Newspaper: The Sentinel

Date: April 6, 1979

Article: The 'enemy' is us

Author: Patricia R. Sweeney


To The Editor:

More than a year ago, President Carter announced a campaign to save energy that would be "the moral equivalent of war."

Those few of us who rallied to his banner and who have been having a rather lonely time of it here on the front lines hope the Three Mile Island Incident will inspire some laggards to join our ranks.

As I traverse the terrain between my home and the supermarket on a creaky 3-speed bicycle, constantly shoved over the shoulder of the road by automobiles who have sailed forth at 45 mph just to mail a letter;

Or, as I offer a shivering guest a motheaten but comforting old woolen afghan as a supplement to the cardigan sweater she has procured against the 64º temperature in our living room;

Or, as I grope my way down a stairwell lighted only by a 7-watt nightlight, thereby twisting an ankle and incurring a $25 orthopedist's bill;

Or, as I juggle pans back and forth between the two burners of the electric stove that I permit myself to use;

Or, as I wash the 26th coffee cup left behind by my guest denied the luxury of styrofoam (made from petroleum);

Or, as I tramp on our 500th "tin" can that I am flattening in the vain hope a recycling center may open soon to accept the small armory of tins, bottles and brown paper grocery bags that threatens to overflow our back porch;

As I do these things, I wonder how many people who are taking aim at Med Ed for endeavoring, in the quickest, easiest and cheapest way - so I'm sure it seemed to them - to provide consumers with energy that thought they had to have or DIE;

I wonder how many of these people are now prepared to reorganize their priorities and join in the great conservation effort that would make installations like Three Mile Island superfluous.

In the words of the immortal general, Pogo, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

Patricia R. Sweeney
Carlisle