The responses have been very interesting. I thought that there was a lot more optimism honestly, because the full-collapse-believers would be the more vocal minority. It seems like most believe there will be utter collapse, but humanity will recover. Now I'm curious how well people think we'll recover... too late for that I guess.
Personally, I believe peak oil is the hardest issue we'll face next to climate change. I'm not sure when we'll see it, but I think governments will know it's coming and react accordingly to make it a gradual process. Maybe that's going on right now with the crazy prices. I can't say.
I'm more along the lines of 50/50 collapse.
My reason being, there is one technology we'd need to overcome the worst of peak oil... battery energy density. If we can match oil's energy density with that of a new battery, and if we could convince the world to move into molten-salt thorium reactors (or whatever safest nuclear power we could use at this time), then we could start manufacturing machinery that will use those instead and not be dependent on oil. Tons of work, and a lot of risk if we wanted to move fast and build more nuclear reactors. If we could couple that with better nuclear waste recycling or a safer form of nuclear power, we'd be doing great.
That's a long shot, but I think we have a lot of great minds and if we all focused on this one problem, we may get over it. Countries that might not be able to afford this transition might suffer the worst, and probably would suffer famine and power outages, and eventually chaos. Other countries might gear up and be able to defend any resulting chaos, but it'd be a hard time until the dust settled.
The other issue, climate change, is much harder to deal with, but there might have to be a lot of lifestyle changes, maybe even rely on factory food that we can always manufacture even in a destroyed ecosystem. I believe it's possible if we can get around the peak oil issue. Though without energy, we're screwed in all ways. At a macro-scale, we need energy production and need the ability to use it in all our equipment that provides us with food and goods, and without mass-scale energy production we simply can't sustain our population. With new technology, we might be able to.
So, I think it's 50/50, maybe worse. We either develop this new technology in the gradual time of collapse and transition into it before there's no hope, or we don't, and public ignorance fights all possible laws that might be needed to keep the peace and keep us alive, and allow us to build new reactors. If climate change utterly destroys us, the best hope we have is underground cities. 99% would probably die in that event, but humanity might still have hope underground, with strange methods of subsistence.
I'm crossing my fingers, but I'm pretty scared to see the state of the world when I'm an old man.