The failure of Mr. Bush to fully mobilize the most powerful innovation engine in the world--the U.S. economy--to produce a scalable alternative to oil has helped to fuel the rise of a collection of petro-authoritarian states--from Russia to Venezuela to Iran--that are reshaping global politics in their own image.Now I know that the President of the United States is no longer an executive in a divided organization whose duties and responsibilities are both described and circumscribed by the written charter, but rather a Pharaonic demigod with the power to raise the dead and call down the rains and direct the UFOs to build the pyramids and so forth. Nevertheless, the idea that one dude by grace of his elected office, however bloblike the powers of that office have grown, can kick-state this engine-enconomy like it's a fueled-up motorbike is pretty fanciful. Or, you know, retarded. But it is a minor learning disability indeed compared to the total, Terry-Shaivo mental incapacity that lies in comatose decrepitude all over the idea that "innovation" is going to produce "a scalable alternative to oil." Dudes and dudettes, I say unto you: there may be a day in some dim and distant future when miniature fusion reactors nuzzle next to our useless hearts, powering a world of flight and personal motoring compatable to the 20th Century in the so-called Developed World, but until then, there is no "alternative to oil." Carbon fuel is a singularly efficient concentration of caloric energy. It has an affinity for combustion. It is refinable and fungible. Its unique qualities define the made geography of our entire society. We aren't going to put hydrogen fuel cells into our cars and long-haul fleets and continue put-putting around, but Green! The "alternative to oil" is not a new substance at the filling station. The alternative to oil is the radical physical revision of the entire structure of our civilization. Flatten that, Tommy Boy.