As a result of the Oil Shocks of 1973, Charles Atkinson, Harvard AB '58 and EdD '72, convened a conference on ENERGY CRISIS SOLUTIONS at the Conference Center at Harrison House of Glen Cove that he had co-founded. After the first conference in December 1973, Dr. Atkinson prepared a Report, dated January 4, 1974, which was published and distributed thirty-five years ago today-- January 4, 2009
Please take a look at this 36 page report of the conference led by Lawrence Rocks and Richard Runyon and see what you think of these proposals in the context of today's problems, challenges, and opportunities.
Page 1: "Distribution to the White House and others in anticipation of the January 18-20, 1974 Second Conference which makes it just in time for the 35th Anniversary and coincident with the Barack Obama Inauguration as 44th President of the United States."
Page 8: "Consumption: We have developed a producer-consumer society, in which products are disposable, discardable, non-reusable, non-returnable, and obsolescent. This society needs and enormous, ever-increasing supply of energy. Americans have not yet recognized that the current energy crisis, if left unremedied, could bring an acceleration cycle of recession, unemployment and inflation. The tenacious myth of plentiful, cheap energy to fuel this kind of economic growth dies hard..."
Page 15: " Reduce Demand: The traditional inertia-ridden policies of the past 50 years should be considered counter-productive and inappropriate. What is now needed is a national policy of incentives geared to the ultimate goal of containing energy growth by reducing demand and by more efficient ultilization of energy supplies."
Page 24: "INCENTIVE CONSERVATION OF GASOLINE: One suggested solution at the conference is a challenging one: Reward people with cash payments for not using gasoline, while giving people who need to drive the option of purchasing gasoline at higher prices.
"One approach to implement this solution is as follows: The retain price of gasoline would be allowed to fluctuate with market demand. An additional federal tax of $.40 per gallon would be imposed; at the same time, every individual over the age of 18 would receive a monthly check for approximately $17 (at current gas prices) through the Social Security Administration, which would be the estimated additional tax paid in a month assuming consumption at the rate of 500 gallons a year. This monthly payment would provide a positive monetary incentive to everyone who is currently not using gasoline to continue not using gasoline, and for everyone else to use less than they currently do."
Page 30: " MASS EDUCATION IN ENERGY CONSERVATION SKILLSThe public will cooperate in the crisis, but to be effective that cooperation must be sustained and supported by a clear undersanding of what is happening and what is needed. Thiis can only be done through masssive educational programs. Everyone should be taught the necessary skills for energy management on a individual basis at his place of emplyment. Skilllls training is needed to deal with the immediate crisis and the future situation. Such training could result in a 30% overall reduction of energy consumption for each individual."
Page 33: "NATIONAL SECURITY By reducing our dependence on imported energy, we are less subject to cut-offs for political and/or economic reasons. Energy cannot be employed by foreign powers as a club with which to force us to alter foreign policies. This point is developed at length ina recent New York Times article by George Kennan, in which he makes a strong case for eliminating dependence on foreign suppliers of energy in order to avoid blackmail of any kind."
So, Google "Energy Crisis" and you will get 2,480,000 hits. There is not shortage of wise comments, particularly from Tom Friedman of the New York Times and many others.
But we challenge any of you to find Solutions that were not anticipated in this report of 35 years ago.
Please download and read the Report and then drop me a note with any thoughts.
Charles Atkinson AB '58, EdD '72 Chairman Research Media, Inc. A Whole Systems Company Harvard Square PO Box 380081 Cambridge, MA 02238 firstname.lastname@example.org
05-31-2008 - Free Viewing of 'The Harvard Crimson' for the Class of 1958 including today's paper and 50th Reunion Commencement Commemorative
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Amid Division, Students Broke Down Gender Line By LINDSAY P. TANNE Not every student group was in favor of such a shift. With the prospect of change came a number of questions, compelling students to debate whether group names would have to be amended or joint boards would be required to include at least one Radcliffe student at all times.
Selected Editorials from 1958: ...Who Help Themselves September 30, 1957 By THE CRIMSON STAFF Monopolies rarely care for their customers’ needs too well, and free competition in the case of HSA will benefit the buyer.
Love in the Afternoon May 5, 1958 By THE CRIMSON STAFF While our natural inclinations would send us down to the playing fields to help the House athletic teams or out into the sun for various Mithraic rites, we are forced to entertain lady guests in our rooms during daylight hours.
Not Yet The Deluge March 22, 1958 By CHARLES S. MAIER Because the past week has seen crisis pile up on crisis, there has been quite a bit of speculation about the collapse of the French Republic.
Dust to Dust November 21, 1957 By THE CRIMSON STAFF To most students, the Harvard Student Council is an unrepresentative body which annoys them yearly for funds, an annoyance which becomes more frequently ignored with each passing year of fruitless debate.
Acad-Admissions March 7, 1958 By THE CRIMSON STAFF To limit admission to the most academically proficient will be the easy way to dispose of the growing burden of applications, but the Committee on Admissions should attempt, as much as possible, to continue its policy of seeking a diverse college body. http://www.thecrimson.com/commencement/2008/index.aspx