This is truly a fascinating topic. While not directly related to atheism, i thought it was appropriate to bring it up in a forum of free thinkers...
There's a fascinating lecture by Albert Bartlett, a Colorado University Physics Professor, where he speaks of the coming oil crisis and makes it clear exactly how ill-equipped we are in dealing with it.
As to date, there are NO alternatives to oil which can replace the Quantity which humanity is using up.
For example, if we were to count on ethanol, we would have to use up all the agricultural land in the US just to answer the local demand.
And even that solution would only last for a few years, because humanity's demand for energy rapidly increases from year to year.
Thus the problem isn't shortage of energy- but rather overpopulation.
Professor Bartlett speaks of something called "Peak Oil" which is the point where oil production peaks, supply can no longer reach demand, and the quantity pumped from the ground begins to decrease each year.
"Peak Oil" is an important figure, because the moment it is announced that we have reached that point, the commodity becomes "Rare" and its price would hike. If the price is too high and no one can pay, pumping would stop- even though there is still oil in the ground.
All charts i've seen point that we have already passed peak oil, if not now, than in a few years. Why Doesn't Mainstream Media mention this?
If you did not know, the US already peaked, way back in the 1970's, and has been importing oil ever since to meet the ever increasing local demand.
Yesterday I saw another lecture on TED, by Physicist Professor Steven Cowley
, who spoke on Nuclear Fusion as humanity's only real alternative to oil, since only it can answer the ever increasing demand.
He presented a chart of world oil reserves, and claimed that we have rougly ten more years before it runs out. By that estimate, WE ARE DEFINATELY PAST PEAK OIL.
A newly released fascinating documentary on the topic is the movie COLLAPSE
, which is an interview with Michael Ruppert, a writer and conspiracy theorist who wrote extensively about 9/11 and its connection to peak oil.
Whether you're a conspiracy buff or not, it's interesting to see that Ruppert says the exact same things as professor Bartlett of Colorado University...
Is it paranoid to think that anyday now OPEC could come out with a declaration that would change our lives for ever?