Monday, March 07, 2005

Letter to Wellington City Councillors re V8 SuperCar Race Planned for Wellington

Alick Shaw; Andy Foster; Bryan Pepperell;; Hayley Wain; Helene Ritchie; Jack Ruben;; Rob Goulden; Robert Armstrong; Stephanie Cook

Dear Councillors,

Last week the price of oil again moved beyond US$55 per barrel. This is a 400% increase in the price since 1998 (when it hovered around US$11).This represents a clear trend. Several sources ranging from Venezuela'sPresident Chavez, OPEC's Secretary General (who predicts US$80 perbarrel oil within a year or two) to increasing numbers of geologists,industry analysts and scientists are all singing the same song. Cheap oil is finished and Peak oil is just around the corner. At the time of peak oil production, global demand will surpass the available supply.

Please note. We are NOT running out of oil overnight. We are simply reaching the point where increased production will not be possible. Oil is not an endless resource - there are limits. OPEC's president Purnomo Yusgiantoro is on record as saying last year "there is no more supply."

Dr Robert Hirsh (Consultant to the US DoE) warned last week, "The peaking of world oil production presents the U.S. and the world with an unprecedented risk management problem. As peaking is approached, liquid fuel prices and price volatility will increase dramatically, and,without timely mitigation, the economic, social, and political costs will be unprecedented."

Dr Colin Campbell of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Natural Gas warns "The actual decline of oil will be gradual at less than three percent a year: such that the production of all liquid hydrocarbons in 2020 will have fallen to approximately what it was in 1990. In those terms, it does not appear to be a particularly serious situation. But in reality, it is a devastating development because it implies that the oil-based economy is in permanent terminal decline,removing the confidence in perpetual growth on which the Financial System depends." Dr Campbell predicts peak in conventional oil in 2006 (next year)

With the US "spring driving season" approaching my bet would be we'll see oil move beyond US$60 a barrel within a few weeks.

Apart from at least one notable exception (that I know of) WellingtonCity Councillors, amongst many others, seem to be unable to distinguish reality from illusion. This is unsurprising behaviour from those in power who it seems would uphold a wilful blind illusion of "business as usual", such that continued extraction of support from traditional constituencies occurs rather than facing the harder reality - the economic, social and political fall out that will occur as oil supply is increasingly unable to meet global demand. I suggest people would prefer the truth.

Moving forward with plans for a V8 Street car race without giving this particular issue serious consideration smacks of pitiable ignorance and sheer lack of accountability. Once you verify that the above information is credible, reliable and valid - to continue with your plans for a V8 supercar race is morally culpable.

Politicians both local and national who continue to ignore this issue will eventually be held accountable.


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