In the Fall/Autumn 2004 issue of the Green Car Journal consumer magazine, Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope points out in an interview that, "right now, in many American cities, the waiting list to get a hybrid vehicle is longer than the waiting list to get an organ transplant."

That's not a good thing, says The Green Car Journal. But with Toyota increasing production capacity of its immensely popular Prius, the long-awaited Ford Escape Hybrid SUV poised to enter the market, and the Honda Accord Hybrid joining its Insight and Civic Hybrid brethren at dealerships in December, increased availability should soon find new car buyers breathing easier, the magazine says.

The country's dependence on oil is also on Pope's mind. When reflecting on progress in the auto industry versus other commercial industries, Pope looks to coal as an example.

"The auto industry has done more to embrace new technology than the coal industry," says Pope, "but on the other hand, the auto industry has done more to increase our dependence on oil, so they have a larger moral responsibility."