His conclusion is that we (humans generally, and Americans particularly) are culturally conditioned to a myth of life, struggle, death, and rebirth. He makes a good arguement; to his explanation, I would add the fact that people tend to see things in terms of either-or extremes. In the case of peak oil and environmental threat, the obvious poles are "tomorrow will look just like yesterday" and "we're doomed, run for the hills". Those poles are psychological attractors.
This is a subject very near to my own life. Since I first began to take environmental crises seriously, I have struggled to construct plausible visions for the future. I try to envision the best possible future, so that I can try to create it. I also try to envision the most likely bad future, so that I can be prepared for it. The latter is certainly more difficult. As he says
Again, my point here is not that Peak Oil doomerism is wrong. The apocalypts may, for the first time in thousands of predictions, be right. We face enormous crises and we have the tools to end civilization. But remember, as you feel yourself drawn to the apocalyptic story, that it is the natural place to go in uncertain and dangerous times.
My current view is that economic upheaval and dislocation is a nearly inevitable consequence of peak oil and climate change, but total breakdown of technological civilization and social order is possible but very unlikely. However, total collapse is not actually the worst possible fate IMO: if things get very bad, but do so relatively slowly, and our energy/water/food infrastructure remains highly centralized, it would be very easy for the slow erosion of prosperity to translate into the complete obliteration of the middle class and the abrogation of personal liberty for the sake of security in an increasingly unstable world full of dissatisfied people. One could argue, and some have, that we're already headed down just this path. The end result of this scenario would, essentially, be a form of techno-industrial feudalism as fewer people control relatively larger parts of a smaller pie. The end-point of this scenario probably is eventual technological collapse, but we could continue in that mode for a very long time, with little hope of a rennaissance.
This slowly-boiled-frog scenario for the future is actually what I fear most, and is the reason why I do what I do. The only way to avoid it, I think, is to decentralize our infrastructure and to develop ways to create prosperity that don't rely on the continued and increasingly rapid dissipation of natural capital. Wealth and growth are our only way out, but we must redefine these ideas in ways that are compatible with long-term ecological survival. And given how badly we have depleted our stores of natural capital -- the basis of our prosperity so far -- we really had better figure it out soon. We're not likely to get another chance.