Recall one version of the peaker story – peak oil as a repository of hope. This is the take in which, despairing of other avenues to rapid, large-scale changes, we look to peak oil to at least save us from the more extreme forms of climate disaster.
The idea is that, as we burn our way through the peak, fossil fuels will get more expensive and this will tip the competitive balance to low-carbon energy sources. So that despite the obvious reality of the day – let’s just say “governance failure” for the moment, and leave it at that – in which it’s all but impossible to price carbon at anything like its true social cost, its price will nevertheless rise, maybe even fast enough to save our bacon.
Does anyone still believe this? They won’t after reading the Carbon Bubble report, which was just released by the impeccably capitalist Carbon Tracker Initiative, which describes itself as “the first project of Investor Watch, a non-profit company established by its directors to align the capital markets with efforts to tackle climate change.” This report, which is unfortunately based on ... Read more