Sean Fields  |  Savvy Shopper

Although many recall the era fondly, the 1970s were a pretty pessimistic time. The decade began with a country divided by war, crested with a president resigning in disgrace, and ended with a humiliating hostage situation.

During all this, there was also a relentless drumbeat of warnings about resource depletion and ecological catastrophe. If you wanted an escape from the gloom and doom, you could watch uplifting movies about burning buildings (“The Towering Inferno”), ships overturned by tidal waves (“The Poseidon Adventure”), or an entire city being reduced to rubble (“Earthquake…in Sensurround!”).

One particular memory was the idea that we were in imminent danger of running out of oil. Forty years later, we are still hearing the warnings! However, since the

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