I can be hopeful for mankind again. I saw my first Toyota Prius today,
owned by my uncle. I was under the impression that hybrid gas-electric
vehicles aren’t catching on. Boy, was I wrong! Apparently, there is
a massive backlog of orders, which means Toyota
will be ramping up production. Supposedly, by 2010 all their cars are
supposed to be gas-electric. I have to say it was a neat slice of the
future, looking under the hood to see two engines, and looking into the trunk
and seeing the bulges of a row of Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries.
Mileage: 50 miles per gallon, or around 50% increase over standard car
(30-40 mpg). Perhaps environmentalism will actually hit the U.S.
if it is instituted through conservation and efficiency with financial
incentives to save – such as improved mileage and less gasoline
may not be quite the environmentalist future of David Brin’s
Earth, but it’s still a step in the right direction. The first (and
easiest) step in reining in pollution is reducing destructive output and
reducing required input. This is one such step. The next step will
to make things cost what they really take out of the world, such as meat.
We say meat is pricey, the same way we say gasoline is pricey. Bullshit.
We aren’t even paying a fraction of the costs of future environmental cleanup
and the costs to the biosphere. I'm not saying we should do without
either entirely, but we need to recognize their real consequences and include
that when we charge for a liter (or gallon) of the old petrol.
Whadda ya say to that?