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President Carter 1977: Set Thermostats to 55 Degrees at Night

What is the sum of this equation? Politicians and politicized scientists are idiots.

President Carter 1977: Set Thermostats to 55 Degrees at Night 1 ERIKA SANTELICES/AFP/Getty Images

In 1977, President Jimmy Carter advised Americans set their thermostats to 55 degrees overnight during the winter in order to “waste less energy” and preserve resources. He said, “simply by keeping our thermostats, for instance, at 65 degrees in the daytime and 55 degrees at night we could save half the current shortage of natural gas.”

Carter claimed that “We must face the fact that the energy shortage is permanent.” A few months later, he doubled down on his fearmongering by claiming there would be a “national catastrophe” without nationwide “sacrifice” in regard to energy consumption.

Fast forward a little over 40 years, and we have the Environmental Protection Agency recommending that we keep our thermostats between 78 degrees and 85 degrees during the summer; basically advocating for Americans to just not use their air conditioners. We have been told for decades now that we are on the brink of a massive energy shortage, while the amount of energy we use grows easily.

Last week we published the story about how the government is now telling people to turn up their thermostats to ridiculously high levels. What is the sum of this equation? Politicians and politicized scientists are idiots.