Monday after playgroup I was driving in the car and caught the last five minutes of this interview with Emory Lovins of MPR. He ended with an optimistic tone on the challenge of weaning the United States off of oil. This echoed the optimism at the end of one of my classes at the U in the Spring, Energy and Life: From Cells to Civilization. (I just found one of my classmates' blog on the class.)
This was a fascinating class. We discussed energy and systems. All systems depend on energy to prosper. Ours is awfully dependent on oil. (We read The Party's Over: Oil, War, and the Fate of Industrial Societies.) Oil is both a scarce resource and a source of global warming carbon dioxide. Although we discussed some weighty topics, I felt that we took an outlook on the future much like others have--we can overcome the difficulties with technological and lifestyle changes.
EDIT (October 22, 2008): Many people come to my blog via searching for Emory Lovins. I wanted to point people to a recent article in the Economist I thought would be of interest, The frugal cornucopian. Enjoy! Joe