While the International Energy Agency's Chief Economist has declared that no government is prepared for peak oil, news that UK ministers were holding secret talks on peak oil last year was seen by some as a hopeful sign that the threat was finally being taken seriously. Not so, says The Guardian. A new report reveals that Government officials dismissed warnings over peak oil from their own civil servants as being unnecessarily "alarmist":
The government was warned by its own civil servants two years ago that there could be "significant negative economic consequences" to the UK posed by near-term "peak oil" energy shortages.
Ministers were told it was impossible to know exactly when production might fail to meet supply but when it did there could be global consequences, including "civil unrest". Yet ministers consistently played down the threat with the contemporaneous Wicks review into energy security (PDF) effectively dismissing peak oil as alarmist and irrelevant.