UPDATE (9/25/2005, 11:21 PM): Where Katrina was nearly a worst-case-scenario storm, Rita was far closer to a best-case-scenario: major population centers were spared (except for New Orleans, which wound up getting flooded again), loss of life was minimal (I have not heard reports of any storm-caused fatalities; most of the deaths I have heard of were actually evacuation-related), and damage to refining capacity was less devastating than expected. So we have been spared - for now - the horror of being forced to switch to alternative fuel sources and reduced consumption of oil.
The thing that sucks so much about oil is that it is such a good fuel source. Oil, like all fossil fuels, represents a concentrated distillation of hundreds of millions of years of solar energy which was processed by photosynthesizing plants which then either directly entered the fossil fuel cycle or were in turn consumed by other plants (as decomposing matter absorbed through roots) or by animals (by being eaten), which in turn either entered the fossil fuel cycle directly or after being consumed by other living things.
I recently read that someone has done a calculation of how much energy we could extract from solar energy incident on our planet's surface. I don't know the particulars; I don't know if the calculation assumed that we would use photosynthesizing plants (which would then have to have the sunbeams extracted from them, in the manner of the character in Gulliver's Travels who had developed a way of doing this for cucumbers) or photovoltaic cells (which are expensive to manufacture and have other technical limitations), or if it simply assumed that we could use x% of the total energy. But the point is, the energy available isn't enough. Not enough now, not enough for the future. If that doesn't scare you, you need to study science and mathematics a bit more. And possibly sociolology, to understand the very limited long-term options available.
But that's a topic for another post.