AKA The EndOfCheapOil
It's basically a race between CollectiveIntelligence (powered by the internet, market etc.) and this collapse.
On transport : America today has a railroad system that the Bulgarians would be ashamed of. Neither of the two major presidential candidates in 2004 mentioned railroads, but if we don't refurbish our rail system, then there may be no long-range travel or transport of goods at all a few decades from now. The commercial aviation industry, already on its knees financially, is likely to vanish. The sheer cost of maintaining gigantic airports may not justify the operation of a much-reduced air-travel fleet. Railroads are far more energy efficient than cars, trucks or airplanes, and they can be run on anything from wood to electricity. The rail-bed infrastructure is also far more economical to maintain than our highway network.
Interesting alternative view of the economics of the current oil shock : http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/003269.html
Basically the US is both the world's largest, but also most trusted, debtor. Hence there's still a kind of stability, the US gets more into debt, but everyone trusts it anyway, so no problem. (Am I reading this right?)