10 The Daily Tar Heel Thursday, September 29, 1977
America, is there an energy option?
Democratic principles demand
By PHILIP LUSK
WITH THOM GUNTER
Editor's note: This is the last in a series of
three articles dealing with energy policy
options. Today's article deals with the
prospect of the "soft" energy path with
respect to North Carolina.
In yesterday's article we discussed the
myth perpetuated upon the American public
that the best form of energy available for
consumer use was instantaneous electricity
generated in large, centralized systems.
Granted that the consuming public wants
and needs energy to perform basic functions,
the people involved are not really interested
in, nor do they desire, the abstractions of
electricity, oil or gas. Rather, they are more
interested in comfortable rooms, lighting,
the ability to travel, food, furniture and
other tangible objects.
There exists today an aggregate of energy
technologies that will satisfy those needs.
They are also technologically mature and
can be utilized for short-term goals if given'
the incentive and engineering. They will also
be quicker and cheaper to install when
compared to the total costs of utilizing the
"hard" energy path. These are the "soft"
technologies, as termed by Amory Lovins,
Ben Cornelius, Managing Editor
Ed Rankin, Associate Editor
Lou Bilionis, Associate Editor
Laura Scism, University Editor
Elliott Potter, City Editor
Chuck Alston, State and National Editor
Sara Bullard, Features Editor
Chip Ensslin, Arts Editor
Gene Upchurch. Sports Editor
Allen Jernigan, Photography Editor',
Drop-add policy decision
Four weeks is too short
Chalk up another blow to academic freedom.
The Educational Policy Committee, entrusted by the Faculty Council
with the responsibility of studying drop-add, decided unanimously Monday
to recommend that the current four-week drop period be retained.
According to the committee's report, prepared by Dean Samuel R.
Williamson of the College of Arts and Sciences and Dean Donald C. J icha
of the General College, "The student should be allowed an ample amount of
time to evaluate a course and its instructor in order to determine its
pedagogical value in the context of his personal interests and his larger
academic program and goals.
"Four weeks is a reasonable amount of time to make that evaluation."
The report also noted that "It is not the purpose of a drop period to
provide an escape hatch for students whose academic performance on
papers and exams is below their initial expectations."
Obviously, the drop period should not be abused. And the statistics
indicate: that, despite the committee's inference, the short drop period if not
being vised any less as an "escape hatch" than the longer period. After the
period was shortened from 1 1 to 4 weeks, no substantial fall in the total
number of drops could be found indicating that students had not been
bailing out of troublesome classes any more than they are now.
Instead, the four-week drop period has successfully tied the hands of
thousands of UNC students who must now make hasty and uninformed
evaluations of a course's "pedagogical" value. Many an intermediate level
cour se covers nothing but review material during the first four weeks of a
sem ester hardly a fair representation of the nature of the instructor or the
1 1 is truly a shame that the Educational Policy Committee suffers from the
same myopia that has plagued many faculty members throughout the past
fe w years. The committee's choice to treat student input with the same
degree of levity as past administrators have is disgraceful. The committee's
argument that many drops are frivolous and that a shorter period allows
for more "adds" is spurious. The statistics do not uphold such a
The varied arguments by students showing how a longer drop period
would enhance the educational experience seem to fall on deaf ears. We can
only hope that the Faculty Council enjoys better v ision and hearing when it
makes the final decision on drop-add policy next month.
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that are flexible, resilient, sustainable and
benign. The difference in distinction from
"hard" technologies is in the quality of the
technical, social and political structure of the
energy system instead of just the quantity of
"Soft" technologies have been defined by
Lovins to possess the following
They rely on renewable energy flows
such as sun, winds and waste vegetation and
not on depletable energy capital such as
uranium, oil or coal.
They are diverse, with each energy
supply designed for maximum efficiency in
They are flexible and relatively low
technology. This is, in the sense of elegant
simplicity, a tool which is easily understood
rather than a complex machine that uses
They are matched in scale and in energy
quality to end use needs, utilizing the free
potential of most energy flows.
They do not require, for example, a
nuclear-electric generating plan operating in
thousands of degrees to heat a dwelling in
ranges of tens of degrees.
As defined in our first article, the "soft"
energy path will rely on a blend of technical
fixes based upon the criteria presented above
with some degree of change in our
85th year of editorial freedom
expectation of future life styles.
Technical fixes can be considered as the
use of conservation techniques and
substitutions to produce the same output of
goods and services as before, with the
replacement of the energy we are using so
unwisely today with other resources that are
immediately available (capital, design
management, labor, personal development,
It has been estimated that in the long-term
(25-50 years), technical fixes alone in the
U.S. could improve energy efficiency by a
factor of at least three or four. Another
recent study argues that with only those
technical fixes that could be implemented by
the turn of the century, we could nearly
double the efficiency with which we use
In North Carolina, a state that has been
described as being traditionally fuel poor but
whose energy potential is rich, there are
many underexplored opportunities for
utilizing technical fixes, some of which are
The retrofitting of present structures to
achieve the most reasonable level of
conservation. "Reasonable" has been
defined as the use of all conservation
techniques whose combined cost is less than
the cost of proposed new power plants in a
specific service area.
Thatcher waits in
By ED RAN KIM
No. 10 Downing Street is unobtrusive
enough. Situated in Whitehall, just a brisk
10-minute walk from Parliament, the office
of numerous British prime ministers is
hardly eye-catching. And if it weren't for the
implacable bobby standing guard outside
the door, one could easily stroll by without
The bobby's placid demeanor, however,
belies the state of things in Britain's highest
political office these days. Prime Minister
James Callaghan and his Labor Party are
caught in a web of troubles, mainly
economic, that threatens to destroy their
shaky coalition with the 13-vote Liberal
Party. And, poised like vultures, the
Conservative Party led by Margaret
Thatcher waits patiently in the wings for
Callaghan to stumble. Time, they feel, is on
One does not have to look far to see what
is ailing Britain and, thus, the Labor-led
coalition in power. Inflation continues to
run rampant at 1 7 per cent. Average earnings
are rising at less than 10 per cent. More than
1.6 million Britons are out of work,
representing a post-war high of nearly seven
per cent of the work force. On top of this, the
country faces a debt of $19 billion due to
heavy foreign borrowing that must be paid
off by 1985.
To the editor:
A recent letter to the Daily Tar Heel("Get
straight," Letters, Sept. 28) claims to tell the
true facts about marijuana. Citing the
Reader's Digest, D. C. Malle reports that
marijuana causes "nerve deadening," "the
jitters" and other ill effects. As anyone w ho
has smoked marijuana will tell you, this is
absurd. Recent studies by the Surgeon
General of the U nited S tates ( Marijuana and
Health) and the President's Commission on
Marijuana and Drug Abuse show that
marijuana use does not produce undesirable
or harmful physiological effects, nor does it
produce psychotic episodes, addiction, etc.
D. C. Malle cites the fact that in some
states marijuana is illegal as "proof that it is
a harmful drug. Does this mean that alcohol
was a harmful drug during Prohibition, but
not before or since? The only thing wrong
with marijuana is that it is illegal.
Decriminalization of this harmless herb is
supported by literally millions of doctors,
lawyers, educators and political leaders
(including William Buckley, the American
Medical Association and President Carter).
Making criminals out of people who use
marijuana represents an elitist attempt on
the part of the government to interfere in our
' 108 Pinegate. Apt. 5
To the editor:
I attended Ron Nessen's lecture Tuesday
night and found it interesting and
informative. However. 1 wasdisappointed in
the behavior of some of the students
attending the lecture those who got up
and left during the question-answer session.
Not only was this rude and inconsiderate to
Mr. Nessen but it made it impossible to hear
the questions being asked. Mr. Nessen was
kind enough to repeal the questions, having
been asked to do so by the radio station, so
that they were not entirely missed, but I
would like to have heard the original
wording by the students who asked them.
Granted, if one had to leave belore the
program was over, then that was the best
time to do so. Hut bv the tune Mr. Nessen
The use of solar space-heating and
cooling utilized to maximum efficiency as a
supplement to district heating coupled with
the use of solar hot water heaters. A recent
study in the Pacific Northwest estimated that
the use of residential electric water heaters
requires the equivalent of one large power
plant for approximately 800,000 units.
The use of biomass' conversion
techniques on forest, atricultural and
municipal solid wastes to produce fertilizer,
liquid and gaseous fuels. A recent study
conducted locally pro jected that if one-third
of the chicken droppings produced in
Chatham County were mixed in a 1:1 ratio
with one-half of the municipal waste solids
produced in Orange County, using
bioconversion the resultant gas produced
would provide the total gas needs of both
counties. This by-product gas could also be
utilized in the generation of electricity.
As seen above, if the appropriate
encouragement were given to just these few
native energy sources, there could be a
significant reduction in the demand for
conventional fuels and new, large electric
generating facilities. The list of potential
technical fixes is limited only by the
imagination and institutional barriers,
certainly not the technical know-how.
The institutional barriers which need
innovation include such areas as building
The Labor Party, which has been in power
for three years, has caught the brunt of the
nation's criticism. What must sting
Callaghan the most, however, are the
problems he has experienced with the
traditionally pro-Labor trade unions. They
have historically financed the party and
presently control 18 of the 25 seats on the
Labor Party Executive Board. The party has
had difficult, however, placating the workers
the last two years.
In 1975 the unions voluntarily accepted
pot users termed elitist5
was finished answering questions, about
one-third of the audience was gone. As a
freshman, 1 wonder if the students here give
the same treatment to other lecturers'.' Also I
would like to suggest that the University oil
the seats in Memorial as these are badly in
need of lubricating.
To the editor:
Like Mr. Acker ("Get all the facts."
Letters. Sept. 28) I support freedom and
even encouragement of speech. However,
what he calls debate would include hysterical
rantings by the anti-ERA people. Debates
should be on the facts and moral
considerations, not on unrelated emotional
for energy decisions
codes, lending policies and adoption of
minimum efficiency standards. After these
institutional barriers are modified, means of
encouragement are needed. These means
must include, among others, tax incentives
low-interest loans and government
purchases of equipment to reduce consumer
cost (as in the case of the transistor or
This is not to suggest that there will not be
some degree of social problems. Mental
adjustments will have to be made as the
millions of consumer needs are sorted.
However, the benefits would implement
those choices if given the replacement of the
institutional barriers. It will not be an easy
task, but it will be easier for posterity than
not doing it at all.
As we begin to understand the role of man
in the holistic perspective, the choices will
become obvious. Our biological survival
may well depend upon our ability to
integrate into this framework. The
experience of values will become real when
based upon the personal realization of their
meaning, importance and validity rather
than upon the abstractions of value
presented by today's society.
As we have been using our energy supplies
faster than they are being replaced,
conditions will soon force us to budget our
resources. Should we wait until we have no
caught in web of troubles
government-proposed guidelines that
limited wage increases to a set percentage per
year. But after prices skyrocketed last year,
the unions decided to seek gains of 20 to 100
per cent this fall. This move presented a
double threat to Callaghan. If wage
restraints were cast aside, inflation would
worsen and the Labor government
pledged when it gained power that fighting
inflation would be its first priority. In
addition. Liberals threatened to withdraw
their crucial 13 votes in the House of
Commons if wages were not restrained. If
Callaghan loses their support, he would be
forced to dissolve the government and call
for another election one that, in all
likelihood, he would lose.
But last week Callaghan won a minor
victory in his drive to stall his party's
worsening political fortunes. Union leaders
agreed to limit future wage increase demands
by individual unions to one per year though
no limit was set on the size of wage hikes
unions can request. Albeit Callaghan
obviously would have preferred a third year
of wage restraints, he achieved a
compromise that will put off new contract
negotiations till 1978. He hopes the extra
time will allow his party to get inflation
Should Callaghan be forced to call an
election before the deadline of late 1979 and
lose, Britain's first woman prime minister
would cross the threshold at Downing
Street. Margaret Thatcher has been waiting
issues that obscure the truth. Past experience
shows that although, in principle, debate is
enlightening, in reality debate on ERA
degenerates into squabbling over already
resolved issues instead of rational
discussions of facts and ramifications.
To the editor:
1 was unpleasantly startled (though not
surprised) to discover that the phonebook I
just received is for the year past. Since 1 did
not live here last year, this means that I have
no listing in that edition. It also means that
the numbers for nonfreshmen living in
places different from those during last year
are listed incorrectly. 1 can only assume that
Southern Bell plans to distribute an updated
student directory as a monthly surcharge of
60 cents was specified in the contract for the
expressed purpose of additional listings
under one number. I have been irritated by
the company's bumbling money-grabbing
techniques since my phone was "installed,"
and the inconveniences cause me to wonder:
choice due to an inadequate supply of fuels,
resources and money, or should we instead
use those resources we presently have to ease
the transition into an energy system that
does not depend upon the entanglements of
In the final analysis, we, the citizens and
inhabitants of North Carolina, are faced
with a decision. We can allow present energy
policy to continue and ensure the expansion
of the "hard" energy path as presently
advocated at the highest levels of state
government, or if the democratic principles
that this great state were founded upon are
still in effect, we can demand an articulation
of energy policy in open, public forum to
decide upon the goals that will provide for
the needs of the people in the most beneficial
Note: The preceding has been primarily a
synthesis of ideas presented in the writing of
(or conversations with) the following people:
Amory Lovins, David Orr, H. T. and E. P.
Odum, Joe Straley and Dan Koenigshofer.
A more complete bibliography is available
upon demand. Write or come by: Chapel
Hill ECOS, Suite A, Carolina Union, UNC
Philip Lusk, a senior, is an Energy and
Environment major from Durham, N.C..
Thorn Guntef, a senior, is an Energy Policy
major from Durham, N.C.
since early 1975, when she ousted former
Prime Minister Edward Heath as Britain's
Conservative leader, for her chance to
supplant Callaghan. She served as Minister
of Education from 1970 to 1974 under Tory
Prime Minister Heath before challenging
him for the party leadership.
Thatcher is cooly confident of her
ascendency to the prime ministership and
she should be. Monthly Gallup Polls show
the Tories consistently ahead of Labor by a
wide margin. The 11 -point edge in August
indicated that the Conservatives would win
a plurality of 80 votes in the 635-seat House
of Commons. She would delight in an
election today, of course, but "whenever
there is an election," she said recently, "we
Thatcher hopes she can force Callaghan
into an early election by eroding his Liberal
and right-wing Labor support. But even if
the Labor prime minister jerryrigs a solution
to his country's economic woes and his
party's misfortunes,. 1979 must still loom
large in Callaghan's mind. Precluding some
drastic turn of events, he and the Labor-led
coalition will bow to the Conservatives and
Thatcher in the next general election.
When that time arrives, however, a weary
Callaghan may just welcome the winds of
change that will swirl through Parliament.
Ed Rankin, a senior history major from
Concord, N.C, is associate editor for the
Daily Tar Heel.
if the consumers' costs of maintaining a
campus telephone have tripled since the 1976
school year, why has the quality of service to
these customers not experienced a similar
Proud Tar Heel
To the editor:
I see no logical reasoning to Gary
GambreH's letter ("Russian Rouletter,"
Letters, Sept. 22), concerning the "danger"
of bike riding in Chapel Hill. I ride a bike
around a great university city and find this a
wonderful place to pursue the sport of
cycling, both for practical needs and for
I think Chapel Hill is great! This is truly
"the Southern Part of Heaven." I am proud
to be a Tar Heel. After only one month of
living here, 1 already feel I can truly call this
1605 Granville West