And yet is this a good use of Superman's time?
What we're talking about, essentially, is the world's greatest solar power cell. The earth's yellow sun gives his eyes the ability to boil water, and his arms and legs can exert enormous amounts of force. In other words, he could be rigging up a plan to generate enormous quantities of pollution-free electricity! ... Superman could take an enormous bite out of a world problem that's much more significant than the occasional plane crash or factory explosion. ...
UPDATE: Apparently I'm not the first person to think along these lines.
--Matthew Yglesias, Slate, on Superman's opportunity cost