Doing More With Less
It is not obvious to me that society has continuously to have more to do better. Do we need more, faster cars using up more stuff? There are examples of cities and whole countries with efficient rail transport where owning an automobile is not required. Do we need more phosphorous to grow more crops? No, there are experiments going on right now with high-rise agriculture, and less stuff-consuming substitutes for eating cows. Do we need more energy every time we screw in more lightbulbs? I would say the sweeping appearance of long-lived, low-power LED lightbulbs proves we don't.
Could we, as a society, "survive" a radical change in our stuff usage? Could we eat pasta instead of meat, and walk or ride horses instead of driving cars, and still have our iPhones and our sattellite TV? Arguably it is possible. It is therefore difficult to imagine how any mere shortage would cause civilization to collapse.
That is not to say that the future is not going to really suck for the most vulnerable among the world population, just like it really sucks today. And it's not to say that we can continue to do exactly what we're doing today for ever and ever. But "the world" is a really big and robust place. People forget just how big and robust it is. Unless we manage to poison the whole planet systemically, all at once, we will continue to muddle through, building and painting and inventing and all the things we believe make us civilized, even if we run short of stuff. As long as we don't run out of Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Oxygen, and Carbon, we're gonna be pretty much ok.