If you do a Google search of “peak oil” you will find about 4.8 million entries, many dedicated to sounding the alarm of oil shortages. “Peak oil” supposedly represents the point in time when the peak of world crude-oil production will be reached, after which production will enter a terminal decline. Once we have run the pump dry, society will begin to collapse as the effects of oil shortages become a grim reality.
Predictions of oil shortages have run throughout the last half-century. In 1943, U.S. Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox predicted a serious oil shortage by 1944 and oil exhaustion in the United States by 1963.23 In 1947, the New York Times wrote, “Every so often the fear of an oil shortage developing in the United States gains prominent mention. At present, such a campaign is in full swing.” The article explains that the unprecedented demand for oil will cause a shortage of energy.
From Gilbert Keith Chesterton, "The Napoleon of Notting Hill":
The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children's games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up. And one of the games to which it is most attached is called "Keep to-morrow dark," and which is also named (by the rustics in Shropshire, I have no doubt) "Cheat the Prophet." The players listen very carefully and respectfully to all that the clever men have to say about what is to happen in the next generation. The players then wait until all the clever men are dead, and bury them nicely. They then go and do something else. That is all. For a race of simple tastes, however, it is great fun.