National Geographic : 1974 Mar
The temperature in our schools is teaching our kids a hard lesson. The price of complacency. Some of them think our energy shortage will be over when the weather warms up. A lot of folks think that if we lower our thermostats, drive slower, join a car pool or ride the bus, we'll be back to normal in no time. Other knowledgeable people are convinced the only answer lies in things like geothermal energy, wind, solar and tidal power. There's merit in both points of view. Unquestionably we need to conserve now. But exotic energy sources are just too far away from widespread, practical use. Sowhatdowedointhe mean time? We need to develop petroleum sources like shale and off-shore wells. And we need to research petroleum alternatives. The most practical alternative is coal. The U.S. supply alone is estimated to last us 500 years. Coal's best use right now is electricity generation. But it's also very versatile. Longer range, gasification and liquefaction will allow us to burn it cleanly and supplement our oil and gas supplies. If we mine and use our coal responsibly, it will give the time we need to research and develop atomic, solar, hydrogen and other non-conventional energy sources. For additional information, write "Power" - Department 5056G,Caterpillar Tractor Co., Peoria, Illinois 61602. There are no simple solutions. Only intelligent choices. CaterpillarCatand areTrademarksCaterpillar Tract Co. Caterpiar Catand3 areTrademarksof CaterpilarTractorCo.