other persons comment:
None of you brought up the efficency of mass transit or of rail to save gasoline! Disel-electric trains are super efficient. Electric rail can be powered with a solar suppliment. As for cars, all electric is perfect for short range (mass transit is better) and hybrid electric (using bio-disel) is old, existing technolgy. Save gas for air travel. The whole problem is willingness to demand change from the entrrenched business world. That's where government intervention is needed. who else speaks for the good of the people? Not business, they are too short sighted.
"The whole problem is willingness to demand change from the entrrenched business world. That's where government intervention is needed."
how about instead of requiring glutinous corporations or a lazy governments to do our job for us, we do it for ourselves. The solution to who will produce stuff for us that we really need, but that doesn't guarantee a huge monetary profit for the energy, time, and money invested is obvious to me. Co-Operative Non-Profit businesses that can produce goods rather than just provide services, like most of the Non-Profits that exist today.
Most people know that when you want something that requires the effort of more than just yourself to build you can incorporate; you can join with and cooperate with others to build those things. I read once that he first corporation in the US was actually a non-profit arranged for the erection of a single bridge, then disbanded. However, today we build most things for profit. Possibly because each of us rarely needs more than one of each thing, but the tools we use to make each thing are often specialized and capable of making many such things. Or perhaps because we lack the skills necessary to build something and therefor need to trade for the assistance of a skilled builder, and money is easy to trade because it has a standard value. But I'm sure we also have a tendency to build many things for profit because we've been taught to be greedy; greedy beyond what could be considered natural or sustainable amount.
Don't get me wrong, there are still areas where the for-profit business model can function successfully. I don't doubt that at all, nor am I interested in replacing all For Profits with Non-Profits. But when it comes to doing things like developing the best and most affordable electric vehicles, wind turbines, solar panels, or developing the most efficient insulation for homes; it just seems to me that a company run by those dedicated to the purity of their product and not concerned with ANY monetary value--beyond what's required to sustain themselves--are more likely to produce the best product, without question, at the most affordable price.
They would also be more likely to adapt their industry as new technologies were developed while maintaining a merely sustainable income, rather then try and make as much money off their current designs before producing better products and then selling the new product at unreasonable costs.
Proper non-profits are also chartered to do fairly specific things, and limited from becoming for-profit businesses later on. So if, say, a non-profit co-op was arranged to design and construct efficient water catchment and retention devices, but discovered that all their products were toxic and should no longer be used, they would either adapt to known non-toxic products or disband their business; they would not legally be able to sell their business or property mind you, they would be forced to disband and to donate there property either to the state or other non-profits.
I really don't see any other solution that is sustainable indefinitely. I believe our world currently requires the development of many small, local, yet associated, Non-Profit Co-Operative businesses that can design, build, and construct sustainable and environmentally safe products.
If you require a sample of what I mean by small, local, but associated businesses, look no further than one of your local Credit Unions that's a member of the National Credit Union Association, or your local Food Coop that's a member of the National Cooperative Grocers Association. Both of these businesses provide services, more than goods, but they both aim at providing the best services, and have the support of a larger community to maintain their ability to do that.
My favorite concept for this idea is that of Statewide Limited Electric and Hybrid Automobile Manufacturing and Recycling Centers that cater to the needs of their state alone, but share research and development resources with other State Limited Automobile Manufacturing and Recycling Centers. Having local manufacturers allows for the on-demand manufacture of cars, for customizations that better meet the needs of the vehicle users, as well as a drop in the amount of space needed to store unused vehicles, and the energy needed to transport the vehicles and materials.
Initially materials would need to be imported into the area, but because these manufacturers would also be recycling old cars the amount of imported materials would slowly become less and less. They could also adapt their designs specifically to make use of what materials they can easy obtain; like hemp woven cloth for car-seats in states where industrial hemp is allowed, or organic cotton in states where cotton is a primary export.