Today's top two news stories couldn't be more apposite to us. Queues at filling stations because of a vague threat of a strike coupled with the withdrawal of two of the six companies that planned to fund and build new nuclear power stations in the UK.
My views on unions are well known (!) so I won't engage with the politics, but on a more visceral level just look how ridiculous people are being, all selfishly rushing to grab something that they don't even need. If this is how we react when there's a tiny threat of a strike - and one that would have to give seven days' notice anyway - just how are poeple going to react when these sort of supply issues become endemic - as they soon will? This is the biggest Peak Oil eye-opener yet, and it's not pretty.
My views on environmenalists are well known (!) so I won't engage with the wider issues, but from purely a transport perspective I would say that this rings the death knell of the electric car. We desperately need this extra generating capacity just to keep up with EXISTING demand, if we don't get the new nuclear stations you can wave goodbye to any surplus being available to charge up electric cars. Even with the new power stations we were probably almost certain to get power cuts by 2015 on a regular basis.
What both these stories demonstrate is the extreme vulnerability of the old energy order, where public perception, economics and disinformation mix up together to cause disruption and uncertainty.
Worried? Just close your eyes and think of Midford (1950 or 2030)!