The UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) has issued a report in which it is stated that there is a "significant risk" that world oil production will reach its peak and then fall into terminal decline - i.e. "peak oil". The report further urges, quite logically, that the price of oil and hence fuel will rise and become more volatile and so one might expect will the world economy, given its inextricable underpinning by the price of oil.
The UKERC states that oil provides one third of the total energy used in the world - in fact it is nearer two fifths, at 38% - and that major discoveries such as those by BP in the Gulf of Mexico and by Petrobras in Brazil would only delay the peak by a matter of days of weeks. Well, that's what I've been on about for the past 3 years, and so have many others, but it's nuce to think that the government is being told the story and one can hope that it might act upon this information.
It is of course highly misleading to speak of oil and providing one third of total energy since it does this in a very specific and difficultly replacable fashion. Namely, that oil provides liquid fuels and thus powers practically all of the world's transportation. Without cheap oil, the global ecomony is doomed. Thus any practical action by the British or other governments must be that of inaugurating an infrastructure to feed and run nations as oil becomes a relentlessly rarer commodity.
"Oil will peak in 10 years, Government warned." By Robin Pagnamenta. http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/natural_resources/article6865557.ece