Chris on Talk Radio Europe: "Gigantic Mismatch" Between World Oil Consumption and Future Supply

Earlier this week, Chris was invited to appear on Talk Radio Europe, the largest English-speaking radio station in continental Europe. A podcast of the interview has just been made available, which you can listen to by clicking here or on the image below:

The discussion focused heavily on the looming Peak Oil crisis, with a particular slant on implications for the European countries. The subject matter resonated with the host, Richie Allen, particularly because he's now beginning to hear related sentiment echoed by a small but growing number of concerned European economists.

As future economic growth is threatened by Peak Oil, entitlement-rich countries in Europe face real challenges. Chris puts it extremely directly:

  • Current levels of entitlement promises are unsustainable.
  • Current levels of government expenditures are unsustainable.
  • What is unsustainable, by definition, will end.

In fairness, Chris admits this predicament is not a PIIGS- or even Europe-specific one. The most probable action that governments will need to take will include cutting benefits and raising taxes - an "enormous amount of trimming."

Chris and Richie agreed that such belt-tightening is sure to create a lot of political and social controversy, as the UK's and France's austerity measures are already encountering. The big question remains: Will governments leverage the remaining time they have before Peak Oil to take prudent steps in preparation? Or will it take the arrival of the crisis to spur real action? 

At this point, Europe seems to have the edge over the US in moving ahead with at least some degree of planned austerity. But neither is even close to focusing on Peak Oil with the seriousness that the problem merits. 

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Nice job on the interview Chris.  It was a good recap of your thoughts.  The part about the “quality” of oil verses the quantity caught my attention more this time  That is a good point to make.  Kudos on not getting dragged into your host’s political views, though I suspect you largely share them.  Staying politically neutral gives people less reason to reject your message.

Thank you for the compliments, I’m glad the part about quantity vs. quality came through.  I’m sure there’s some more tightening up that can be done to that part of the story, but it’s getting better.

I am finding, especially during the political season, that many are looking for me to reinforce one partisan slant or another.  For all the obvious reasons, I cannot do that or go there, no matter what my views happen to be.  Luckily, I am actually quite agnostic on the partisan front fully believing that good people and right actions can be found anywhere and everywhere along the two dimensional political axis (as can the exact opposites) which makes my job a lot easier.  Since I don’t really care about partisanship, I can readily avoid such conversations by steering into actions and responses.  That’s how you find out how much someone actually knows and how deep their awareness extends.  

I’ll say it again, there’s a freight train coming and we are, for the most part, still partying on the tracks, music blaring, eye’s glazed over, with too few designated watchers in our midst keeping an eye out for danger.  But the tide has turned.  I can feel it.