The World Economic Forum and pseudo-Simulation

The World Economic Form has set up an Energy Crisis Simulation. Not a simulation really, just a discussion. Had it been a simulation it might have been more realistic.

The two stage scenario, presented in January, involved two rounds of simultaneous terrorist attacks. The first puts the price of oil up to $120, the second, two months later, puts it up to $134. Each scenario was considered by a CEO Advisory Board which made various recommendations.

Sounds like a lot of semi-retired people having a jolly evening after a good dinner. Pass the port, Mr Clinton.

All right, maybe thats unfair, but what use are results like:
“the CEO Advisory Board concluded that the following steps can assist in stabilizing global energy markets:
– Protection of other possible “choke points”. Other potential choke points should be secured through a multinational force, comprised of both exporting and importing nations.
– Protection of existing infrastructure. Security around existing oil infrastructure should be enhanced to reduce the risk of “copycat” attacks.
– Increased production by oil exporting nations. OPEC and non-OPEC nations are called upon to maximize their production output, including delaying major maintenance on their facilities until after the temporary disruption caused by Situation 1 is resolved.”

A mixture of the obvious (security should be increased) and the hopeful (OPEC to maximize output…. no consideration here of the effect that rounds of terrorism might have on OPEC governments?) and also the downright silly (“Altering the work week to fewer days but longer hours is also expected to reduce electricity consumption.” Just think about it. If you are British and over 45, remember Ted Heath.)

The WEF report says “***This summary reflects the general outcome of a simulated exercise among participants. The simulation is not intended to reflect what may be possible or plausible in a real-world situation. The goal of the simulated exercise was to highlight the issues that may arise in the event of an oil supply disruption caused by a terrorist attack.***”

Fine. I just wish theyd call it a discussion or a seminar or a workshop, but not a simulation. A simulation implies interaction, and a degree of realism.

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