Late to the debate..but what the heck.
I am very late to this show, so I dont expect i'll be read.
I am a "right-leaner", but polite, and interested in honest debate.
I just wanted to say people should be carefull to believe conspiracy theories regarding Auto Makers and "Big Oil". Auto Makers will make anything they can sell for a profit. Hybrid vehicles are now selling for a variety of reasons, and so Auto-Makers of every label are making them. There are countless numbers of qualified automakers on the planet who would make "No-Fuel" vehicles, and get rich doing so, If such a vehicle was feasible. If there was a "magic" automobile possible, there is no way it could be suppressed. It defies common sense. Even the oil industry recognizes that oil isnt gonna last forever. They are investing in alternate energy sources themselves.
Yes...Hybrid vehicles contain alot of battery related chemicals/metals, that standard cars do not. They are expensive because of the amount of energy expended to make the car. I would drive an "all electric" car to work everyday, and drive an SUV when I want to. However, Electricity isnt free either. Most Electricity comes from Coal. If we had the courage of the French people, we would have a substantial investment in nuclear power. I dont believe the claim of 72 MPG on a standard civic either.
But, as it stands right now, the planet has easily accessible fuel inside of it. We should use it wisely, and without a guilt trip. The standard of living enjoyed by advanced civilizations owe oil, coal, and natural gas. Before Oil, we burned Whales and Trees for heat and light. You could make a very good argument that Oil saved the whales, and much of the rain forest.
Lastly, this planets most extreme climates are well into its past, before mankind drove Explorers. Why did North America thaw out naturally 10,000 years ago, but todays 1/2 degree over 100 years happened because of the United States? Because it empowers and employs those who say so? Not a conspiracy, but if your in the climate buisness, fear empowers more than piece of mind. I think its a character flaw that is in all of us. We just seem to believe the worst quickly, and in some cases, seek out bad news. I see alot of "Mega Disasters" on Discovery Channel or National Geographic, because how interesting is a show called "everything apears normal"?
I think many of us just need to "chill"....have calm and honest discussions. Theres no good reason to panic, and entertain perinoia.