So here's an example of what happens when it all goes wrong: Venezuela, rich in energy, has been forced to adopt emergency measures (including burning oil inefficiently for power, and reducing much-needed exports as a consequence) to mitigate rolling blackouts.
Chavez, of course, blames drought and a resultant fall in hydro-electricity production. However, most commentators reckon that "the shortages also reflect long-term underinvestment in energy infrastructure". Sound familiar ?
Even 3rd-world dictators know this one means trouble. Comrade Hugo has asked everyone to turn off the lights, and inaugurated a radio programme called 'Suddenly Chavez' which will be broadcast randomly (yes I know it's August but I am not making this up), signalled by
the sound of a harp playing local folk-music. "When you hear the pluck of a harp on the radio, maybe Chavez is coming. It's suddenly, at any time, maybe midnight, maybe early morning ..."
... said the fun-loving crackpot and buddy of Ken Livingstone. Don't see him qualifying for BRIC membership any time soon, oil or no oil.
In our case, I can reveal that the Queen has decided against random broadcasting to distract the populace. Instead, as we've said many a time and oft, it'll be quick-n-easy-to-build gas plants that will bridge the looming UK power gap. Costlier than it needs to be, a bit pedestrian, but at the end of the day that's what will happen, and we must look for our entertainment elsewhere.