Does Peak Oil mean that we’ll manage to avoid dangerous climate change?
Not necessarily, unfortunately. Even though production of oil and gas is likely to decline sharply over the coming decades, there is a significant risk of Governments seeking to maintain current levels of energy use by increasingly using more-polluting fossil fuel sources, especially coal.
If coal production increases to attempt to fill the energy gap, carbon emissions could comfortably reach levels that would virtually guarantee increases in average global temperatures of 2 degrees and beyond.
Taken together, for both pragmatic and moral reasons, these issues point towards the need to reduce and eventually eliminate our use of fossil fuels for energy. Starting this transition now will enable us both to reduce Leicester’s carbon emissions and increase the resilience of Leicester’s economy – enabling our city to continue to funcion even if fuel prices increase greatly, or if fossil fuel supplies are interrupted.
It is important to keep in mind that because of Peak Oil, there will be a great transition in our economy and way of life, no matter what we do. The important point as we see it is to start planning now for that transition, so that we can develop the skills and infrastructure we need to make the transition a wonderful experience, rather than a negative one.