In this Richard Sears keynote the geophysicist and visiting scientist at MIT discusses the decline of oil consumption in the last few years. Using peak examples of energy in the past, Sears notes that 20 years ago there was a peak in charcoal use as energy, and 100 years before that saw the peak in wood use for energy.
Oil is playing a less significant role every year and as time goes on energy systems will become less carbon intense. Sears does not attribute this to the fact that oil will run out, but rather argues that in time the re-working of molecules will provide people with more sustainable carbon-free energy.
Ending the keynote, Richard Sears says that, "the stone age did not end because people ran out of stone and it is the ideas, innovation and technologies that will end the age of oil long before we run out of it."