"But if the financial crisis taught us anything…."

Margareta Pagano in The Independent: “Jeremy Leggett couldn’t have chosen a better time to warn that we are heading for a world energy crisis so ghastly that the Great Financial Crash will look like a storm in a teacup.” “The “Big Six” energy companies are in the dock squabbling over rising charges, the politicians are electioneering with dodgy promises to reduce prices while a horrifying number of people say they will choose between heating and eating this winter.
If Mr Leggett is right, it’s not only candles and jumpers we will need but our own generators as well. And we don’t have long to stock up. He’s predicting a massive energy shock in 2015 that sends prices spiralling even higher and another financial blow-out.
His reasons are fourfold: the world’s big energy companies are running systemic risks similar to those that built up ahead of the financial crash: rub these risks together with rising world temperatures, carbon-fuel asset stranding in the capital markets leading to a carbon bubble, oil depletion, the shale-gas surprise and you get a toxic implosion.
…..Scary stuff. Big Energy and the Opec oil producers of course deny such warnings, claiming there is enough oil to last 50 years and gas for another 250 years. But if the financial crash taught us anything, it’s that no one paid attention to the warnings, even those of the experts. It’s why Mr Leggett has written a new book – The Energy of Nations: Risk Blindness and the Road to Renaissance – which tracks oil’s inexorable price rise since 2004 and explains why we are heading for Doomsday unless governments take radical action.
….“Tony Blair, David Cameron – they have all come and had a look around. They were keen and green then. But it looks as though these latest price rises may mean the end of green subsidies although the truth is all energy is subsidised.”
….“What’s so irritating is that we have all the tools in our hands now to turn this crisis around using a mix of solar, wind and water. Even at the present rate of current technology, these renewables will be able to power modern economies by 2030 and certainly by 2050. If a fraction of the money that is being spent on nuclear was being spent on solar, then we would see huge leaps in technology.”
….“If consumption in the developing world continues to increase at current rates, the consumption of oil-producing nations continues to rise, and American tight-oil production peaks in the 2017 timeframe, the cumulative impact on global supplies could be significant. The consequences of such events would be potentially catastrophic.”
….“Like the banking industry, we need a new generation of leaders, and companies. Big Energy will not change willingly. They must be forced to change.”
….“There are people in positions of power – renewable energy is surprisingly apolitical – who understand what’s happening and they need to stand up and shout louder than ever. If the green technological revolution runs as fast as the digital and internet one has done, then why don’t they adapt? Why are they standing in its way?”