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Environmentalists bring a toast to the record-high oil price

Dutch-Belgium EarthFirst! celebrates the downfall of the carbon economy

This afternoon, at 5pm. members of Groenfront will join together in the centre of capitalism in the Netherlands: the Beursplein in Amsterdam. Here they will bring out a toast to the record-high price of oil of $100 per barrel. Since 2003 the price of oil has sky-rocketed, with the rate sometimes climbing several dollars a day. GroenFront-activist Rogier: "What the earth needs is economic 'shrinkage'. The climate crisis and the peaking oil production show us that we need to adjust to the limits of our ecosystem".

Peakoil is the geologically determined peaking and - after that - shrinking of oil production. The remainder of oil becomes harder and harder to retrieve, demanding a still greater technological and financial effort.
It looks as if the worldwide production of oil has reached that peak. Every following year, the production will decrease. The decreased supply in combination with an ever increasing demand will push up the price of oil. Executives of, among others, Total, Conoco, Philps, Saudi Aramco and the Libyan National Oil Corporation have already stated that they are not able to meet the current demand for oil. The last few years have seen lower yields from oil fields in the US, Mexico and the North Sea. The International Energy Agency expressed its concerns over the ever growing gap between supply and demand in the global oil market.

Whether the record-high price of $100 is beneficial to the environment depends on the way the oil-addicted societies react. If the shortage in oil will be compensated for with pollutive replacements, like agrofuels, unconventional oil and synthetic diesel from coal and natural gas, the world still has not learned its lesson. This record-high price should be used as a wake-up call: fossil fuels are limited and already we are faced with the consequences.

Families in the United States are seriously concerned with the oncoming winter because of the greatly increased cost of petrol. Transport and fishing sector in Europe are anticipating protests against the risen price of diesel fuel. In Third World countries - where fuels are usually subsidised - governments are faced with a choice: an empty treasury or uprising. In Africa and Asia a growing amount of fishermen are forced to stay ashore because of the high costs of fuel. Farmers are not able to bring their products to the market place. Peakoil starts to rear its ugly head everywhere.

"The climate crisis and the depletion of fossile fuels show us that a radical change in our economic system is an absolute necessity," says GroenFront activist Rogier. "Failing to do so means waiting for an economic recession which will hit the people who are already having difficulties to cope. A redistribution of wealth is necessary, but most of all a choice has to be made for a little less wealth. We can do that now, voluntarily and peacefully, or wait until both economy and ecology force us to do so." In conclusion, Rogier states: "Economic shrinkage is the only real solution to the approaching economic and ecologic crisis."

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