Mr. Wilson, the author of this article, holds an odd perspective of what our future should be.
First, he references Holland as an attractive model? Seriously? Holland has experienced over 100,000 casualties as the result of over 1,100 failed dikes due to the desire to have a high concentration of their population in cities in the wrong geographical places. Building and maintaining dikes requires heavy haul loaders and trucks and all such vehicles burn diesel. Moving billions of tons of dirt and rocks and pouring massive amounts of concrete for dikes for 500 years is very, very far from Green.
Also, use of bicycles do not reduce emissions nor the consumption of petroleum. I worked in a Human Performance Lab for years and anyone who understands human metabolism can do the math (http://etcgreen.com/general/does-cycling-save-petroleum).
To explore the author's perspective, it makes radically more sense to focus on the evacuation of the population of any nation and region that experiences tempuratures with a +/- 40 degrees F off-set from 70 degrees F. This would save expodentially more energy and radically reduce emissions than even considering transporation.
The main problem with US transportation habits is the use of gasoline. We need to migrate to the only scalable, environmentally friendly, economically viable and truly sustainable replacement for petroleum available today.
Everyone today seems so focused on MPG, yet this unit of measure is outdated. If the fuel is sustainable, economically viable and environmentally friendly, then MPG is not that important. Actually, if vehicles were running on B100 sourced from 2nd generation feedstock, then lower MPG is more desirable as it better supports our economy. ETC Green Engineers are working with the EPA and DOT to establish a new unit of measure - MPPG (Miles Per Petroleum Gallon) so people have a better understanding of the performance and emissions of the vehicle.
The required infrastructure for EV's in the US alone is an estimated $14T. Such an effort is rediculous and will impact every other industry and our quality of life.
Petroleum is a finite resource. Doubling the MPPG for vehicles is wrong headed in that this direction only delays the depletion of this finite resource. Emissions from any vehicle running on petroleum sourced fuels - including gasoline powered hybrids such as the Prius and Volt - have no life-cycle emissions off-sets. As compared to petrodiesel, biodiesel has radically reduced emissions: use of preferred sourced B100 completely eliminates lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions (CO2), it also reduces emission of particulate matter by 40-65%, unburned hydrocarbons by 68%, carbon monoxide by 44-50%, sulfates by 100%, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) by 80%, and the carcinogenic nitrated PAHs by 90% on an average. There are a list of proven biodiesel additives off-the-shelf that virtually eliminate NOx emissions. The biodiesel molecules are simple hydrocarbon chains free of the aromatic substances and sulfur associated with fossil fuels.
Since the current business plans for large scale 2nd generation feedstock in the US include the planting of 10 billion 12'-14' tall trees, this solution can also claim the air filtration benefits of those trees including the reduction of heavy metals from coal burning power plants and various particulates from petroleum burning vehicles.