GLOBAL AGENDA: Kicking the Big-Car Habit

The experts are calling for energy reforms. Why aren't the politicians?

THE COMMERCIAL EXPLOITATION OF CRUDE oil has been among the most liberating technologies the world has ever known. When pumped though an internal combustion engine stuck in a metal box, refined oil has given freedom of movement to billions. Before the automobile, the life experiences of most of those who lived in the rich world were limited--as in much of the poor world they remain--to neighborhood and family. When shot through gas turbines on wings, oil has shrunk the planet in a way that was once the stuff of science fiction. Neither of my parents ever flew; both my children had...

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