Oh, we'll get to that point, berend: it's just a matter of when. Oil is a finite resource and I don't see any downward trend in consumption, do you?
Toby, that prediction goes right into my bin with the predictions that if the number of people with telephones grew at the then current rate, everyone would be employed at the phone switchboards. Or that the streets of Paris would be full of horse shit if the number of horses and people kept on growing. Of course we got computers to do the switching and Paris got automobiles. Or the prediction in the sixties that by 2000 twenty million would die of starvation in the United States. Of course, 30 million died of starvation, in China, in the sixties. If there's no oil, there's always hydrogen.
From personal experience I can add the prediction, in the 80s, made in The Netherlands that in ten years 4/5 of all trees there would be dead or seriously sick. Sorry, but hasn't happened. And the green loonies lost another disillusioned member.
I suggest you read "The Sceptical Environmentalist". But I have to warn you, this book can have a significant impact. This guy originally set out to proof a sceptic wrong: that all those figures released by Green Peace, Earth First, and you know it, were right indeed. But after researching the facts and figures, he turned around:
We are not running out of energy or natural resources. There will be more and more food per head of the world's population. Fewer and fewer people are starving. In 1900 we lived for an average of 30 years; today we live for 67. According to the UN we have reduced poverty more in the last 50 years than we did in the preceding 500, and it has been reduced in practically every country.
This is not a book with "all is well". Things are better than they were: there is less hunger, poverty, and so on than 50 years ago. But things are not necessarily good.
Keep in mind that all those doom and gloom predictions is a big industry. Green Peace is doing 120 million US a year, with a market capitalization of around 360 million. Their directors earn 300,000 US a year. That is serious money.
On another front: I went to the ACT party conference in Auckland. Great to see all the MPs personally and shake their hands. Good speeches. Now the task to get the message accross the nation: ACT isn't about taking things away, but letting anyone rise to their full potential. Nanny state doesn't know best. For me personally, ACT is the closest to a conservative party in NZ. National is just Labour, the differences are small.