The century of cheap energy is behind us, according to an international energy expert visiting The University of Western Australia.
Lord Ron Oxburgh is Chairman of Falck Renewables, and an advisor on environment and energy to the Government of Singapore, Climate Change Capital and Deutschebank. A geologist, he was Chairman of Shell Petroleum UK.
In a free public lecture at UWA, Lord Oxburgh will argue that the world is running out of cheap oil and gas. If the past is any guide, energy demand is set to increase as the global population both increases and looks for higher living standards. There will be parallel but different pressures on water. The way forward depends critically not on whether the climate is changing, but on why and how it is changing.
The one certainty, he attests, is that this century will be very different from the last both in terms of infrastructure and life style. Life will surely be different but need not be worse. The most difficult part will be the transition. Recognising that fact and acting on it urgently should be our highest priority. Continuing exactly as before is not an option.
A strong advocate for using multiple sources of energy, he acknowledges that there is no silver bullet for our current environmental problems.
Lord Oxburgh is a member of the House of Lords of the UK Parliament and a graduate of the Universities of Oxford and Princeton. He has taught geology and geophysics at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge and was a visiting professor at Stanford University, the California Institute of Technology and Cornell University.
What: Free public lecture: Energy, Climate and People
Where: Alexander Lecture Theatre, Faculty Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (Carpark 3, Hackett Entrance 1)
When: 5pm Wednesday 2 December