The Katrina crisis really brought home for the average American jsut how vulnerable our fuel and electricity supply really is. This has many Americans seriously thinking about alternative energy sources for electricity, as well as oil. Even though everyone realizes the prices will eventually go down, it brings to light a very serious and important question: what do we do when we run out? One company, CalCars
, seems to have the answer. The non-profit organization has found a way to literally "plug-in" your hybrid (Toyota Prius specifically), boasting 100+ mpg. Plug-in cars are now seeming like a very good idea, because the electrical energy it costs to run the car is equivalent to 0.70 per gallon of gas, cheaper than the 70's! Electricity produced at your local power plant also creates less greenhouse emissions (i.e. CO2) than those of a internal combustion engine, and regular electricity can be easily obtained from "green" sources, i.e. wind power, hydropower, nuclear power, even solar power. This brings to light another question however: can we depend on green sources of electricity if we stop using oil for transportation? Is our "green" energy infrastructure robust enough to handle a relatively sudden demand for energy? Only time will tell, but I, for one, am confident that with the help of good ol' capitalism, they'll make it. Maybe this oil crisis is what we needed. A little kick in the pants to get us in the right direction. We have to be careful about a shift such as this however. It is now obvious that we are simply newborns in the world of energy. We have to be slowly and carefully weaned from our beloved oil, to make the process as pain-free as possible. The next big question is: will the big players in oil (gas companies, OPEC, etc.) allow us to make the transition?