We here at the People like to bring you the news first, like any other newspaper, so I’m glad to be bringing you the above headline news as I haven’t read it elsewhere.
Of course, from a starting point of now it might look that I am stark raving mad. The world is addicted to oil and we here in Ireland are particularly dependent on imported fuels.
What is important is, even if you don’t believe it, that you tuck the headline away somewhere in your mind and then it won’t be such a shock when reality hits further down the line.
When I say oil, I mean fossil fuels including coal and gas. The truth is that the earth cannot sustain the burning of fossil fuels without undergoing some permanent climate change. As we humans have designed our existence around the environment we live in, any major changes will be very painful.
Dublin has recent experience of coming to terms with the damage caused by the burning of fossil fuels. The ban on the sale of coal in 1990 transformed the air quality in the city and the change went down well with the populace.
Of course, the alternative fuel then was natural gas which is a much superior fuel for heating houses through central heating.
The buzz fuel of the moment is wood pellets which works out at half the price of oil. But the transport costs of delivering this type of fuel or bio-oils, would in itself be a bit of an environmental disaster, especially in Dublin where it would be replacing a very green gas network.
The alternative is to heat homes with electricity which is (as yet) pretty expensive and not very responsive in my experience. However many, if not most, new apartment buildings in Dublin have some form of electrical storage heating.
Secondly, the world is going to change over to electric powered cars in the next ten to twenty years. The success of hybrid cars is already showing people that there is not just one way of doing things. More and more hybrids will come on the scene and the natural next step is to allow motorists to plug them in at home. Enthusiasts have hacked the Toyota Prius in California to do just this and are driving around only resorting to the petrol engine on long journeys.
The end of oil is coming and you need to start thinking about it because as soon as politicians know that voters accept that cheap oil is gone they can start to hasten its finale demise.
It can’t come too soon.
Fuel is too cheap
All right, so I hate popularity. The thing is that I think that it’s good that fuel prices are going up.
I know that these increases hit the poorest harder and I welcome the fact the welfare increases have been announced to compensate.
The fact is that fuel is too cheap and too easy to waste. I haven’t the slightest doubt that the average household could reduce the use of electricty by 20 per cent if they want to. You don’t have to pay more for your electricity – just use less of it!
I wonder if the rise will have any effect on the coming Christmas light blitz. I’ll bet not.