London's Mayor Livingstone Sees Peak Oil As Climate Action Opportunity


Mayor Livingstone (pictured) is spot on with his insight linking Peak Oil and Climate Action: leverage the first to drive action. Like everything else he has done, such as promoting a flight tax, imposing a carbon tax on city drivers, or sponsoring prototype "eco-cities," he will take plenty of arrows in his back for being a visionary leader who walks the walk.

Peak oil is not a threat but an opportunity to force through the policies needed to combat climate change, according to London Mayor Ken Livingstone.

Mr Livingstone was speaking at the Ecobuild trade fair in London's Earls Court on Thursday, during an environmental hustings featuring the three main candidates in the election for London mayor, to be held on 1stMay. In answer to a question from Global Public Media's David Strahan about what the candidates would do to protect London from peak oil, Mr Livingstone said "I don't see this as a threat, I see it as an opportunity... it may be the only way that we face up to having to reduce our energy consumption".

What should we do with Mayor Ken's insight?

Speaking only as an American, we need to keep it positive, as does the Mayor. And, we should focus on community building, incorporating not only more efficient technology, but family values, in our planning and designing. Here's why.

The "head for the hills" Peak Oil doomer crowd is already starting to garner serious media attention. Should the Michigan Militia and like organizations - with membership growing with unemployed workers - align with the peak oil doomer philosophy, climate action will become a wedge issue of the sort that has divided American political life for a decade or more. Imagine how the Don't Tread On Me American will respond to a politician making a statement like this.

Mr Livingstone said that "almost every government on the planet is too cowardly to tell its people how much they should pay for energy", but when peak oil brings escalating prices "we'll know the real cost of putting oil in the tank of our car, and we will scale down our energy consumption to cope with that".

An urban-rural dynamic gets set up around ideas such as these: from the Globe and Mail. Notice that there is no mention of climate action or community building or family. This mindset is all about personal survival.
Writing at, former U.S. Army Ranger Chris Lisle recommends a few ways we could all prepare for the coming peak-oil doomsday.

A good sleeping bag: "In a true survival situation, most people die because of hypothermia, not because of lack of water or food."

A month's supply of food: "Remember, though, you are eating to survive, not for taste."

Good friends: "To survive peak oil and life, you are going to have to be surrounded by good, honest, trustworthy people."

Don't buy an apartment or condo: "That housing is unlivable if the elevators don't work or the water shuts off."

Get out of debt: "You should do this now while you control it before peak oil forces it on you."

Get in shape: " millions of unhealthy people have little chance of making it. The bear of peak oil will swallow them up."

Adopt a positive attitude: "As they say in Army Ranger School, 'Hard times don't last, hard people do.'"

See also: Survivalist Green: Parents, Do Your Kids Know Where You'll Be Living In Ten Years?
Via::Global Public Media, "Ken Livingstone - Peak oil "opportunity" for London Mayor" Image credit::Smart Planet, London Mayor Ken Livingstone

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