Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era

Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era

HSC Senior Fellow Amory Lovins, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Institute, (RMI) has written a thought-provoking book and, yet again, has us thinking about sustainability.

According to Lovins' book, America's seemingly two-billion-dollar-a-day oil habit actually costs upwards of three times that much--six billion dollars a day, or one-sixth of GDP. This is primarily due to three kinds of hidden costs, each about a half-trillion dollars per year: the macro economic costs of oil dependence, the micro economic costs of oil-price volatility, and the military costs of forces whose primary mission is intervention in the Persian Gulf. Any costs to health, safety, environment, security of energy supply, world stability and peace, or national independence or reputation are extra.

Click here to read the RMI Executive Summary of what HSC believes to be one of the most important books of our time.

Read the following excerpt from a paper by Amory Lovins, Co-founder, Chairman, and Chief Scientist at RMI.

Reinventing Fire: A New Vision

Modern society is built from fossil fuels. They are the root source of our society’s wealth and power. But as their rising costs to our security, wallets, and habitat become ever more intolerable, we see one system dying and another struggling to be born.

The inflection point at this moment in history is both evolutionary and revolutionary. The evolving tools to reinvent fire have at last caught up with the vision that has been hatching for decades. And it's a revolutionary moment because we can at last move beyond just conceiving answers to actually getting off oil, coal, and gas by integrating, articulating, and applying what we know. Today we need not convince the world that Reinventing Fire is necessary.

Instead, we must work together to make it happen. Hence, Reinventing Fire is a "grand synthesis" that will systematically combine decades of intellectual capital, both ours and others', into a practical map of the road beyond fossil fuels--then help the world head down that road with deliberate speed. Integrating the latest developments that make getting off oil and coal even more attractive than we thought five years ago, Reinventing Fire weaves together a resilient, multi-layered web of connected, efficient, renewable replacements for fossil fuel, chiefly in the U.S. but in a global context.

The pieces of the most complex jigsaw puzzle in human history are falling into place. The world that we at RMI imagine, and that we strive daily to create, is starting to take shape. We need to form it even faster, because humanity, as Dana Meadows said, has "exactly enough time--starting now."

The energy solution is the master key to what Bucky Fuller had in mind when he asked this simple question: "If the success or failure of this planet, and of human beings, depended on who I am and what I do, then how would I be? What would I do?"

Reinventing Fire is who we are at RMI, and it is what we must and will now do. Please join us on this exciting journey.

For the full text of this paper, click here.

For another brief presentation on the important issues addressed by Reinventing Fire, click here to view an introductory video. To watch a presentation made by Amory Lovins as part of the Berkeley Lab Distinguished Lecture Series, please click here. To watch Amory Lovins conversation with John McDonald, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Chevron Corporation, at the Techonomy Conference 2010, please click here. To watch Amory Lovins 2012 TED talk entitled "A 50-year Plan for Energy," please click here.

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