1920s engineers believed the Electric Age would die a quick death

Our electrical infrastructure spans the globe, lighting up every place on Earth. But it all relies on one singular metal: copper. And back in the early years of the 20th Century, many economists and engineers worried that we would run out of copper in no time. » 5/03/12 3:25pm 5/03/12 3:25pm

Optimistic Visions of the World After the Oil Runs Out

Our whole economy and way of life is based on the idea of cheap petroleum. So what happens when the oil starts to run out? Most scenarios assume that it will be catastrophic — rioting in the streets, governments collapsing, Mel Gibson fighting guys with big mohawks. » 4/20/12 12:09pm 4/20/12 12:09pm

Love Mad Max? You Could Be Living It Soon Enough

Mad Max's vision of a shattered world where social order has broken down, and everyone fights over the last drops of oil, could be reality soon. Oil prices are starting to tick upwards again after coming down from summer 2008's heights. Imagine what would happen if oil reached double the price levels it hit a year or… » 10/27/09 9:30am 10/27/09 9:30am

How Do We Get New Science Fiction Stories? Have New Nightmares

Tired of the creaky entertainment machine churning out copy-cat stories of zombies, superheroes, apocalypses and cyborgs? Then you need to conjure new dreads and fantasies in the real world, since that's where all our science fiction cliches come from. » 8/04/09 1:10pm 8/04/09 1:10pm