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[GreenYes] Good Morning Vietnam!
For those of us "of a certain age" the current debate over the so-called 
"energy crisis" has a "been there-heard that" quality that makes some of us 
want to rush out and purchase a brand new Ford Pinto!  The only thing missing 
is President Carter in a cardigan sweater on national television in front of 
a fireplace talking about national malaise and extolling the virtues of 
kicking down the thermostat to 55 degrees at night.

The similarities between "then" and "now" are striking.  Back in 1976 there 
was a glitch in the heating oil supply in the northeast.  This "glitch" was 
manufactured into a nationwide "energy crisis."  The next "crisis" in 1979 
came about after the oil embargo cut off the 30% of imported oil we depended 
on to operate our Chevrolet Caprices and Ford LTDs.  We were told then that 
answers (my friends) were blowing in the wind: Conservation.  Wind Power.  
Solar Power.   We started a national Energy Department--founded to work up an 
energy policy for our future.

Today some 25 years later California is experiencing energy shortages. The 
state's farsighted planning equates thus: Forbidding development of power 
plants + a population tidalwave = energy shortage.  Gas prices are on the 
rise.  We now import 55% of our oil because America has been declared 
pristine.  How will we run our SUVs and light the 3,000 square foot homes 
we've been throwing up during the last couple of decades?  Oh yes. There's 
Wind Power.  Solar Power.  Conservation.  And lest we forget: the federal 
Energy Department--getting bigger with each administration and still working 
up an energy policy for our future.

Don't look for George W. to slip on a cardigan and extoll the virtues of 
conservation.  Americans HATE that.  And sorry, it's cheaper to buy a natural 
gas furnace than it is to install ugly solar panels up on the roof. This is 
reality. People know that in 10 years their friendly Crane Carrier furnace 
man will still be in business while those interested in solar power won't be 
able to find parts (I know this from bitter personal experience).

Coal is making it possible...right now...for most of us to stare into our 
computer screen.  After work, we'll fire up those big urban assault vehicles 
and drive to our air conditioned homes and curse the greed that is George W. 
and the big oil companies.  We'll ponder wind and solar and shake our fists 
to those who keep us addicted and not much else.  And in the end, like we did 
25 years ago, we'll find that gas bill for the big Ford Explorer too much to 
take and trade down for a small Nissan.  Some of us will hook up solar panels 
and pray the new start-up company we bought it from will be in business next 

Let's by all means look at conservation, wind power, and solar power.  Look 
to the government if you want too but keep in mind that we have a 25 year old 
Energy Department and still no energy policy.  

Posted with no fear of censorship (yet)...I remain,

Stuck in the 70s!

John Waddell
Refuse News


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