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Peak Flannery

flannery centreTim Flannery, interviewed by Wired News, in 2006 (emphasis added):

WN: Do you believe that we’re coming into the peak production of oil (“peak oil”) — and do you think the inevitable fuel cutbacks that ensue might work to the benefit of fighting climate change?

Flannery: All the projections suggests that we’re hitting it. Again, it just gives the added urgency of dealing with the issue today… Just play a little thought game: We’re 10 years out now; it’s 2016. Sea levels have started to rise quickly. And governments around the world are spending even more money than they are now in defending their low-lying areas…

Imagine oil prices twice or three times what they are today. Imagine the increased problems of hurricanes and insurance losses at the same time. And imagine the problems of water availability as well, because we’re getting a lot of extreme weather. That all adds up to a society under enormous stress. Is that society going to have the resources to invest in the new energy infrastructure that we need to build in order to eventually diminish those problems? Because changing energy infrastructure won’t help sea-level rise for half a century. It won’t help defend your city against this immediately rising ocean.

That’s why I say acting now while we have the luxury of relatively inexpensive means of making these changes is all-important. In 10 years’ time, we may not have the luxury of money and time to think about these things. And to act.

TODAY: Oil is $37.84 per barrel, a far cry from the $178 that would have been the case had Flannery’s 2006 prediction of a threefold increase been borne out.

One thing he did get right, however: With ever-mounting deficits, we don’t have “the luxury of money” to indulge whims, apocalyptic fantasists and, to cite one particularly egregious example of profligacy, a $7.5 million eco-tech centre named in honour of the habitually incorrect. Not, of course, that we ever did.

Flannery’s many false prophecies can be read in full via the link below.