I recently began to imagine what it would be like to reflect upon the changes that are happening now as if they occurred 100 years ago. Like, "In 1908, the price of fuel rose to incredible new heights, until people gave up altogether on their old energy source, and made incredible progress with new technology."
I think we can do it. I think we're going to have to, whether we like it or not. It might come down to necessity, that we leave oil behind for something better.
Then again, who's to say that someone doesn't discover a major cache of fuel that will last the world another 50 years? I don't think it will happen, but if it does, it might provide the sort of motivation to take it easy that a student feels when they realize their paper isn't due for a whole 'nother month. "Wow, I don't even have to think about that project anymore!"
Just take it easy…