I know that solar power and wind power right now aren't very efficient, but back 20 years ago, computers weren't very efficient, either. Since then, the demand and production and competition among computer makers has resulted in my phone having more computing power, now, than IBM had in its entire company in 1983.
So if, beginning right this second, we require that everything -- cars, houses, toasters, strip malls, the Space Shuttle -- get at least some of its power from solar or wind power, we'll be doing two things.
First, we'll be improving those things by introducing demand for production of solar- and wind-powered batteries or generators. People will have to start making them because toaster makers and NASA will need to buy them. That'll help spur development of better, cheaper, faster solar cells or windmills.
Second, we'll be reducing demand for fossil fuels in the long run. If we replaced just 1% of current fossil fuel usage by replacing it with solar or wind power, that's 1% less pollution and 1% longer life for fossil fuels.
Why aren't cars equipped with solar cells on the roofs to help power them at low speeds in the cities -- a hybrid car that would draw less on fossil fuels to charge it up? Why don't skyscrapers have photovoltaics lining their sides? Why don't houses have small windmills on them to power the water heater?
Eventually, when the world starts listening to me, they will.
UPDATE: The world started listening to me on September 15. Read how here.
13. Ban driving any kind of automobile, motorcycle or other personal vehicle within 1-2 miles of downtown in any city with a population of more than 100,000.
12. Abolish gym class; instead, teach kids to play musical instruments.
11. Change copyright laws to allow anyone to use anyone else's creative work provided that the copier pay 60% of the profit to the originator and that the copier not cast the original work in a negative light.
10. Have more sidewalk cafes and outdoor seating.
9. When you have to give someone a gift, ask them what they want, and then get that thing for them.
8. Never interrupt or finish someone's jokes.
7. Periodically, give up something you like for at least a month.
6. Switch to "E-money."
5. Have each person assigned one phone number, and then add an extension for the various phones and faxes that person might be reached at.
4. Abolish Mondays and Tuesdays.
3. Don't listen to interviews with athletes or comedians.
2. Have "personal cashiers" at the grocery store.
1. Don't earn more than $200,000 per year.