It is entirely possible for us to find alternative sources that will even out the market for our transportation fuels. It’s even possible for us to make that fuel from sustainable sources. But we would still be left with an incredible 140 billion gallons per year of gasoline, about 1,200 per household, consumed simply getting around. Nevermind that at the end of the day most of us end up exactly where we started off.
Any drive to long-term sustainability has to include conservation. Even if we can make a tremendous amount of fuel from cropland we need energy for electricity and heat as well. Consuming less will always be important, and as the price of fuel rises we are in fact using less of it all the time. But to really drop our consumption we need new technology. Fortunately, at least one is nearly ready for prime-time – the turbine electric hybrid.