Because we all need a good laugh once in a while…
Check out this ancient article from 1999. M.A. Adelman, emeritus professor of economics at MIT: "The world will never run out of oil, not in 10,000 years."
A quick, light read. Doesn’t it feel good, now that you know we’ll never run out of oil? =]
He should’ve caught up with Jared Diamond before he wrote this. "Collapse" by Jared Diamond is the best evidence of the correlation between past failed societies and ours. Anyway, what’s an ex-professor of economics doing talking about geology, esp. considering we reached peak oil roughly 30 years ago? This guy is a nutty professor! Read Jared Diamond instead.
Yes, Jared is cool. Just as a curiosity: in principle it is possible to make a finite resource with bell-shaped exploitation pattern to last forever: as long as the rate of consumption is declining monotonically at the right rate. Think of it as a way to "phase-out" a particular resource. In fact, this may be the only way to have future generations have access to some (declining) amount of petrochemicals. Of course in the long run the amount to be used would be laughably tiny, but that is what one gets with "in principle" solutions.