I drive a 2008 Prius, not because I am on a personal campaign to save the planet, but because gas is $4 a gallon and there are other things I would rather spend my money on. I am always a bit amused when my friends in their all-electric Nissan Leaves (nobody in my neighborhood can afford a Tesla) start acting smug about carbon footprints. There are lots of ways to produce and transport energy. Some are renewable, and many are not. Whether we burn fossil fuels in our cars, or burn them to generate electricity to run our cars is not the point. What matters is that by the year 2035, the world’s primary demand for energy will increase by over thirty percent. China, in the meantime, will consume 70% more energy than the US. The International Energy Agency has concluded that, unless we make some drastic policy changes very soon, we will commit ourselves to an inefficient high-carbon-emission system, based on non-renewable fossil fuels. Even the normally articulate President Obama appears baffled by this one.
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