Warning about a crude oil supply crunch before 2015 involving an abrupt price increase, it says oil markets everywhere will become more sensitive than ever to Middle East disruptions, including political developments in Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. And the IEA calculates that, on unchanged policies, total global emissions of carbon dioxide will rise from 27 billion tonnes in 2005 to 42 billion tonnes in 2030. That level would see world temperatures rise six degrees centrigrade by then - an utterly unsustainable increase that is also avoidable.
These two trends thus bear out the stark warning given by Dr Jeremy Leggett this week in an Academy Times lecture in Dublin boldly entitled Half Gone: Peak Oil meets Climate Change. A former oil industry consultant and Greenpeace campaigner, he said the combination of the two "is going to hit society with a big, seismic shock . . . I hope I am wrong, but I don't believe we can avoid the third great oil crisis. We will be mobilising as though for war". Uncannily, this week's financial and economic headlines bear him out. Markets are exercised by the prospect of the international oil price reaching $100, driven by huge increased demand from
It is salutary to recall that the international oil price was $16 a barrel in 1999. That is the essential background for understanding some of the geopolitical changes since then. Foremost among them has been the resurgence of
Given how the possibility of such a
Energy and climate change are now directly affecting the world's peace and prosperity. We have only a short time to cut oil dependence and slash carbon emissions.