1 July, 2008
Looking back at the first half of the year, I can only conclude that my doom-and gloom predictions for 2008 were unfortunately spot on. With stock markets continuing their dive down and oil prices exploding upward, this year could indeed turn out to become the “annus horribilis” I feared. To be honest, things look even a bit more gloomy than I expected (who would have believed me if I would have predicted a 140 dollar price for the oil barrel?).
The “climate fatigue” I foretold has also gone further than I expected and is turning into a possible “energy counter-revolution”. When prices of gasoline and heating oil will not go down in the next months (and I do not foresee so), we might see the recent street protests of the truckers becoming a full-fledged citizens’ movement against rising oil and food prices. As l mentioned yesterday during a debate in Brussels, is it so surprising that consumers do not want to pay for solving the energy/climate crisis when the political and economic elites keep sending messages that we can solve this mess with the necessary technological innovations (be they biofuels, carbon capture, or nuclear). When will these “leaders” have the courage to lead and warn their constituencies that “the party is over“.
And even my prediction that the words “crisis of the EU” would be spoken again was on the money although that was not really a difficult one. Unfortunately our EU leaders continue to whistle in the dark and pretend all is well with the Union. Even sarcasm is no longer appropriate to describe this lack of leadership.
Last but not least, the most dark scenario (an Israeli attack on Iran) seems to come closer every day. The final Bush legacy?Author : Willy De Backer