Tanaka said oil demand may already have peaked in the developed countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) but failure to invest now in renewables could store up problems in the future.
"I don't see much chance it (demand) could come back now, but if we do not invest in renewables now, it could bounce back when the economy starts to grow again," he said.
For years, we had people blogging about Peak Oil and how we should prepare, while trying to explain why this important source of energy was running out. Oil companies and others spent lots of money explaining why they didn't agree, or why it was a myth or even a conspiracy, and mainstream media didn't seem to care either way.
More on Treehugger and The Oil Drum.
How can you prepare for a sudden lack of fuel? Life After The Oil Crash has some good tips, and writers like Doug Reynolds says:
I think that it is important for our borough to consider preparing for high oil prices and the types of infrastructure we will need (more busses, more well-kept bicycle paths, and the greater use of firewood and coal for heating). On the other hand, markets will also help: As oil prices get higher, people will naturally find ways to adapt. This is one reason that I ride my bike to work every day, even in the winter.
As for Japan, maybe public transportation will keep the country running, but food could get scarce. During the 1970s oil crisis, housewives were shown panicking to buy toilet paper, but the situation could probably get much worse today, unless we are better prepared. So why is NHK and other Japanese media not alert to this story? BBC Radio Scotland's Investigation said clearly:
Some forecasters say we'll hit peak oil in 20 years, some people say we already have. What is a certainty is that we face a future where oil will become increasingly scarce. Which is where the concept of transition towns comes in.
Transition towns are communities which have accepted that peak oil will happen and have started to take steps to ensure that when it does start to impact, they're ready for it. They're not wild-eyed survivalists, they're just ordinary men and women with an eye to a potentially difficult future.