The current high oil prices have the doom and gloom sayers out in full force.
Oil is getting more costly, they say, because it's running out, the tank is almost empty.
And as oil gets scarcer, the price will just keeping higher and higher until only Bill Gates will be able to afford to drive a car.
Eventually our industrial civilization -- which runs on oil -- will grind to a halt and then everyone will have to dress like one of the Road Warriors.
And maybe this will all happen.
But then again, doom and gloom sayers have been wrong before.
Back in 1865, for instance, an English economist named William Jevons wrote a book called The Coal Question: An Inquiry Concerning the Progress of the Nation, and the Probable Exhaustion of Our Coal-Mines .
In this book, Jevons argued that's Britain's finite supply of coal was running out. This would drive up prices and ultimately destroy the country's prosperity.
Jevons glumly wrote, "it will appear that there is no reasonable prospect of any relief from a future want of the main agent of industry. We must lose that which constitutes our peculiar energy."
And he concludes: "after a time we must either sink down into poverty, adopting wholly new habits, or else witness a constant annual exodus of the youth of the country.
Of course, he was wrong.
What Jevons failed to take into account was that higher prices would inevitably lead the market to find alternatives to coal --ie oil.
So ignore the doom sayers and enjoy the summer.