The Curmudgeon


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Perfectly Normal Panic

Someone has finally managed to boil the implications of the approaching oil crunch down to a size that a ministerial cranium can accommodate without risk of a fatal detonation. A few years ago, peak oil was "the preoccupation of a small minority", like the kind of conspiracy theorist who believes that a limited quantity tends to decrease when used up. Now, however, industrialists and other real people are becoming concerned about the issue just as the financial sector - other than hired thuggery, the only industry which New Labour has ever really believed in - is beginning to seem a less than fortunate post-ministerial career choice. As a result, a spokesbeing for the Department of Cuddly Coal and Sustainable Uranium has denied that there will be any marked change in the traditional policy of believing everything BP says. The chief executive of BP claims (or "believes", as the Journalistic Telepathic Omniscient hath it) that rising prices and other market forces will combine their mystical benignity to ensure that everyone behaves sensibly and lowers demand rather than fighting over the last few drops. The Minister for Pollution and Irradiation, Lord Hunt, will be holding a "normal stakeholder meeting" at which he hopes to give some sort of impression to concerned industrialists that the Government has any idea what to do about the matter. The chief executive of Scottish and Southern Energy has recommended that the west should "start using ... oil as a scarce commodity"; so presumably the stakeholders will be mainly concerned to keep as much as possible of the remnants, and the profits to be derived therefrom, in the hands of the nice people.


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