On the final Questions and Answers the other night, Eddie Hobbs led a discussion on Peak Oil.
"If we look to the immediate future, I think that there’s issues far bigger than Government coming down the tracks," said Hobbs. "The biggest issue of all is the one related to energy. The International Energy Agency report that came out in November was lost in the media melee over banking and it completely reverses a lot of the predictions that we’ve used to base our entire national economic planning around. It seems to me that we’re now at Peak Oil production globally so we’re entering the age of scarcity.
"We have this collective view that we’re somehow going back to what was there before with just less wealth and I believe we’re entering a brand new economic age and the future is all about energy efficiency, energy creation, green technology and we’ve a lot of catching up to do in order to prepare for that. And we’ve great potential to do so."
John Bowman: And do you think the public are ready for that message?
Eddie Hobbs: No, this is the problem. It’s not until oil hits €200, €250 €300 a barrel that people will accept it, because it’s a very personal thing. But even nationally our preparedness really is quite pathetic. For example our most recent reports on oil supplies and on what we would do in the event of oil shortages are two huge reports and there isn’t even one sentence dealing with the possibility that we’re actually at Peak Oil. Even Fatih Birol, the chief economist with the IEA says it’s 2020 but some say it’s earlier."
Minister John Gormley "Eddie is absolutely right. We have twin problems: scarcity of oil and climate change. Despite the global recession it’s very clear that our emissions are growing by 1.9% per annum, so we’re using up our oil resources."
John Bowman then diverted the discussion to wondering why climate change hasn't caught the public imagination with Noel Whelan accepting that the Green Party had brought the issue to public attention.
see for yourself: RTÉ News: Questions and Answers
As Transition Town groups organise themselves throughout Ireland and the wider world to prepare their communities for the changes associated with Peak Oil and Climate Change, what can they realistically achieve? Why is there no national Plan A or B to cope with what Hobbs refers to as the coming "age of scarcity"?