by Jerome a Paris
Fri May 30th, 2008 at 11:07:29 AM EST
Via a comment on Anders Piebalgs's blog by one Carolus Obscurus:
the term ‘peak oil’ seems to be DG TREN’s equivalent to the N-word in civilised society. It’s literally verboten, its use presumably creating grounds for disciplinary action. I’ve checked it out. At DGT [the Commission’s translation service – CO] we have access to the Commission’s entire translation corpus. This electronic database contains a vast range of documents emanating from all the Commission’s services as well as a huge volume of incoming mail from other EC institutions, national authorities, industry, private associations, and individual citizens.
Yet in DG TREN’s corner there is not one single document in which the term ‘peak oil’ occurs – not once, over the past 30 years, in texts dating back to 1977, the year I was recruited. As to the Commission as a whole, the taboo term crops up only twice in the entire text base – once in an open letter […] (2006) and once in draft report from the European Parliament (also 2006). And that’s it. There is no Commission document containing a term that may well encapsulate the defining moment of our century. Not even in an attempt to refute the theory.
In contrast, ‘climate change’ scores over 12196 hits – giving us a ratio of 6000 to 1, although oil depletion may well have a more disastrous impact on our lives than global warming: misery today, rather than misery tomorrow. Even the term ‘Mickey Mouse’ mysteriously scores 57 hits –almost 30 times more than ‘peak oil’. ‘Donald Duck’, with 39 hits, still does 10 times better. Such are our priorities in Never-Never Land.”
This fits with what Monbiot noted recently about the UK government:
Our government must have known this, but it has refused to conduct its own analysis of global oil reserves. Uniquely among possible threats to the economy and national security, it has commissioned no research of any kind into this question. So earlier this year, I asked the Department for Business what contingency plans it possesses to meet the eventuality that the IEA's estimates could be wrong, and that global supplies of petroleum might peak in the near future. "The government," it replied, "does not feel the need to hold contingency plans."
Our governments are totally clueless - or in denial, or wilfully incompetent, your pick - about the most fundamental threat to our (non-negotiable) way of life. Sweet.