Yesterday at the Carbon War Room in Vancouver I heard Sir Richard Branson make a shocking statement -- we have five more years of cheap oil.
Until very recently 'peak oil' theorists have been dismissed as radical alarmists. BP, Exxon and the Saudis have all said there is no need to worry. But if you are the world's most successful businessman and you own fleets of planes, ships and trucks you probably would be inclined to double check oil exec placations.
That is exactly what Branson did, and the academic researchers and economists he hired to perform an independent assessment of oil supplies have made him very, very worried.
Given the demand curves of the two fastest growing economies -- India and China -- combined with sustained (yet slowed) growth in the developed world, Branson and others are predicting that demand and supply will intersect in the next 5 years. When that occurs, oil prices will spike and that could send the world's biggest nations into economic tailspin.
Last week, Branson announced the report's findings and was joined by the first oil executive to break ranks with his peak oil-denying peers -- Thierry Desmarest, CEO of France-based Total Oil. Both mean warn of a doubling (at least) of oil prices.
I'll be uploading Branson's talk later today, and telling you more about how he has decided to "declare war" on dirty fuels.