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Frequently Asked Questions PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 12 November 2004
Frequently asked questions.  If you have any questions not answered here please email us by clicking here.

What is all about?
We are raising awareness and discussion of imminent terminal global oil depletion and the potential consequences for our living standards, amongst many other things.   If you want to know more…click here

What do you believe in?
Based on the research on very experienced geologists using official figures we believe that the global peak, followed by a permanent decline of oil production, is to be expected sometime soon within the next decade.  We do not see any viable ‘solutions’ to enable business as usual.  We do not believe enough is being done to prepare for it. For more click here...
Why are you called PowerSwitch?  Sounds like an electricity company to me!
PowerSwitch can mean many things.  Some say it is for our power being switched off, others that we have the power to switch things, others still that we need a switch in those in power.  Originally it was intended as a call for a switch to renewable power.  Other interpretations are perhaps appropriate now.
Who are you?
A growing collection of UK citizens dedicated to raising awareness of this issue and looking for solutions.  Our professions range from energy consultants to software analysts to farmers to oil industry professionals to engineers to students and many more.  Our core group consists of 30 with an extended membership of over 200.

I think there are more important things to worry about like global warming.
Oil depletion and global warming are twin terrors.

Are you a bunch of doom-mongering conspiracy theorists?
It is up to individuals as to what they do with the information.  We prefer to stick to the fundamentals – the current nature of oil depletion and the likely consequences which we can judge from previous oil shocks and also by rising oil prices on countries throughout the world.  As a group we do not suggest any conspiracy and any doom-mongering is based on the simple premise that we are a society based on oil and we need to find a way to live and prosper with continually more expensive, and less, oil.  Failure to prepare for this will aggravate a very difficult period with economic hardship for a large number of people as a key feature.
Why are you doing this?  Are you a bunch of pinko-commie tree-hugging radicals?
Far from being a bunch of radicals, we like the fact that we can have hot showers!  We like cheap food from around the world.  We like cheap medicines.  We like high levels of employment and a strong economy.  Who wouldn't?  Unfortunately this is all based on oil and when oil goes into decline the system we currently experience will undergo serious challenges.  We want to see the best levels of mitigation possible initiated.  We appreciate and emphasise the importance of maintaining a sustainable environment.  If you read out statement of beliefs it may help you understand our position further.

Who funds you?
We are entirely independent and self-funding - any donations are heartily welcomed!
Are you a full-time organisation?
Not yet but we are working on it!

I do not believe that you are correct in your support of the ‘peak oil’ argument.
We would not be wasting our time raising awareness of this issue unless we 100% believed in it.  If you are not convinced we would be happy to talk to you further.

So what do you do to raise awareness?

 I believe in ‘peak oil’ but why should I join up with you?
We’re the main citizen-based peak oil awareness campaign in the UK.  The more of us there are, the stronger we are, the louder our voice is.  You can be part of that voice.  Also being part of PowerSwitch helps with talking about social and individual actions for dealing with this.  We’re a group where everyone can make a difference.  Our growing network of contacts and associates is making sure that through cooperation we are making a difference.

I want to help raise awareness.
That’s great.  Click here to see how you can.
And for campaign materials try here

I want some advice on how to help myself.
It is all good trying to help everyone else but don't forget about yourself.  And those close to you.  Click here for more.

I want to talk to other people about this.
In which case, the PowerSwitch forums are strongly recommended!

We also have people all over the country who you can meet up with and talk to.
You post a lot of news articles to your site but do not post the entire article.  Why?
We like to make sure, as much as possible, that the original source of the news or analysis gets the traffic they deserve.   They produced the article and often they are funded by advertising so they need the traffic.
What kind of news do you cover?
Our news covers everything and anything relating to ‘Peak Oil’ – this can be anything from alternative power to food production to efficient transport to oil prices to links to news articles about peak oil…we track the ongoing situation.  Climate change is covered too, but not so directly.

Why should I ‘join’?
The ‘join’ option on the site gets you on the mailing list for our useful updates and also creates an account for you should you wish to post.  Click here

I want to post news and articles.
That's great!  We always need help providing good news and articles to our visitors.  Just contact us here.
Can you recommend any books or DVDs on the subject?
Visit the front page at for plenty of good links.  For a free introduction to the topic, you can't get better than a lecture by Colin Campbell, free to download here.
Where are you based?
All over the country!  This is a grass-roots, decentralised campaign.  Find your local contact here.

Why are you grass-roots and decentralised?
This is a campaign by the people, for the people and our power and responsibility is both individual and shared.

When did you start?
We formed in October 2004.
I see a lot of talk about 'peak oil' and related subjects in the newspapers and on the net.  Why do you need to have a grass-roots campaign when the media is covering it?
Just take a look at the climate change debate and that will answer your question!  The message needs to keep on being pressed home.  Like your parents telling you to tidy your room when you were a kid...again and again and again...the message has to be repeated to hit home.  Even in the early years post-peak when talk of solutions and 'it is business as usual' is strong many people will be keen to accept that easy message rather than question what really needs to be done.  It is often the work of campaign groups that gets the message into the media.

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