This is an issue of natural resources. China has the right to restrict exports of their raw materials; they'll have to because by 2012, some of the major rare-earth mines will be nearly exhausted in China. Motors and generators don't need to use rare-earth magnets; they can use ceramic or no magnets at all. Car alternators use no magnets as I understand, but they aren't very efficient either. Battery powered and hybrid vehicles may green but there is even concerns for peak Lithium (Lithium ion batteries) and even the supply of lead for lead-acid batteries will be gone in 30-40 years. The supply of lead will end much sooner if off-grid solar power takes off because of the use of deep-cycle lead-acid battery banks. Fuel cell vehicles with average-efficiency electric motors may be feasible. We may be able to work-around dwindling raw resources using other materials that will eventually dwindle. The only sustainable solution is adopt the lifestyle of the Amish. Using real horsepower buggies, mechanical energy from water wheels and donkeys, lighting/heating from lanterns, torches, and wood stoves will curb the demand for materials used for electricity production and storage.
The bottom line is Windows is ubiquitous and remains as such because it's "good enough". The lack of interest arises when people are forced into learning a new OS, only to discover that they are performing the same everyday computing tasks as they were with Windows. In the best case scenario, people may seamlessly switch to Linux and use most of their Windows applications with the help of Wine, Mono, Seamless Terminal Services, and/or Virtualization. For others folks, switching might present a hassle, especially if the problems pertains to hardware. The result: The switch to Linux encompasses access to the same Windows or native FOSS applications, which more likely than not have Windows ports. For typical users who care not of FOSS principles and ideology, theres just too little advantage to justify a migration. The cost advantage doesn't really come into play when 95% of the computers sold at retail outlets come pre-installed with Windows; there is really no choice but to pay for Windows in the first place. As the old expression goes...you cannot fight fire with fire. People aren't impressed by merely being "almost" as capable to the leader. Linux and FOSS need to depart from the endless game of matching/rivaling Windows solutions to surpassing them with software innovation.