Last night on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart had a sit-down with Daniel Sperling, co-author of Two Billion Cars. (The other authors: policy consultant Deborah Gordon and governator Arnold Schwarzenegger, who wrote the foreward.) As with most talk shows, the segment was too short to generate truly thoughtful, in-depth discussion, but Sperling managed to broach a number of topics, including: the increasing number of vehicles roaming the Earth's surface, the need for sustainable and cleaner methods of transportation, and today's more promising technologies.
As you might expect, Sperling has some fairly strong opinions on these matters, namely:
- Fuel technology (e.g. the development of new fuels) isn't as exciting or advanced as automotive technology (e.g. electric and hybrid systems).
- Corn ethanol in particular is a pretty bad idea.
- As nifty as today's technology is, it doesn't do anyone any good until the auto industry and consumers embrace it.
- A variable national gas tax--not unlike the one that's being talked about these days--could encourage the public to move toward more fuel-efficient vehicles. Maybe.
He's a pretty engaging personality, and it's clear Sperling knows what he's talking about. Have a look for yourself and give us your take on the guru's thoughts: