Time to adapt to 'Peak Oil' time

PUBLISHED: 10:31 14 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:17 10 June 2010

The phenomena that were supermarkets blossomed in the 1960s with vacant factories and warehouses being used for the pile them high, sell them cheap concept. It was possible only because of the cheap transport of bulk products to a central distribution

The phenomena that were supermarkets blossomed in the 1960s with vacant factories and warehouses being used for the "pile them high, sell them cheap" concept. It was possible only because of the cheap transport of bulk products to a central distribution centre from processing and packaging plants and then on to the supermarkets themselves. That era of cheap transport and long distance distribution has ended.Supermarket food carries the largest carbon footprint in food miles of all UK freight. The pollution and congestion are unsustainable, and now, with "peak oil" reached and supplies rapidly diminishing, the viability of the supermarket bubble is about to burst.Progressive councils are planning for the "post oil" era now. In fact, that was the message from the Local Government Association seminar on the implications of "peak oil" (the high point in global oil production before its subsequent rapid decline).What of the "yesterday's men and women" at East Devon District Council, still with their "preferred partners" planning for even more supermarket-generated pollution, congestion, chaos and global warming?Building on flood plains, obscuring historic landscapes, and destroying local businesses. (The National Retail Forum states that "every time a large supermarket opens in an area, on average 276 jobs are lost "net loss".) Exmouth cannot sustain that magnitude of job losses. Progressive councils are preparing for "post oil" now and committing to the Transition Towns philosophy of small, local and energy-lite. For example, in transport, Exmouth will need a goods siding for its railway. That could replace the lorry park, post oil.Small local shops and local industry attending to local needs will create local jobs for local people and reduce transport. Can EDDC adapt to progressive thought? I doubt it. They have not in the past. Keith W Richardson, 26 Willow Avenue, Exmouth.

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