The tragicomedy appears with the simple appreciation that a virtual machine is not necessary at all to achieve the same functionality. With the same program, in a high level language, it's possible to compile for different platforms. A single compiler can consummate this work producing different executables to every known platform, in machine code without the need of losing incredible amounts of energy and speed.
You include standard libraries that every OS recognize, use a standard language and a compiler with the ability to produce working native code for each platform. Any new platform is added to the compiler. The compiler is then the virtual machine with AOT (ahead of time) compilation avoiding expensive intermediate steps.
In the current ideology of creating competition there are so many teams doing the same work and claiming for exclusive rights to exploit ideas that everyone might propose in certain conditions. Without quantitative limits, each entity pushes for their own venture making global standardization a difficult task. For economists that trust the market, this is how it goes and newly the entire civilization pays the price.
A solution is to establish controls and rationalize with legislation any attempt that directly damages as a clear effect of unnecessary energy consumption. To consume energy is not the problem; it is when then production comes with severe consequences.