Peak Oil News: UK Peak Oil campaign website passes landmark

Saturday, May 21, 2005

UK Peak Oil campaign website passes landmark

(PRLEAP.COM) The website has recently passed the 100,000 visits mark after just 7 months in action, a significant achievement for a website dedicated to a subject that not many members of the British public were talking about a year ago.

“We’re seeing an incredible increase in the amount of traffic and activity on the site,” said James Howard, part of the PowerSwitch team. “ I think the message is getting out there – ‘Peak Oil’ is approaching fast and people want to know and talk about the consequences and solutions.” Peak Oil is the term used to refer to the global maximum output of oil, after which the world enters the second half of the age of oil characterised by falling global oil supply, rising oil prices, increasing competition for the remaining reserves, and all the ramifications that will follow. Estimates for Peak Oil are clustering around 2010 but recent analysis by the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas say it could come as soon as 2008.

“ Some may see Peak Oil as a good thing – we’re pumping more oil than ever – it is the period after that is the worrying part! But of course you can’t take Peak Oil in isolation, you have to see the confluence of Peak Oil with climate change, insane levels of debt…it doesn’t paint a pretty picture,” said James Howard. It is precisely that picture that people are rushing to the forums to discuss. There are now 125 members of the PowerSwitch forums, arranging local meetups and campaigns, talking about alternative energy and ways of living and thinking about the consequences for themselves and society. It is the first UK forum specialising in the topic of Peak Oil and its ramifications.

There are 3 roles of the site – the first to provide news and comment on Peak Oil, the second to provide a forum for debate and the third to provide material and support for spreading awareness at a grass-roots level. It is this combination that has seen grow from attracting 25 visits a day to 25 visits an hour. “ A lot of people are learning about Peak Oil through PowerSwitch,” said James Howard, “And they’re taking that information and telling their friends and family. And then they tell their friends and family who may have seen something about it in the news. Or their energy prices go up. And the message strikes a chord because it is true and it is visible. We’re seeing a domino effect of raising awareness. A climate for talking about Peak Oil, once seen as a conspiracy theory, is being formed, and I hope we’re part of that process.”

Peak Oil is not a passing fad, it is not going to go away and the people at PowerSwitch believe it is better that people wake up, learn about it – and act upon it – as soon as possible. “ We know it is a tough challenge,” admitted James Howard, “ It asks a lot of big questions of how we live, but it would be a disgrace if those who know about Peak Oil didn’t make their most determined attempt to educate everyone else about it. It would be letting them down and it would be letting ourselves down. We want to see leadership on this issue, but that leadership is going to have to come from every individual. We cannot wait for government action.”

Having reached one hundred thousand visits within 7 months, how long did James Howard think it would be until they reached one million visits? “ I don’t know, but unlike population growth or the demands on our natural resources, when it comes to raising awareness of peak oil, exponential growth isn’t such a bad thing!”


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