Iraqi Kurdistan Starts Oil ExportsOf all the reasons we should convert our fleet to electric the stand out argument is Energy Security.  There is no doubt if the oil supply to Australia (and other countries reliant on oil imports) suddenly ceased for whatever reason – economic, natural disaster or war – we would be in a catastrophic position with the country lurching to a standstill within a matter of a few days.  What should we say to our political leaders who are aware of this situation but have taken no steps to plan for such an emergency.

Yes it is unlikely our oil supplies will suddenly stop flowing but then the middle east is a place full of unlikely scenarios – who would have thought for example just a few weeks ago that ISIS would overrun large portions of Iraq in a matter of days causing a spike in the oil price and the repeat scenario of military involvement is this part of the world.  As one British MP quipped when ‘weapons of mass destruction’ was the rallying cry – if Iraq was only famous for growing carrots we wouldn’t be there.

So just how serious would a disruption to supply really be.  According to a report (Australia’s Liquid Fuel Security) commissioned by the NRMA and prepared by Air Vice-Marshall (retired) John Blackman, the situation is very serious indeed.

No more petrol at the pump after 3 days
Dry goods run out within 9 days
Frozen and chilled foods run out within 7 days
Hospital pharmacy supplies run out within 3 days
The ability to defend the nation – your guess is as good as mine but I’d say our capabilities would be next to zero within a few weeks.

Is there any other commodity to which we are beholden that has such potential consequences for the nation in such a short time frame?  I don’t think so.  Yet we are doing nothing to wean us off this high risk energy drug with our addiction growing year by year.  Any prudent government would be putting in place steps to minimise such exposure.  Why hasn’t the Australian government?  Why is Australia, alone amongst its peers, not offering it’s citizens incentives to move from oil to electric transport?