Just following-up the post the other day about high fuel prices, more than anything, hopefully forcing action on public transport.
TonyH pointed me to this excellent article by George Monboit, who notes that so far there is no such action, and that high fuel prices are in fact the biggest thing currently helping to reducing carbon emissions:
What I know and you may not is that the high price of oil is currently the only factor implementing British government policy. The government claims that it is seeking to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, by encouraging people to use less fossil fuel. Now, for the first time in years, its wish has come true: people are driving and flying less.
In other words, your (OPEC’s) restrictions on supply – voluntary or otherwise – are helping the government to meet its carbon targets. So how does it respond? By angrily demanding that you remove them so that we can keep driving and flying as much as we did before.
Apparently some road engineers feel a similar way. Of all the things going, petrol prices are helping congestion like nothing else.
But what I really wanted to highlight was this article from the heady, optimistic days of 2004:
Melbourne motorists are likely to pay up to $1.08 a litre for petrol today but the good news is further significant price rises are unlikely.
RACV government relations manager David Cumming yesterday forecast that the New York crude oil price had peaked at $US44.50 a barrel at the weekend after markets reacted to the fresh woes at embattled Russian oil giant Yukos.
The RACV believes that while prices have peaked, they are unlikely to drop considerably for the rest of the year.
However, Mr Cumming said claims reported in the media yesterday that Australians would pay between $3 and $4 within the next three years were “absolutely nonsensical”.
Well, we haven’t reached $3 yet. But I wonder what David Cumming would have said about predictions for 2008 of paying $1.60 per litre, or crude oil trading at $130 per barrel.
There is some kind of a peak happening here, and it’s not the prices.
(The pic is from a Crikey article yesterday: “Fiddling with excise as the world burns”, though it no longer appears on the page.)