Should New Zealand prepare immediately for oil shortages?

imgresLast night at our Transition Towns meeting we had a good speaker from the Otaki Clean Tech Centre on alternative liquid fuels. He spent the first part of his talk summarising the position with fossil fuels. What a reminder!  One thing he told us was that our New Zealand strategic oil reserves are held on a piece of paper in Japan. I am keen to confirm this and so have today written to the Minister of Energy and Resources, Hon Simon Bridges.

Then I see on  my email today a link to a media statement from ASPO Australia. He says New Zealand should prepare immediately for oil shortages. ASPO’s website is here. That led me to a link to a talk by Professor Susan Krumdieck. Well it is hard to find 32 minutes to watch a youtube video but I assure you this is worth it. She is talking to business people and makes the cases that is is a dumb investment investing in fossil fuels where there is such a low return on energy invested.

Which leads me to thinking about what has happened over the last few years of a National Government, hell bent on building roads and deaf to the cries of the manufacturing and export industries about the high NZ dollar. The answer is always about how New Zealanders will feel the pain of a lower dollar in higher petrol prices. We continue to drive at 100km an hour, though in times of awareness that speed comes down to 80 km an hour. In the seventies oil shocks we had carless days and had to drive slower. But right now we have been lulled into a state of torpor, dreaming that this oil, which cost so much to produce and so many lives in oil wars to protect, will continue at this price forever without dirsuption. Are we sleepwalking to catastrophe?