Did you do the arithmetic on the amount of arable land that would be needed for growing the raw material for biofuels vs. the amount needed for food production? A back-of-the-envelope calculation seems to indicate that biofuels cannot be a major long-term solution to the propulsion of those two-ton steel and glass contraptions – or even of appropriately sized versions thereof – to which you so eloquently refer.
By contrast, solar generated electricity, not least via photovoltaics based on silicon, the second most plentiful solid element in the earth’s crust, has essentially limitless and atmospherically benign capacity to fuel electric vehicles, pump and then purify water to be found not so far below the surface of, for example, the Sahal desert, produce hydrogen where and when the sun shines, and use that hydrogen to generate electricity wherever and whenever it’s needed.
Forgive me, please, for emphasizing photovoltaics, but as one of a lonely handful of energy alarmists and inventors back in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, I posited that solar cells, then used only for space satellite power supplies, could be brought down in cost to compete in electric power generation costs with those ghastly atmosphere-destroying power stations upon which we currently depend for our energy profligacy. Driven by a Billy-Graham-like ardor, I had the good fortune (chutzpa?) of attracting a $50+ million investment from Mobil Oil Corporation – later absorbed into Exxon – to develop low cost silicon solar cells based on a revolutionary technique for growing crystals of virtually any constant cross-section, e.g. ribbons. And $50 million back then, as an investment in an outside-the-box technology, translates, 35 years later, into a very large number, left as an exercise to the reader to calculate.
May I wish you, Mr. Doerr, and those of like mind, more power to your CO2 antagonists elbow? We all need you.