The golden age of today’s civilisation?

Ask a thousand people of varying ages and you will get a thousand different answers, but what everyone will all agree on is that the golden age was in the past.

Watching a program from the mid 1990’s (the Adam & Joe Show), one of their comedy sketches consisted of trying to claim the free extra offers you got with food products -the 25% extra free offers which were commonplace in those days.

The significance of giving away food or products in those times, that our older people remember , but didn’t appreciate at the time, suddenly struck me.. The realisation of that fact, brought back to life on my screen with a low budget program, was proof that the 1990’s were the peak of human abilities. The golden age had been and gone, and nobody appreciated the fact.

Energy and as a consequence food was so abundant that it was practically given away at the peak point.

We are all used to the fact that companies reduce the amount or weight that they offer for the same price or even a higher one, and this is something we have blindly got used to. The most obvious example of this is chocolate bars, which get smaller over time but cost more to buy. Are we blindly sliding down the wrong side of the peak oil high and heading towards the trough?

Taking away the cultural shenanigans at the time, we all enjoyed the benefits of cheap energy coming from the North Sea fields which were discovered and utilised in the 1970’s and 80’s. The UK’s benefits from these oil fields and ultimately its consumption of the oil, had peaked by the 1990’s before the decline in outputs set in the early 21st century (2003+).

More demand from more cars on the road than in the 1990’s and more housing stock than in the 1990’s is putting an increasing strain on the reserves left in the North Sea, which means that as a nation, we now depend more on imported supplies, which means competing with every other country, thus pushing up prices and consuming remaining oil faster.

Looking at this on an international scale, this same problem is occurring on a global scale, too. We have peaked nationally and internationally -both peaks occurring in the 1990’s. The international peak built up slowly over the 20th century, but on the opposite side of the peak, the decline will be fast, as we have more people and countries with much more technology to use what is left of the declining oil field outputs.

Stuart Lovatt, the founder of Heat my Home adds “The writing is truly on the wall, but the head-in-the-sand approach, which our society and politicians have adopted on this issue, is crazy. With the emerging Far Eastern superpowers increasing their rate of consumption, I would urge everyone to prepare for an energy crunch.”

Energy industry predictions of £2,000 -£3,000 for annual domestic energy bills before 2020 are our best case scenarios. People who wait around for politicians to take action will be the worst hit in an energy crunch scenario. After all, politicians are still trying to re-start the engines of growth in an energy-starved world. How crazy is that?

The days of 25% extra free are now an historical phenomenon which will never be repeated. It’s not until you take a good look back into the past that you can learn from them and so see your way forward.

Welcome to the solar panel century!



Author.

"Feel the pride."
November 23, 2011
Founder of Heat My Home.


  • dugg

    In the 1970s, the decade American oil production peaked and went into decline there were a couple of oil shocks, brief periods where oil supply was constrained and people got a foretaste of a world with diminishing oil.

    There was a brief flurry of efforts to prepare for that world, but once Saudi and the US had worked to ensure a steady supply of Saudi oil those measures were largely binned.

    We all know it is inevitable that oil production will peak and its increasingly likely we will face a decline in total oil production in this decade.

    Yet still we do nothing.

    It takes 20-30 years for the initial changes in forcing to warm the oceans enough for us to feel the changes. We are still experiencing the 1980s CO2 production as global warming, not the 90s or 2000s.

    If we can kick as blindingly obvious a problem as peak oil down the road, something just slightly more subtle like global warming has no chance.