World record oil prices are being shattered so regularly that breaking news stories on the matter seem cliché, with other fossil energy sources heading in the same direction. Richard Douthwaite describes the first significant signs that Irish banks may be starting to take the issue on board regarding property lending.
The unprecedented development seen in Ireland in the Celtic Tiger years was fueled by the availability of cheap, abundant fossil energy. As the boom ends, the state is attempting to boost the economy with investment in larger than ever infrastructural projects which will not benefit many of the tax payers who are funding them, and crucially don’t recognize the extent to which peak oil production will affect their viability, as Richard Douthwaite reveals.
In terms of 1972 money, oil prices averaged about six dollars a barrel between 1987 and 2000. Last October they reached $40. They are now around $50 a barrel which means that they are beginning to climb back into the territory which caused the global economy to crash in 1979/80.
Richard Douthwaite reveals that oil and gas peak are barely mentioned in the Government's recent energy Green Paper.