In the last several years, the number of patents related to alternate fuels has risen dramatically. People are working more in the alternate energy industry than ever before as it becomes clear that dependence on oil is weakening our economic health.
After an abortive attempt in the early part of the century, mostly by companies more interested in government grants than in forwarding the technology, solar has taken off. Wind technologies, the most expensive by far, have shown the greatest growth in spite of that. This is good news for the economy in some ways, bad in others.
The internal combustion engine is 19th century technology. Even though there have been improvements, especially in the last 30 years or so, it remains a cumbersome weight on the public transportation system. There are many other ways to more effectively move people in an urban environment, however people are reluctant to change. It's just human nature to want to do things "the way we always did it."
Time to adult, people. Put on your big-people pants and take a long hard look at what can be done to improve our systems. Stop looking back. Look forward.