Renewable oil is intriguing, but I have my doubts. I am with you, swstranger, in that I believe that pollution is less of a problem than what humanity will do without oil.
And unless there's more proof, I will stand by my prior statements that I believe we're using oil faster than it's being made.
Maybe Eugene 330 is increasing oil production, but there are countless other fields that are producing less. The Saudi oil fields are in a state of decline that approaches 8% per year.
So let's not get ahead of ourselves, thinking that we can go on like this forever.
Yes, we need alternative fuels. But not for pollution control (IMHO). We need to stop burning fuel, as Mr. Shumacher says. There are too many other uses for oil, and when it's all gone, then too will be our ability to sustain 6.4 billion ( http://www.ibiblio.org/lunarbin/worldpop ) people on this planet.
We don't do ANYTHING without oil. Even breathing requires oil. Think about it, and you'll realize that I'm not being overly dramatic. Some people need medicine or machines to stay alive. Plus, we all need clean water and food.
We use oil for food production, transportation, and distribution.
We use oil to fly.
We use oil to drive.
We use oil (in massive quantities) to make the cars we drive (even if they're hybrids or EV's!), and the roads we drive them on. Engines, electric motors, melting and shaping steel and aluminum, making tires...these things all require enormous amounts of oil, either for use to heat something, or to be part of some type of chemical reaction or manufacturing process.
We use oil to make, transport, and distribute medicines.
...ditto that for medical equipment
...and for fixing that medical equipment, or replenishing "disposable" supplies
...and for tools
...and for building homes, shopping malls, and nice tree-lined streets
...and for keeping warm in the winter
...and to keep cool in the summer
...and to purify our drinking water
...and to dispose of our waste water
...and to make music CDs, movie DVDs, the screens we watch them on, and the speakers we listen to them through
...and to make the computer chips and PCBs and fans and heatsinks and fibre optics and copper cables that allow all of us to communicate like this, all from the comfort of our own homes
We even use oil to make solar panels, nuclear power plants, windmills, generators, and electric motors!
Do you get it? We need to stop burning this stuff. Because when it's gone, then so goes all of that nice neat stuff I mentioned. Believe me, pollution will be the LEAST of our problems when we can't get at the oil anymore.
In fact, I believe that if we burned all of the world's known oil reserves up within a 6-month span of time, the earth would cough a bit, and would be quite dark for awhile, but would return to it's previous clean state within a year or two (I give you Mount Saint Helen's as my evidence). But we would not fare so well as Mother Earth. Because without oil, we could not make, package, or distribute food to everybody. Ditto medicine and life-saving procedures and techniques.
There's a good likelihood that many of us would starve, become diseased, and maybe even fight each other for remaining food reserves. And lots of us would die. And lots of us would be reduced to very very manual labor. The strongest would be working on farms, becuase our big machines won't work anymore.
Anyhow, the bright spot in all of this is that it might not happen in our lifetimes. The dark spot is that it will probably eventually happen. Biodiesel, anyone? As long as the crops aren't damaged and aren't beset by a bug or blight, we could get by. But we'll definitely have to become closer to the earth.