Thursday, 29 March 2012

Panic! and buy petrol!

The precious liquid of life without which civilisation cannot operate was in great demand on forecourts across Huddersfield today.  I wandered into the local petrol station and the woman next to me in the checkout turned to me and said 'I bet you're laughing at all this aren't you?' She was pointing at the Green Party badge on my lapel. I was a bit flummoxed. 'Well no not really' I said. I didn't get chance to talk about how fragile our whole western civilisation is and how our reliance on fossil fuels makes us less resilient to price rises and the threat of its withdrawal or rationing becomes a matter of immediate concern. Renewable energies, electric cars and public transport all come into their own at times when fossil fuels are under threat. During the last fuel crisis a number of years ago people were running out of fuel and public transport use rose with a number of people using it for the first time. The immediate crisis ended and people went back to their old routines. It reminded me of the old story of putting the frog in the boiling water where it immediately jumps out or slowly raising the temperature of the water to boiling point so the frog doesn't realise whats happening till its too late. Stick with me on this one! We have a 'boiling crisis' which we have been thrown into and people have reacted by running to the forecourts to fill up their vehicles but the real crisis is happening all the time with ever rising fuel prices eating away at peoples disposable income. Ultimately price rises will be related more and more to geology and the increasing expense of finding oil reserves will continue to work its way through to the prices on  petrol pumps. This is the everyday crisis, the ever rising temperature.

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