Sunday, 20 May 2007

narrow gauge pointer to future development

We're all going to need many many more railways in the future, but what form will they take? As the roads vanish under weeds we'll still need to move around, perhaps not as much as we do now, but goods will need to come into and out of towns, some people will still work some distance from their homes and hopefully there'll still be enough surplus income for most of us to continue to have holidays.

The rail network will no doubt expand back up to its pre-Beeching levels, but that will still leave large swathes of the country rail-less, because rail development was actually cut short in the early years of the twentieth century by the economic oddity of cheap oil. The most likely solution will be community light railways, many of which will probably be more successful (and certainly cheaper to construct and run) if of narrow gauge.

Switzerland has a superb network of (mainly) metre-gauge routes that reach the places the standard gauge lines can't. Very few Swiss lines have closed, and those that have were mainly for misguided political reasons taken before Peak Oil was a major issue. In fact in the past few years several new lines have been opened, often at huge expense. The Swiss are some considerable way further along the sustainable development curve than us!

So, if you're looking for a Peak-Oil-Proof investment why not look at railway construction companies or rolling-stock manufacturers. I particularly fancy Parry People Movers, not yet a quoted plc but likely to become one as demand for their product soars. Keep checking the business press for developments, as the best time to get your money into these areas is right at the start!

Wednesday, 16 May 2007


Unfortunately we had to drive to Hampshire on business today. Part of the route is along the A34 and we were amazed by the number of car transporters we passed. What on earth are we thinking of? There is no reason at all for these to block our roads, waste oil and add to climate change. These could all have been carried on ONE train as they were obviously heading towards Southampton, probably for export. And they were all 4x4s!

Is anyone actually listening to the messages the Earth's now telling us? Why are bulk movements like this still being handled on roads,
and what idiots are buying them?

And why tie up valuable human resources in all these lorries? Couldn't these drivers be far better employed on the railways or in production?

It's 2007. Sometimes I have to pinch myself, we seem to be living in the distant past.
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Tuesday, 15 May 2007

EU jokers

EU admits having no plan for 'peak oil' crisis 9th Feb 2006
Commission shrugs off looming oil shortage as 'just a theory'

The EU's energy commissioner Andris Piebalgs has admitted he has no plan to deal with rapidly rising oil and gas prices in the face of shrinking supply and booming demand.

In a response to a parliamentary question put by Green Party MEP Caroline Lucas, he shrugs off the so-called 'Peak Oil' scenario as 'no more than a theory'.
Ho hum. Like Climate Change I suppose? How can we plan for a future economy if our so-called 'leaders' are this fucking stupid??
Whatever Peak Oil is, it's never been 'just a theory'. Oil is running out, demand is increasing and there's no viable replacement.
No doubt Mr Piebalgs will be driving a 4x4 years after the rest of us have moved into protected communities getting around by horse, bike and steam train ...