• Faced with risk and uncertainty, environmental policy-makers are increasingly using scenario planning to guide decision-making. The vibrancy of the field is evident in the numerous case studies conducted using diverse methodologies. Yet even well-crafted scenarios can fail to have their intended policy impact if they present irrelevant information, lack support from relevant actors, are poorly embedded into relevant organisations or ignore key institutional context conditions. Unfortunately, the shortage of research on scenario planning and its influence means that there is limited guidance on how to optimise scenarios, in terms of both outputs and uptake by policy-makers.This technical report addresses this lack of information, presenting a review of relevant academic and non-academic literature on the issue. It introduces and analyses a pool of 52 pieces of research on scenario planning, commonly known as 'evaluative scenario literature'.
  • A study by a German military think tank leaked to the Internet warns of the potential for a dire global economic crisis in as little as 15 years as a result of a peak and an irreversible decline in world oil supplies. The study was produced by the Future Analysis department of the Bundeswehr Transformation Center, a branch of the German military…. The study states that there is “some probability that peak oil will occur around the year 2010 and that the impact on security is expected to be felt 15 to 30 years later.”
  • Speculation that [UK] government ministers are far more concerned about a future supply crunch than they have admitted has been fuelled by the revelation that they are canvassing views from industry and the scientific community about "peak oil"…. Experts say they have received a letter from David Mackay, chief scientific adviser to the DECC, asking for information and advice on peak oil amid a growing campaign from industrialists such as Sir Richard Branson for the government to put contingency plans in place to deal with any future crisis. A spokeswoman for the department insisted the request from Mackay was "routine" and said there was no change of policy other than to keep the issue under review. The peak oil argument was effectively dismissed as alarmist by former energy minister Malcolm Wicks in a report to government last summer, while oil companies such as BP, which have major influence in Whitehall, take a similar line.