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Triple Crunch Log                                                                                                            

change has been exaggerated. Only 26% of people think climate change is “established as largely manmade.” An Ipsos poll of 1,048 people suggests those who believe in climate change has dropped from 44% to 31% in the past year.162

Most Tory MPs now have doubts about climate change in face of leaked e-mail scandal. Tim Montgomerie, founder and editor of the ConservativeHome website, says the issue could be as divisive for the party as Europe once was. “You have got 80% or 90% of the party just not signed up to this.” This includes at least six members of the Shadow Cabinet. “No one minded at the beginning, but people are starting to realise this could be quite expensive, so opinion is hardening.”163

8.2.10. Richard Branson and other UK business leaders warn of oil crunch within five years. The next five years will see us face another crunch – the oil crunch. This time, we do have the chance to prepare. The challenge is to use that time well. ….Our message to government and businesses is clear: act. Don't let the oil crunch catch us out in the way that the credit crunch did.” There are signs that the UK government is already beginning to listen, and move away from the narrative given on peak oil by BP, Exxon and the Saudis. JL: “[We are] in regular contact with government; we have reason to believe their risk thinking on peak oil may be evolving away from BP et al's and we await the results of further consultations with keen interest.”164

BP joins Shell on investors’ tar sands target list. The Co-operative Asset Management, the UNISON Staff Pension Scheme, a group of clients from Rathbone Greenbank and the COIF Charities Investment Fund file a motion asking BP not to commit $10bn to its Sunrise oil sands development for carbon reasons.165 Unlike Shell, BP seems to press ahead. It is upgrading a refinery near Chicago to take tar sands oil. John Browne has expressed disapproval.166

Areva buys a US solar thermal company. Ausra, a linear Fresnel company founded in 2006, has no revenues, and yet the price is believed to be $200m.167 Areva lobbied Sarkozy to oppose Desertec.

9.2.10. World’s first retail carbon credit made in Pennsylvania. A homeowner with a PV system earns $17 a tonne from a company in Ohio. The sale was brokered by a website, My Emissions Exchange.168

Gazprom boss says UK wind plans are irrational, and more gas plants is the answer. Alexander Medvedev: "If we do not want to see the authors of the 2020 strategy decapitated in a public square, I do not think they can forget about gas. We at Gazprom believe gas should be treated on an equal footing as renewables. I just hope that after the disappointment post-Copenhagen that the decision-makers will take a more pragmatic and rational approach to this.”169

Gazprom boss says shale gas developmeny in Europe is “unimaginable.” The US Environmental Protection Agency will raise concerns about its potential contamination of drinking water in a forthcoming report, Alexander Medvedev says. 170

10.2.10. UK Industry Taskforce on Peak Oil and Energy Security releases its second report in a press conference at the Royal Society.171

Peak oil: The lessons from the financial crash ought to be stark. JL: The prevailing culture mocked the disbelievers, ahead of the crash. Gillian Tett, capital markets editor at the FT, saw the crisis coming because she was a trained anthropologist and knew how to recognise a cult when she saw one. She was accused of scaremongering from the stage of the World Economic Forum. The pattern is the same this time. BP, in particular, has a tendency to mock the concept of peak oil and its advocates. Meanwhile, as with the climate crisis, there is a general desperation to believe the comforting narrative ahead of the uncomfortable one. This is why it is so important that companies who understand risk speak out, as the taskforce companies have. It is why governments – who must lead in matters of national security – should listen to the uncomfortable arguments and, given the stakes, buy insurance against them. History is going to judge us all on how we manage the risk of premature peak oil. And soon.172 173

Wall Street Journal headline “The next crisis: prepare for peak oil” “The work of the Industry Taskforce on Peak Oil and Energy Security shouldn't be disparagingly dismissed. Its arguments are well founded and lead it to the conclusion that, while the global downturn may have delayed it by a couple of years, peak oil—the point at which global production reaches its maximum—is no more than five years away. Governments and corporations need to use the intervening years to speed up the development of and move toward other energy sources and increased energy efficiency.” “….even if the gloomsters should turn out to be wrong, the core of their message surely deserves attention. Governments should be doing all in their power to encourage developments that lessen oil dependency. That will also enhance their energy security for, as Russia's Vladimir Putin has demonstrated with use of the on/off switch on the pipeline to Ukraine, it can be uncomfortable being dependent on other countries for energy.”174

Two big US companies decide to boycott suppliers sourcing fuel from Canada’s oil sands. Whole Foods Market, an organic grocery chain, and Bed, Bath and Beyond a household goods company, are responding to ForestEthics, a non-governmental organisation campaigning to lead the US corporate sector away from oil sands fuel because of its higher carbon content. “Companies are moving with lightning speed,” says Todd Paglia, ForestEthics’ executive director. “It’s a core issue they know they need to move on. The failure of Copenhagen makes companies more willing to do this; leadership must come from somewhere.”175

Vitol, the world’s largest oil trader says oil will trade in the current $70-80 band for the rest of the year.  Goldman, in contrast, forecasts $95 a barrel by the end of the year, and above $100 in early 2011. The five largest oil traders – Vitol, Glencore, Trafigura, Gunvor and Mercuria – are believed to have achieved record profits of $3.5 - $4bn collectively last year. They make large sums of money on the back of volatile oil prices.176

11.2.10. Dynamics of the peak oil debate can be expected to change after UK government move. JL: “The head of international energy security at Britain's department of energy and climate change, Chris Barton, said: "We need to work together (with industry) to do more - eg to consider recommendations in the report that we're not currently acting on." His department will set up a forum for doing this. The outcome of this forum should be followed closely by every company that is not manufacturing its products with its own renewable power supply and distributing them by means of transport other than the internal combustion engine.”177

Around 60% of Germans still favour nuclear reactor shutdowns. The current legal obligation is to phase out nuclear reactors after 32 years of service. The latest public opinion polls show around 60 per cent favouring the current phase-out legislation, passed by the former coalition of Social Democrats and Greens. At least two of the country's 17 nuclear reactors would have to be shut down this year, and nuclear reactors provide about a

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