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People are not biologically or culturally determined to get in and stay in their cars or even airplanes.
We are thus not determined in anyway to burn up all the remaining fossil fuels. Kennedy: I very much agree that we should be more concerned with speciation than other changes to the environment, which we cannot necessarily know fully.
It won't happen with out human effort and intention but it is entirely possible that China and India could avoid- to a significant degree- the U. transportation system model that is so dependent on the single occupant vehicle.
And contrary to the claims of many in the automobile and oil industries who profit off this dependency, American are in fact beginning to give up their cars where the incentives to drive are changing.
Top down imposition may not be the answer to fossil fuel scarcity.
Side note - this may bring down deficit spending or otherwise accounted tax burden by -B annually, just form the fossil side (link).
I assume chitown_nick intended to give prime concern to "despeciation." However, I suggest no action until we in the West conduct a comprehensive study to identify all species lost since the first, yet unidentified species.
All that said, i personally can't yet get my head around the right public policy actions to mitigate environmental impacts.
As an avid listener here, I'm certainly cynical of any public policy action other than staying out of the way.