The President's Page: The energy crunch


  • Philip H. Abelson


This winter, most of the citizens of the United States will experience some degree of inconvenience due to shortage of energy—mainly hydrocarbons. The extent of the annoyance will depend on the weather, foreign supplies, effectiveness of governmental regulations, and self-discipline of the public. If the weather is mild and foreign supplies become available soon, the immediate emergency will not be so acute. However, in any event, we have passed an important turning point in human history. We can no longer contemplate continued exponential growth in the use of petroleum hydrocarbons. To the public, this is shocking. Indeed, even such large corporations as the major automobile manufacturers have been caught napping.