Clean sources of energy and social skills MUST be extrapolated by virtue of their possibility, at least to their already, albeit sparingly, proven possibility.
We CAN efficiently sustain billions of happy humans… but we won’t.
The fact that the department of energy has (quite literally) abandoned a path to progress in favor of just dig’n more fossils substantiates a belief that “inability” is a planned event, to ever increase wealth and power within a system designed on fossil fuels, with the exception of Moore’s law.
Moore’s law enables machine automation which is indeed a real game changer (and about to happen coincidentally at the peak of oil). One that could’ve ushered in a type of utopia (by use of a different social system?), but most probably will cause massive unemployment (within this system).
Eventually, machines will make everything and thus the PERCEIVED energy shortage will become a cruel reality for a seemingly excess population and all their children that will (by that time) have no means to make a living, because corporate conglomerations will own the land, the water, the “remaining” energy and, of course, their fancy machines.
Do to an inability to implement proven clean energy on a grand scale, and due to the lack of overall vision and action (except as in a WWII scenario) to collectively address machine evolution within dinosaur social systems, this is my nightmarish vision of “utopia”.