Reinventing Fire is Amory Lovins’ new TED talk on a smart 50 year energy plan. He shows how the US (and Canada) can choose to save $5 trillion, improve national security, increase jobs, reduce carbon emissions, and stop subsidizing its enemies by getting off oil and coal. How? Conserve, and switch to renewables, on a very large scale. It’s inspiring, credible, persuasive, smart and packed with data. How many people know, for example, that there is now more renewable electricity generation in the world than nuclear? That reliable electricity can be provided by a diverse, distributed, mostly renewable system? That Portugal’s electrical generation is already 45% renewable? That the retrofit of the Empire State Building paid for itself in 3 years by saving energy? That carbon fibre electric cars will be for sale next year? That big energy savings are often cheaper than small ones? That peak oil demand may come this decade, i.e. that demand for oil could start to fall before its supply?
Lovins knows what he’s talking about. He has a long history of being ahead of the curve on energy. The Rocky Mountain Institute makes its living helping major organizations save energy and money. According to Wikipedia, Amory Lovins has received ten honorary doctorates and was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1984, of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1988, and of the World Business Academy in 2001. He has received the World Technology Award, the Right Livelihood Award, the Blue Planet Prize, Volvo Environment Prize, the 4th Annual Heinz Award in the Environment in 1998, and the National Design (Design Mind), Jean Meyer, and Lindbergh Awards.
Lovins is also the recipient of the Time Hero for the Planet awards, the Benjamin Franklin and Happold Medals, and the Shingo, Nissan, Mitchell, and Onassis Prizes. He has also received a MacArthur Fellowship and is an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), a Foreign Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, and an Honorary Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council. Furthermore he is on the Advisory Board of the Holcim Foundation.
In 2009, Time magazine named Lovins as one of the world’s 100 most influential people.