In all honesty, if you don't understand the engineering, you can't make a claim about the technology, you're just taking a reporter's word (or worse, a politician's).
It would take a mathematically inclined person hundreds of hours of research to really be on top of the bulk of the environmental claims and issues. Most 'environmentalists' don't even know what a derivative is, much less understand how to tell if the mathematical modeling of a geological event is very accurate or if the premises presented in a scientific argument are totally sound.
If you don't have to arithmetical breakdown for the amount of coal that needs to be burned (and the production and shipping for the coal, it goes by train and is still occasionally blasted out of mountains against regulation) to produce the electricity for the Prius, you don't know that the Prius is efficient. None of the electric cars that I have seen are really anything more than a quick fix.
The two best alternative fuel sources are nuclear (which people are scared out of their wits of because they don't fully understand the reasons behind the Chernobyl and Three Mile Island disasters and why they probably would not occur today now that we have better technology and computer monitoring) and natural gas (beats me, more viable than wind more efficient than gas). if you like wind maybe you could deal with the energy storage and transportation, not to mention the number of windmills you would need (and the not in my backyard guys). Add on the
Both are temporary, but the same is true of anything else we have. Cold fusion hasn't made great progress =(. There are a number of semi developed ideas with questionable efficiency, but they aren't really up on the table since even once they are developed they need to get through the political process and gain popular support.
Typical conversation with global warming drone:
Q: Do you understand the geophysics behind the claims for and against global warming?
Q: Do you keep up with developments in data and current scientific papers relating to the subject?
Q:Where do you get your information?
A:The Serra Club
The fact of the matter is that 99% of 'the environmentally concerned public' don't really know anything about the topic beyond the political quick answers and stock refutations for detractors, so the whole thing becomes another way for people like Obama to gain power and throw around some lip service and political quick fixes. Bush had jingoism, Obama has 'I'm green and so are you, unless you want to be put in the same box with Bill O'reiley and Glenn Beck.'
Its all just a big jumbled political mess now. The science couldn't matter less to the average moron at some mega concert the put on for 'environmental awareness' or some hemp laden student who is looking for 'peace with mother Earth, and goodwill for all' that can't add three digit numbers.