Energy Change for Climate Control
RSS icon Home icon
  • The Future of Flight

    Posted on February 10th, 2010 Jo No comments

    For decades we have been spoonfed Science Fiction about the future of flight and space exploration as if it were fact.

    Richard Branson (“Sir”, if you insist) has drawn us to his vision for commercial passenger space flight :-

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8400353.stm

    Yet his participation in the Industry Taskforce for Peak Oil and Energy Security leads him back down to Earth :-

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/oil/7203172/Britain-faces-oil-crunch-within-five-years-Richard-Branson-warns.html

    “Britain faces ‘oil crunch’ within five years, Richard Branson warns : An oil crunch more serious than the financial crisis threatens to strike Britain within five years, Sir Richard Branson and other business leaders have warned. : Published: 10 Feb 2010″

    http://www.ecorazzi.com/2010/02/09/richard-branson-warns-of-peak-oil-in-five-years/

    “…While theories differ on when the world will experience the hard hitting times of peak oil, Virgin boss Richard Branson is boldly predicting that will happen in the next five years. In the foreward to a new report being released shortly, Branson urges UK leaders to be proactive rather than reactive to peak oil. “The next five years will see us face another crunch – the oil crunch. This time, we do have the chance to prepare. The challenge is to use that time well,” Branson will say. “Our message to government and businesses is clear: act,” he says in a foreword to a new report on the crisis. “Don’t let the oil crunch catch us out in the way that the credit crunch did.” According to one consultant, the current worldwide recession has only delayed the inevitable. “The next major supply constraint, along with spiking oil prices, will not occur until recession-hit demand grows to the point that it removes the current excess oil stocks and the large spare capacity held by Opec,” said Chris Skrebowski. “However, once these are removed, possibly as early as 2012-13 and no later than 2014-15, oil prices are likely to spike, imperiling economic growth and causing economic dislocation.”…”

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5g8M712Y7XdnGaTVbH_BRDqr2iB1g

    “Branson warns UK over ‘oil crunch’ : The UK risks being hit by painful hikes in the cost of food, heating and travel because it is unprepared for surging oil prices, Sir Richard Branson and other business leaders have warned. Their report, entitled “The Oil Crunch – a wake up call for the UK economy”, warns the world is running out of oil and predicts shortages and price spikes as soon as 2015. It said the challenges facing the UK would exceed those presented by the financial crisis and said the poorest in society were most vulnerable to potentially significant increases. The report said Government must acknowledge the risks to the economy and to produce contingency plans for transport, retail, agriculture and alternative power. “Unless we do so, we face a situation during the term of the next government where fuel price unrest could lead to shortages in consumer products and the UK’s energy security will be significantly compromised,” it said. The report was compiled by the Industry Taskforce for Peak Oil and Energy Security, a group of private British companies whose members include Sir Richard; Brian Souter, chief executive of Stagecoach; Scottish & Southern Energy boss Ian Marchant and Philip Dilley, chairman of consultancy firm Arup. Virgin Group founder Sir Richard – whose airline and rail businesses are sensitive to volatility in the cost of crude – said businesses and Government should work together to prepare the economy. “UK competitiveness will be hampered unless we can develop viable, affordable and secure long term sources of alternative energy,” he said. While the report did not address climate change directly, it stressed “massive areas of overlap” between the issues of depleted resources and pollution. It said transportation was particularly vulnerable to rising oil prices, with businesses from supermarkets to manufacturers reliant on delivery networks. The group said alternative methods of powering vehicles – for example electrification of the railways – should be explored and infrastructure developed.”…”

    If the Energy infrastructure and the benevolent governmental tax regimes required to support and maintain the aviation and space industries can no longer be justified, then the future of flight is probably airships rather than supersonic jets :-

    http://www.airships.net/blog/movie-lady-hay-graf-zeppelin-farewell

    http://www.idfa.nl/industry/Festival/films-2009/film.aspx?id=068e6e30-75cb-4727-b852-c6be7363155a

    “…Constructed entirely of archive footage, Farewell is the story of English journalist Lady Grace Drummond-Hay. In August of 1929, two months before the stock market crash would plunge the world into the Great Depression, newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst added Drummond-Hay to the passenger list of the Graf Zeppelin as the only female. This impressive airship would be the very first to make a voyage around the world. For this prestigious project, a symbol of hope and progress, Hearst was looking for someone who wanted to write about the trip “from a female perspective.”…”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/feb/07/branson-warns-peak-oil-close

    “Branson warns that oil crunch is coming within five years : Virgin chief and fellow business leaders call for action : Energy crisis threatens to be more serious than credit crunch : Terry Macalister : guardian.co.uk, Sunday 7 February 2010″

    Branson: Get ready for oil crunch within 5yrs”

    “Tuesday, February 9, 2010 : Business & Finance : p43 : The world is hurtling towards an oil crisis as demand rises and supplies fall, business leaders will warn tomorrow. Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson will say the world has five years at most to plan for an ‘oil crunch’ creating bigger problems than the credit crunch…”

    http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/news/article.html?in_article_id=499344

    “Britons may face soaring costs for food, heating and travel because the country is unprepared for surging oil prices, Sir Richard Branson and other business leaders warned today. Their report, entitled ‘The Oil Crunch – a wake up call for the UK economy’, warns the world is running out of oil and predicts shortages and price spikes as soon as 2015. It said the challenges facing the UK would exceed those presented by the financial crisis and said the poorest in society were most vulnerable to potentially significant increases…”

    Leave a reply