According to the Institute of Energy Research, fossil fuels are what make modern life possible. Fossil fuels “are created from the remains of plants and animals that lived millions of years ago in the form of concentrated biomass.” <http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/topics/encyclopedia/fossil-fuels/>
Chapter 2 of ET proposes two positions on the consumption of these resources. One is that they will all eventually be used up, the other is that technology will get to a point where the consumption of fossil fuels will prevent that from ever happening.
Critically, if we are consuming, by the gigaton, resources that have taken millions of years to develop, and we have a population that is expanding at an exponential rate.. No matter how efficient technology, both math and reason will have strong arguments against humanity ever being able to achieve a maintenance phase of a resource that takes millions of years to form. Aside from the environmental effects of this kind of consumption of fossil fuels, there are considerations that need to be made for the dwindling resources. Such as, what happens when energy becomes a precious commodity?