If he was even halfway right in the broad concept then it is pretty important to take note when you live through another major transition in the prime source of energy. For close on 100 years the dominant source of energy technology has been dependent on oil and gas with the emergence of the petrol engine into the dominant form of transport being perhaps the most characteristic feature of our society.
That had its consequences and not many of them have been terribly positive. There are only so many places where oil is located. The countries where it is found become very rich and very powerful and that does not have a good impact on international affairs, political morality or economic welfare. Put simply a dependence on oil and gas requires that you send great quantities of cash to Russia and Saudi Arabia and there isn't an awful lot you can do about it if those countries choose to use that money to support nasty dictators like Assad or finance international religious terrorism.
The Saudi Arabians know that, no matter how unpleasant their regime is, when push comes to shove Western governments are going to ignore their human rights lobbies and carry on selling them arms in huge quantities because those governments want to get some of their oil dollars back. Putin knows that much of Western Europe and all of Ukraine will be cast into cold and dark if they irritate him so much that he chooses to shut off the oil pipelines. As a result politicians who are privately utterly horrified by their own passivity have found themselves watching powerlessly from the sidelines whilst people are killed in Syria and Yemen.
Two solutions are put forward to this problem from the right. One is to build more and better nuclear weapons so that we can stand up to Putin. The other is to frack the ground beneath our feet in the hope that we can find enough gas to get ourselves free from this horrible situation. Both ideas are doomed for the dustbin of history (if you are going to quote from Marx then you might as well do it twice!).
It is impossible to conceive of a quantity of nuclear weapons that the UK and the US could possess that would frighten Putin into inaction in Syria. It is equally impossible to conceive of a situation where we could actually use those weapons either in Syria or in the Ukraine or even in the highly unlikely situation of Putin absolutely pushing his luck and invading the Baltic states.
Fortunately it is not difficult to see how the next phase of energy technology could get us out of that problem. Every day there are new improvements to wind, solar, heat exchange, and water technology along with new inventions in storage technology and better ways of reducing energy use in the products we own and in our homes. We are on the cusp of a change over to a new era of energy technology and with it a new type of society and a new set of international relationships.
The good thing about the sun is that it doesn't just shine on one or two countries. Almost every form of green energy technology can be used and applied in almost any location where people live or work. This means that every investment in these forms of technology takes resources out of the hands of the oil and gas states and puts those resources under the control of the country making the transition. The quicker the change of technology takes place the quicker the value of oil and gas collapses. This is one of the prime reasons why there is already a lot of cheap oil and gas around. There is no point in leaving resources in the ground if the value of those resources is likely to be superseded by a change in technology. Because of this OPEC has found it virtually impossible to come to an agreement about restricting supply and a glut of oil has seen prices falling sharply.
It is a reflection of how fast change is happening that a staggering drop in the price of oil and gas has not stopped investment in the next phase of technology. Green energy is still forging ahead and becoming competitive in more and more situations despite heavy drops in energy prices worldwide. The wall of investment money that has been agreed on the back of the Paris climate change talks now guarantees that there will be further rapid improvements in this technology.
It has to be admitted that it might be possible to get ourselves free of Russian and Saudi energy supplies by fracking for gas beneath our feet. But for how long? And at what cost? Where do you think the future technology lies? Thirty years from now are people going to be saying that the wise thing to do was to search for oil and gas in increasingly difficult locations at increasing costs to the local and global environment? Or are they going to be praising those governments that invested in getting their countries at the forefront of the next wave of technology? If the era of oil and gas is gradually coming to an end why waste money on resources on trying to stick with the past technology instead of investing in the future? Fracking is like buying shares in a really good canal just at the time when railways have been invented or inventing a much better steam powered car just at the time when Ford was setting up his factories.
We now live in a global world where there are very many countries that can afford to invest in future technology and future skills. As they do so we can expect to see a reduction in warfare to control oil territories. We can expect to see increasingly localised energy supplies and hence reductions in supply costs and more secure economies. We can expect to see societies increasingly dependent on good science and technology rather than on burning fossils. We may also see societies better able to conduct their foreign policy on the basis of moral decisions rather than desperate economic need to kow-tow to regimes that don't deserve our support.
Put simply the petrol engine gives you wars to control drilling sites whereas green energy gives you local control and every incentive to be a good scientist. The petrol engine gives you some very powerful and wealthy people controlling limited resources. Green energy gives you the ability to create and produce almost anywhere that people can live.
For once doing the morally right thing is also doing the economically sensible thing. We are about to see new technology cutting fuel bills and freeing us from economic subservience to some very unpleasant regimes. What is not to like about that kind of change?