The troubles with shale gas, tar sands, hydrogen economies, and methane hydrates are all very similar in my opinion Graeme; they are not ready, will not be ready soon, and they are such a crap shoot and stretch of economy, policy, and technology, that they may never be ready. Next we couple that with the fact that we are just around the half way point of using our petroleum up and will mainly burn petroleum until we simply cannot even remotely justify it any longer.
The rich and the royal had human servant energy before the fossil fuel age, and in the decline of the age, they will probably be the last to have the fossil fuel energy, and will of course retain all of their human servants and be positioned for many more at the right price as time goes forward.
I believe that many of us, myself included, are petroleum amplified, pseudo rich, and that we are in the wind in a very big way my dear Graeme. I think that petroleum depletion may very well be far more gradual than the dire predictions I have seen, I am more concerned about us doing nothing on our own due the the plethora of Hollywood endings for sale to those who wish to buy one and wait for it to be delivered.
Looking carefully at the script, efarmer decided he would try to rewrite Act 5 and make it happier yet not a dream sequence.