Introducing TOD:UK

We're pleased to announce the latest addition to the TOD franchise, The Oil Drum: United Kingdom. It's being spearheaded by Chris Vernon of Vital Trivia, and Heading Out and Stuart Staniford, who have UK roots, may stop by every once in a while. Check it out at If you're in the UK, and you're interesting in contributing, contact Chris at chris at vitaltrivia dot co dot uk.
Welcome Chris! Glad to have another local site on board. It's so cliche, it's not even funny, but "Think Global, Act Local" is absolutely right. Peak oil is totally a global problem that needs more local solutions to adapt to its realities.

And Yankee and I would sure love to have more local NYC area contributors. Send one of us an email if you're interested.

Personaly speaking, I welcome the UK TOD addition. Since the UK appears to be in even bigger trouble than the US since the declines in the North Sea, it's even more appropriate that a sister website should be established there.

The UK got used to being self-sufficient over a number of years but in recent years due to North Sea declines, the plain and unavoidable fact is that they are now becoming net importers of oil and natural gas. This means they are in big trouble in an ever-tightening world market without spare capacity. Just as are we here in the US especially as we consider natural gas supplies going forward and eventually, not considering big oil shocks, oil supplies as well.

Welcome aboard!

Congratulaions on starting TOD UK. Coincidentally I wrote a little peice on the UK oil depletion scenario over on TOD NYC. I was puzzled as to why there was, relatively speaking, so little debate about declining North Sea oil production, when it's going to have substantial consequences for the UK.

I think the choices the UK faces in relation to energy production are "interesting" to say the least! Gas seems to be an even bigger problem than oil. I know some of my freinds are facing massive increased gas/electricity bills of 22%.

I travelled around the country a lot a couple of years ago and I talked to an awful lot of people from all walks of life. I was doing research for a book. What struck me was how frustrated and angry most people were underneath the surface. I had to keep pinching myself, to remind myself I wasn't in pre-revolutionary France!

I remember going shopping in Reading on a Saturday, and there was almost electricity in the air. People were shopping like crazy, some had two bags of clothes in each hand. The department stores and malls were bursting with excited shoppers. It was fascinating and frightening at the same time. Surrounded by thousands of eager, frantic and gleeful consumers.

I often felt that the elaborate town centre was more akin to a stage in a theatre, and that people were playing roles in a play they didn't really understand. Sometimes I felt that the elaborate stage-sets were far more fragile than were realised and that cracks were beginning to appear in the plaster columns.

What concerns me is that so much of life in Britain appears "unreal" to me. Perhaps this is connected in some way to the lack of real debate in the mainstream media of PO UK and what this may mean for our lives. This site could help to change that. But it will be a real challange.

The Independent and the Guardian have had some good articles about environmental issues and energy supply problems, but here were talking about papers that reach less than 5% of the UK poplulation aren't we?

What is the UK government's anwer to oil depletion? Tony Blair is gung-ho for nuclear. This raises a whole raft of problems in itself.

What is Tony Blair's attitude to the environment? Basically this, that people are not prepared to sacrifice economic growth to save the environment. He sounds like we have a choice in the matter! The real question is, are we prepared to sacrifice the planet for economic growth?

You will have gathered by now that I'm almost at the desparing stage in relation to our political masters, who when all is said and done take important decissions and are supposed to represent us.

Personally I think we're moving into another historic paradigm, a new type of society if you will. I think it will be "post-democratic" and "magic" will make a big comeback. I say "magic" because I also believe the Age of Enlightenment is over. I don't think we're "doomed" though. I'm actually an optimistic person. Though I do think "democracy" and "rationality" as we've known them for the last couple of centuries are under attack.

Anyway Good Luck to you and everyone else, we're going to need it I fear. Thanks for the timely initiative.

One more thing, I think we should drop the term "global warming" it's far to benign phrase to describe what's happening. I think we should use "global meltdown" instead. It's sort of an experiment I'm conducting at TOD USA as well, to see if we can re-define the boundaries of the discourse by re-appropriating language for our own purposes.

Sorry that this ended-up here. It was meant to go to TOD:UK. Only I got so caught up in excitemnet and enthusiasm for the new and timely initiative that I sent it to the wrong place - Help! Sorry, for the same old, same old. I really don't mean to bore everyone. Thanks.
Would have been better CLV to join up with Jay hanson over at and make a
would be more fitting for what is comming down the pike there!
I'm here just so people get too optimistic on the future of the UK....not much to be optimistic about come the slope of depletion!
I'm slightly more optimistic about things here (and I do in fact live in Scotland). Oil is depleting yes but we do still have a functioning train system which can soften the blow to an extent...we have a lot of potential for wave and wind power and then there is the amazing extravagance of some who wander around their houses in T-Shirts in 28 degrees heat in winter. The reason for the high gas price will probably be sorted soon as the European Commission seem to be willing to do something about it. What does worry me is that many govt. depts don't seem to realise the trouble we are in and hence come up with some truly weird stuff as if food security doesn't matter(I'm thinking of DEFRA). It seems we still have some pretty good scientists and engineers working on alternative energy solutions. Eventually it will all go wrong no doubt but we are part of a single market...if we need Poland's coal I'm sure we can buy it. No need to freeze in the dark just yet.
Apologies for rambling.
Good luck with the new site Chris. You are exactly the right man to set it up and see it through.
Jus to let you know, Channel Four news are having an Iran News Special all of this week.