Scientists debate when the world will pass the point of "peak oil"--if that has not already occurred. Peak oil refers to the point at which the majority of the world's oil has been discovered, after which we begin the slow (or not so slow) process that will end with the earth running out of oil completely.
Whether or not peak oil has been reached, most everyone agrees that most of the world's easily accessible oil has already been found. From this point on, oil companies will have to look harder, dig deeper, and squeeze rocks harder to find the fuel to power the world economy. The problem has been exacerbated by the steady rise of countries like India and China: As previously "backward" countries join the 21st-century economy, their need for steady energy supplies increases and their need for oil grows, as well. Ultimately, the supply of oil is finite, and as more and more people thirst for it, the supply will necessarily dwindle.
We watched a fascinating movie about peak oil last night. Instead of "oil," though, think "blood." And instead of oil-hungry nations, think "vampires."
The concept of "Daybreakers" is that a plague of vampirism has infected the vast majority of the world's population. As more and more people become vampires, though, the food supply--humans--decreases. What is to be done? Synthetic blood is one possibility (ethanol, anyone?), but development is tricky. What about animal blood? No good. If modern vampire doesn't get his fix of human hemoglobin, he quickly deteriorates to a savage state. Turns out, in fact, that (SPOILER ALERT) the one thing that can cure the vampires' oil--uh, blood--addiction is a healthy dose of sunlight (followed immediately by intense fire-extinguishing). Solar energy! Renewables!
We hear that Al Gore is working on a "re-visioning" of "An Inconvenient Truth." With zombies.