I think it's important to remember the other reasons why we need to get away from the fossil fuel based energy economy. "Global warming" and "climate change" are, perhaps, too intangible to most people. Most people, in practice, don't really seem to care about anything but their own fat comfort. Therefore, to argue for the demise of the fossil fuel economy, we have to start with things that affect the individual first, and then the local community / ecological environment.
At the top of the list is our health, as human animals, in physical health, social/mental health, and sociological/inter-cultural "getting along with others in the world community" health aspects.
We sit too much at work and in our cars, watching the world go by on a "screen" (car windows). We are breathing too much petrol exhaust and fumes from other petroleum products, such as asphalt, rubber, and solvents. Too many people are breathing and blowing smoke. In general, one cannot teach a physical skill one does not personally possess. That is why, with each new generation of drivers, we are seeing more and more slack obesity and less and less athletic physical prowess in the average populace. They are as physically helpless as a brain in a jar, and as intellectually helpless as...
Another thing too many people are afraid to face, recognize, and admit is that many people are socially isolated from one another. Many of them are unaware of this isolation. All of their "information" comes to them via relatively "controlled" media, from the few to the many. There's not anything like as much direct communicative interaction among members of the general public as there could be if they were not isolated from one another in private rolling iron cages. Too many live inside a world of words on flat screens without enough real life direct experience to be a fair judge of whether those words admit of truth relative to objective realities...
One eminent reality is that there is certainly a finite supply of fossil fuels available for the worldwide market. Even if it's debatable whether or not "oil is renewable", certainly there is a finite upper limit to the rate of production vs the rate of consumption. Since the supply is limited, and demand is high relative to supply, there is contention over possession and use of these resources. Any time there is contention over resources, there is social conflict between the haves and the have-nots.
Interjection: Why do "we" fight a war to give the oil companies control over that resource again? Trickle down theory?
Their "realities" are built upon layers of abstractions, in terms of contracts, money and markets, rather than on direct experience of concrete reality. Their perceptions are their reality, but their perceptions are too much based on words written by other people, vs, again, direct experience of reality... Pragmatically, words cannot "accurately reflect" objective reality. They are words, not the thing they attempt to represent. The thing the writer had in mind might not be what is actually conveyed to the reader...
Words and language are but a subset of "reality", and, by Gödel's incompleteness theorems, cannot even explain themselves, much less the greater reality they attempt to shadow and describe. Yet, many people seem to be unaware of this fact about language, and will take what they read as "the world itself", and react accordingly, seeing nothing outside of "the box" created by the spells they recite from newspapers. What are those spells attempting to "prove"? Who pays to have them printed, and why?
I think that because of this, people are too obsessed with the price of gasoline, the "economy", and with "everyday realities" of working for pecuniary wages (just so they can pay the futility bills, automobile loan payments, and have enough left over to put beef on their plates). They are so caught up in it that it is next to impossible, perhaps, for them to see it for what it really is, from a potentially more objective standpoint of an outside observer. They need to see that it's not the personal vehicle that makes this all possible. It's transportation. It's not money that "drives" the economy or makes huge public work projects possible; it's food, shelter, planning, materials, labor, and collective effort...
It is time for humanity to stand up on two legs and walk out into the light. If we switched from driving personal vehicles to sharing the ride in a more social form of transportation, that would necessitate slightly more walking, and it would put people near one another more directly. Perhaps there will be more opportunities to voice and hear opinions other than those sanctioned by the capitalist-hegemony-controlled mass-media...? But likelier than that, may-bee, people will begin to see each other as other human beings, judged by something other than by what kind of "standard model" car they drive, "socio-economic" class status, or by degree of conformity to some subtle norm produced by a vague and unadvertised tradition...?
People go out to meet other people, but they can't really meet other people in traffic. On the trolley, however, they can sit across from one another in an openly social public context. We need to become two legged oxygen breathing humans again, rather than fuel guzzling and smoke blowing operators of smoke blowing, waste-heat emitting machines.
We've all heard and repeated the adage "United We Stand, Divided We Fall". But in contrast to that, they've been teaching people about "individual freedoms" to the point where perhaps 'many people' ;-) might value individualism over collectivism... We're paying tax-tribute to an allegedly democratic government that is then doling out handouts to bail out the very industry that I contend is what divides us socially... This begs the question, "Is our tax-tribute money being spent according to Law, or according to men?"
There's something wrong with that picture, especially given that the automobile industry seemed to be failing to stand on it's own... I think that the people are subconsciously "voting" with their dollars, and that the car companies were essentially being "voted out of office". That "decision" then got overruled by a relatively small number of "individuals" who allegedly represent The People.
What do the people think about providing that industry with work-fare, rather than handout-welfare? Help it to transition from what it is now to what it can become. Dictate to it what it is allowed to spend that money on, and mandate that it work to reinstate our rail transit infrastructure along with a new "Smart Grid" electrical distribution system fed by aerogeneration and solar power.
Once that new energy and transportation infrastructure is in place and The People are using it, there will be a tremendous decrease in demand for fossil fuels. This will obviously eliminate the source of contention for those resources, transitively making the world a healthier, saner, and safer place to live and breath.
Please let us not forget that people learn by example. Nobles Oblige, folks. Get off your high horse SUV fat ass gas hog and help with the planning and construction. Donate materials at cost. Work for room and board. Quit leeching off the rest of us. Contention for oil leads to warfare. Cars are loud, dangerous, air and heat polluting selfish wastes of resources. That brings danger to your own doorstep by your own doing.
So, Posse, when that rich merchant oligarch "representative" shows up with a bin laden with oil, a bin laden with coal, and a bin laden with status quo, just say no, on account 'a The Slow Decline.