Perhaps they are right.
Then again, maybe with enough will, we can do something different than how things have been so far. There are other ways of gathering energy besides using the petrochemicals that we have been mining from the earth thus far. They are highly energy dense and cheap, true, but they always come at a cost. A cost which we are now seeing in full. Yes it will take very expensive infrastructure changes to adopt an electricity only transit system. Yes it will take governement investment for this to happen, and I know that is anti-competitive, and oh gosh not the socialism no no word!
Here's the deal. We have the technology to do this, Tesla recently released its new Model S. It is a luxury level car (think BMW and Mercedes). It can go faster (yes faster) than these similar luxury model cars, it is all electric, and has a range of 300 miles - approximately the same range a tank of gas has. It can charge up in about 30 minutes, and in 5-10 minutes you can swap out the battery pack at a changing station. We just need the stations and people willing to buy these cars. Tesla just recently invested in a new production facility right next to my work. They have plans to produce a car with similar specs, sans luxury in the mid-high $20k range.
I ask you old foggies who are, in the words of Sarah Palin- Pro-Growth, how much is that oil worth to you?