Scientific Explosions: Public Perils and Ethical Crisis May 4, 1980

Vance Packard, May 4, 1980
“The energy crisis is with us and the only way to deal with it in the next five years it to use cold turkey conservation. One of the most promising energy resources in the future will be nuclear fusion. But it will take 15 to 20 years before it will be fully developed. For the present coal is one of the solutions for the energy crisis, but coal is a nasty business. All alternative energy sources are promising but not for the next five years.
” We didn’t want to face the fact that we lived in a finite society, and today we are paying the price for our ignorance. Some people think it is their God-given right to jump into their air-conditioned cars and go to a night football game which lights the whole area for miles around with oil. In five years we will be in serious energy crisis, and in 15 years we will be out of petroleum.
“I don’t believe Regan when he says we can become energy self-sufficient if we decontrol the oil industry. One way to alleviate the oil crisis is to develop synthetic fuels. Another way is the use of corn as a fuel. But the use of corn might raise some moral questions: What is more important, gasohol or the use of corn as food for starving countries?”

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