Actually, although it makes for a terrific fable, Jarred Diamond's assertions are quite tenuous and based on a lot of assumptions. It's commonly agreed by archaeologists that introduction of disease from Europeans was primarily responsible for the demise
of the native Easter Island inhabitants, rather than the environmental impact of cutting down all the trees or any social traditions.
Oil supplies are unlikely to last anything like 150 years, but that's almost beside the point.
The falling rate of discovery, the inflated figures of OPEC and the rampantly increasing demand from China and India, means that it will very soon become far too expensive to use as a means of powering a motor vehicle.
I'm not arguing against any of that, and not really even arguing for/against anything... more questioning if we really need to be able to do something like track swine flu in detail ?
More of a general feel thing really... I just look at the way the press love hysteria, the way every nutcase on the planet seems to have a blog announcing imminent doom, and the way people love to gawp at and devour it all, and shudder a little bit at the whole
"big brother" & "jerry springer" type of "reality entertainment" focus the internet is developing.
I have a fast connection, but I've given up trying to watch these things... never more than a few secs between lengthy buffering delays... and downloading so slow that it's almost outdated info before I can watch it.