111!Ii h lh:II ‘ .21 al ERVER [Ti _ A Journal of Free Voices 500 A Window to the South Emmi April 9, 1976 Energy problems Figuring out the future By E. D. Yoes Jr. San Antonio “We don’t .have an energy crisis,” says Dr. Albert Wortham, “we have an energy management crisis.” Or, to put it in other’ words: there’s plenty of energy around. We can’t make up our minds what to do about it. The crisis is us. Dr. Wortham, a Texas A & M professor of Industrial Engineering, asked a St. Mary’s audience to identify the largest energy-consuming element in the nation’s economy. The response he got was: “automobiles.” “Wrong.” Fifty-four percent of our energy expenditures go toward the obtaining of energy.” Is that too high? Has it been higher in the past, or is the percentage expanding? We don’t know, because until recently it has simply never been regarded as a problem. Consistent statistics on it have not been kept, until the computer age made it possible. “Now, name the second-largest consumer of energy.” Again, some folks said “automobiles.” “Wrong again,” Dr. Wortham “Food production. Primarily the high On the Observer’s behalf, Deck Yoes is attending a series of speeches and seminars in San Antonio concerning the energy situation. For this issue he’s reporting on a nuclear symposium sponsored by SA Maydr Lila Cockrell and the City Public Service Board as well as the first two speeches in a series of engineering seminars at St. Mary’s University. Yoes literally has first-hand experience with the darker side of the nuclear issue. As a radiation monitor at the University of protein foods like beef, pork, and poultry.” Challenged to name the third-largest energy-consuming sector, the audience, twice stung, hesitated to venture again. . “Automobiles,” supplied the prof, adding that the bulk of the energy consumed by automobiles is not gasoline to run them, as popularly believed, but the energy con California Radiation Laboratory in Berkeley in the late Fifties, he was invovled in what he describes as “the great HILAC spill, the Long Beach harbor clean-up, and the Ruthenium affair in room 225.” In 1962 he joined a protest against nuclear testing in the atmosphere. Yoes was the navigator on the first crew of the Everyman, which attempted to sail into a nuclear testing area. The Everyman was turned back on three separate occasions and Yoes and the rest of the crew were jailed for their . efforts. sumed to build themwhat goes into extracting ore, smelting steel and alloys, fabricating, assembling, and transporting cars and parts … the “direct” energyas well as the “indirect” but not negligible energy consumed in transporting, housing, feeding, and clothing the workers who do all these things. Dr. Wortham is an operations analysta super-statisticianwho has worked for the Federal Energy Agency, consults for industries, and is division head of the Texas Engineering Experiment Station. “I think you’ll find,” he said, “when the input-output statistics for last year are finally available, that thanks to the slump in new car production America saved a great deal of energy in 1975.” One problem he confronts in analyzing the current energy picture is that, even with the aid of computers, economists and statisticians have only managed to massage
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