The Nation: Operation Brownout

It is fashionable to talk about the need to cut back sharply or even ration the use of energy−but what would that really be like? As both an experiment and a symbol, Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson encouraged the 7,500 citizens of Burlington to dim their lights, turn down their thermostats and curb their cars for two days last week. The aim: to make Burlington "Energy Conservation City, U.S.A."

The outcome was disillusioning. A blizzard dumped nine inches of snow on the town, fanning the fires under furnaces and lighting up TV screens like so...

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