Modern cars produce less greenhouse effect per mile than oxen. I'll stick to riding the subway... and my (soon to be delivered) Porsche of course.

However, I'm not pretending oil is getting more plentiful every minute. Which is why I understand why we are paying so much gas taxes in Europe and why we should be paying even more. I'm basically paying more tax so that someone else does the energy saving.

As an business owner myself, I'm aware that "profit is not a dirty word" (funny, I remember you repeating that sentence like a mantra whenever this issue pops up... ).

However, I do not have a blind faith in the market. For one thing, markets adjust quickly to fundamental changes in supply and demand. Unfortunately, the real world does not. It took 40 years to remodel American cities to take advantage of a world where energy was plentiful. It's going to take a good 20 years to remodel American cities back to a configuration suited to a world where energy gets painfully expensive.

Let me tell you that you won't want to be around the populace during those 20 years. If you don't want to be the first against the wall when the revolution comes, you'd better plan ahead and gradually defuse the situation.

Unfortunately, publicly-traded companies have a terrible record at long-term planning. If you doubt that, consider this: how many companies have been in the DJIA index since the beginning? Just one. All others are gone. They were the richest and mightiest companies on the planet. And yet, they faded into irrelevance - out of sheer ineptitude.

At the end of the day, the only entity to steer the ship out of rough waters is the state. It might be a $0.10 to the dollar outfit, but it's all we have. Ten cents is better than nothing.

By the way, if you're living on this planet, then you must live in an alternate timeline. 10 years ago Global Warming was all the rage already. The New Ice Age scare is sooo 35 years ago. I mean, even those poor Soviet astronauts that got stuck in a tin can for years when the Soviet Union collapsed knew about that.

That said, I'm looking forward to warmer winters as well. I'm just not looking forward to a world without easily available energy.