The other option is to reduce demand, West said, “but that involves pain”—and the United States has failed in this respect as well. The size of cars, for example, has only grown in recent years. This led West to make a sobering prediction: Only the “massive economic dislocation” caused by an oil shortage will induce American leaders to find alternatives to petroleum and make the tough choices necessary to curb demand.
The report has him accusing the petroleum industry of having its head "in the sand" about the upcoming depletion of supplies, and warned that " [w]e may be sleepwalking into a problem, which is actually going to be very serious, and it may be too late to do anything about it by the time we are fully aware."
In the same article, Oxburgh also added that oil companies must invest more heavily in developing viable alternatives to oil and gas.
The writer of the article concludes: "The International Energy Agency has forecast what it calls an oil 'supply crunch' by 2012, a prediction that Lord Oxburgh said could possibly come to pass."
The year 2012 is not that far off. This is a serious and urgent issue - one that needs to be recognized as such if we want to have a fighting chance of preventing the worst consequences of this 'crunch' that is upon us.