defined on Wikipedia as "the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline." If I understand correctly, the worry comes from the fact that most of our socioeconomic reality is dependent on oil; a decline in and eventual depletion of oil will likely mean drastic social and economic changes.
Maybe I'm just too optimistic and/or sadistic, but I'm looking forward to Peak Oil. The idea that Peak Oil is avoidable seems farfetched to me, but I hope that Peak Oil can be the straw that breaks the camel's back.
Our social and economic systems are outdated and need to be replaced or reformed. On the 2011 March 28 episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Mansour O. El-Kikhia pointed out that the Westphalian system of nation-states has been in place, virtually unchanged since 1648, and that this system is outdated, almost obsolete. Using the social media uprisings in Egypt and the American wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya as examples, El-Kikhia asserted that the Westphalian system of sovereign nation-states cannot last much longer. I agree with him, and I would add terrorism, the European Union, the internet, the Great Recession, and Peak Oil as factors in the upcoming fall of Westphalianism.