So much for that Middle East spare capacity...

$200USD barrel of oil by 2016, anyone?

Peak Oil risks + Financial risks + Climate Change risks = ?##%&&!!

So, finally the insurance market is ready to start taking into account the consequences of peak oil, even if the scenarios are quite cautious - almost optimistic.