Five years ago we were sitting in our kitchen with Rob Hopkins, Ruth and a couple of other people. We had recently watched the film ‘The End of Suburbia’ and had spent time in conversation with Colin Campbell. Petrol in Ireland had gone up quite quickly from around 70 cents a litre to €1 (EUR) per litre. Rob was thinking about organising a conference on Peak Oil. The end of oil powered lifestyles was near! But how near?
Predicting the future is hard. So I asked everyone how much they thought a litre of petrol would be in five year’s time. Here are the predictions:
- Ruth said it’d be €2
- I said €3
- Roger €3.67 (can’t remember who he is!)
- Rob Hopkins said €3.50
- Graham Strouts said €10 (asked in in Feb 2005)
- Aisling said €2.72 (friend of Graham’s asked in in Feb 2005)
And today the price of petrol in Skibbereen….. is….. drum rolll….. €1.14 per litre!
So in five years petrol has gone up by 14 cents.
And I am pleased to announce that Ruth is the winner! I promised to cook her a local food meal if she won.
Graham and Rob, the Peak Oil experts (both have published books on the subject) did just about worst! I reckon they’d been reading too many doomer books!
Of course none of this means that Peak Oil and the need for radical change or the likelihood of industrial collapse are any less likely. But it is very interesting to me to show how hard it is to get timing right or predict the future.