2038 - A Whale of a Problem

S03E03 - Bendin in the Wind "Wrong again, idiot. There is no gas. Petroleum reserves ran dry in 2038" - Hubert Farnsworth

This one's pretty straightforward, and pretty "will-happen-in-our-lifetime" terrifying. A few short decades from now, in 2038, the thing your vegan cousin has been warning your about for decades will finally happen, the end of oil on Earth. Better start betting on alternatives now, ye foolish masses, for without oil companies, who will we pin all of our societal angst on?

Accuracy: TBD

The funny thing about oil estimations is that they keep changing 1. In 1999, close to the writing of the show, we thought there was enough to last us until somewhere between 2062 and 2094. Just a few short years later, in 2006, the so-called smartest people at some place called Cambridge looked around and said "Eh, we probably have like three times that much oil left". Being liquid dinosaur distributed unevenly throughout the entire crust of the Earth makes it hard to estimate exactly how much is lying around that we can use to power our planes, trains, and hippy orgy cars. Mr. Groening's estimations were pretty spot-on for his era, but I doubt anyone paid to know these sorts of things would agree today. Modern companies and governments are planning to transition off the stuff, but the timelines are much longer. A scramble to do so by 2038 would be frantic at best.

I'm gonna call this one Unlikely, but I appreciate the show's efforts to shorten the timespan even more than contemporary reports. Any writer worth their salt knows that people pay more attention to TV than scientists and government officials, and I can't fault Mr. Groening for trying to scare us into trading in our aging VW buses. Shouldn't we all yearn for a more sophisticated means of bumming around the country, getting high at folk-rock concerts, and selling our bodies when we run out of cash? What, you thought those "beads" were just beads? Dr. Zoidberg was a dirty lobster prostitute, open your eyes.