- Amory Lovins
name = Amory Lovins
caption = Amory Lovins
November 13 1947
Amory Bloch Lovins (born
November 13 1947in Washington, DC) is Chairman and Chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute, a MacArthur Fellowshiprecipient (1993), and author and co-author of many books on renewable energyand energy efficiency.
Lovins has worked professionally as an
environmentalistand an advocate for a " soft energy path" for the United Statesand other nations. He has promoted energy-use and energy-production concepts based on conservation, efficiency, the use of renewable sources of energy, and on generation of energy at or near the site where the energy is actually used. His works include " Winning the Oil Endgame", "Factor Four" with Hunter Lovinsand Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, and " Natural Capitalism" with Hunter Lovinsand Paul Hawken. In the 1990s, his work with the Rocky Mountain Institute included the design of an ultra-efficient automobile, the Hypercar.
Lovins has provided expert testimony in eight countries and more than 20 US states, briefed 19 heads of state, and published 29 books.
= Early history and personal life = Lovins spent much of his youth in
Silver Spring, Marylandand in Amherst, Massachusetts. In 1964, Lovins entered Harvard University. After two years there, he transferred to Magdalen College, Oxford, England, where he studied experimental physics. He became a Junior Research Fellow in Oxford’s Merton College, where he studied for two years and earned a master of arts (M.A.). He has received many honorary degrees recognizing his work. [http://www.rmi.org/images/PDFs/StaffBios/BioALovins_Acorp_iii07.pdf Lovins Bio] ]
In 1979 he married L. Hunter Sheldon, a lawyer, forester, and social scientist. Hunter received her undergraduate degree in
sociologyand political studies from Pitzer College, and her J.D. from Loyola University's School of Law. They separated in 1989 and divorced in 1999. [ [http://sierraactivist.org/article.php?sid=41667 Iconoclast Gets Consultant Fees To Tell Big Oil It's Fading Fast] ]
Friends of the Earth
It was during his days in the UK that Lovin's career as a writer began. Having become a devotee of
Snowdonia National Park, Lovins left academia. In 1971 he wrote about the endangered Welsh park in a book commissioned by David Brower, president of the environmental organization Friends of the Earth. Lovins spent several years as British Representative for Friends of the Earth. He wrote a number of other books published by FOE. During this time his interests settled specifically into the area of resource policy, and most especially, energy policy. An essay that he originally penned as a U.N. paper grew into his first book concerned with energy, "World Energy Strategies". His next major work was co-authored with John H. Price and titled "Non-Nuclear Futures".
oft energy advocacy
After returning to the United States, Lovins guided mountaineering trips in the White Mountains of
New Hampshire. The shock of the 1973 energy crisishelped create an audience for his ideas, and he appealed to this new audience with the publication of his 10,000-word essay "Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken?" published in "Foreign Affairs", in October 1976. [http://www.af-info.or.jp/eng/honor/hot/enr-lovins.html Profile of the 2007 Blue Planet Prize Recipient] ]
Lovins described the "hard energy path" as involving inefficient liquid-fuel automotive transport and centralized electricity-generating facilities. He saw these as giant facilities, often burning fossil fuels (e.g.,
coalor petroleum) or harnessing a fission reaction, that were greatly complicated by electricity wastage and loss. The " soft energy path" which he wholly preferred involves efficient use of energy, diversity of energy production methods (and matched in scale and quality to end uses), and special reliance on " soft energy technologies." Soft energy technologies are those based on solar, wind, biofuels, geothermal, etc. For Lovins, large-scale electricity production facilities had an important place, but it was a place that they were already filling; in general, more would not be needed. One of his main concerns, was the danger of committing to nuclear energyto meet a society's energy needs.
Rocky Mountain Institute
By 1978 Lovins had published six books, consulted widely, and was active in energy affairs in some 15 countries, as synthesist and lobbyist. In 1982, he and his wife, Hunter, founded the
Rocky Mountain Institute, based in Snowmass, Colorado. Together with a group of colleagues, the Lovinses fostered efficient resource use and policy development that they believed would promote global security.
At RMI's headquarters, in Colorado, the south-facing building complex is so energy-efficient that, even with local -40° winter temperatures, the building interiors can maintain a comfortable temperature solely from the sunlight admitted plus the body heat of the people who work there. The environment can actually nurture semi-tropical and tropical indoor plants.
Working with many specialists, Lovins's more recent work at RMI has focused on efforts to transform sectors including the automobile (they designed a hydrogen-powered "
hypercar" [ [http://www.rmi.org/sitepages/pid191.php What is a Hypercar® Vehicle?] ] to provide an example to Detroit), electricity, water, semiconductor, and real estate.
Lovins has briefed 19 heads of state, provided expert testimony in eight countries and more than 20 states, and published 29 books and several hundred papers. His clients have included Bank of America, Borg-Warner, BP, Chevron, CIBA-Geigy, Coca-Cola, Dow, GM, Hewlett-Packard, Lockheed Martin, Mitsubishi, Monsanto, Motorola, Prudential, Rio Tinto, Royal Dutch/Shell, Texas Instruments, Wal-Mart, Westinghouse, Xerox, major real-estate developers, and over 100 utilities. Public-sector clients have included the
OECD, UN, Resources for the Future, the Australian, Canadian, Dutch, German, and Italian governments, 13 US states, Congress, and the U.S. Energy and Defense Departments.
RMI has grown into a broad-based institution with more than 60 staff and an annual budget of some $8 million.
Amory Lovins has received many honorary doctorates and was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1984. He has received the
World Technology Award, the Right Livelihood Award("Alternative Nobel"), and the Nissan, Mitchell, Heinz, and Lindbergh awards. He is also the recipient of the World Technology and "Time" Hero for the Planet awards, the Benjamin Franklin and Happold Medals, and the Shingo, Mitchell, and Onassis Prizes. He has also received a MacArthur Fellowshipand is an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects(AIA).
Books which are authored or co-authored by Amory Lovins include:
Winning the Oil Endgame: Innovation for Profit, Jobs and Security" (2005) ISBN 1-84407-194-4 ( [http://oilendgame.com/ReadTheBook.html Available Online in PDF] )
Small is Profitable: The Hidden Economic Benefits of Making Electrical Resources the Right Size" (2003) ISBN 1-881071-07-3
Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution" (2000) ISBN 1-85383-763-6
*"Factor Four: Doubling Wealth - Halving Resource Use: A Report to the Club of Rome" (1997) ISBN 978-1853834073
*"Reinventing Electric Utilities: Competition, Citizen Action, and Clean Power" (1996) ISBN 978-1559634557
*"Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings" (1991) ISBN 978-0918249098
*"Energy Unbound: A Fable for America's Future" (1986) ISBN 0-87156-820-9 *"
Brittle Power: Energy Strategy for National Security" (1982 re-released in 2001) ISBN 0-931790-28-X
*"Least-Cost Energy: Solving the C02 Problem" (1982) ISBN 978-0931790362
*"Energy/War, Breaking the Nuclear Link" (1981) ISBN 978-0913890448
*"A Golden Thread: 2500 Years of Solar Architecture & Technology" (1980) ASIN: B000MWEXMC
*"Non-Nuclear Futures: The Case for an Ethical Energy Strategy" (1980) ISBN 978-0060907778
*"Soft Energy Paths: Towards a Durable Peace" (1977) ISBN 0-06-090653-7
* Cousineau; Danitz; Zelov "Ecological Design: Inventing the Future" (film/video), Knossus, Inc., 1994.
* Kolbert, Elizabeth. " [http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/01/22/070122fa_fact_green Mr. Green] ," [Profiles] "The New Yorker", 22 January 2007, p. 34-40.
* Lambert, Craig. " [http://www.harvard-magazine.com/on-line/010451.html The Hydrogen-Powered Future] ," "Harvard Magazine", January/February 2004.
* Thomas, Kas. " [http://www.motherearthnews.com Interview with Amory Lovins] ," "The Mother Earth News", No. 48, November/December 1977.
Soft energy path
Soft energy technology
* [http://www.rmi.org/ The Rocky Mountain Institute's home page]
* [http://www.rmi.org/images/other/Energy/E03-05_20HydrogenMyths.pdf 20 Hydrogen myths] - published by the Rocky Mountain Institute
* [http://rmi.org/images/PDFs/Energy/E08-01_AmbioNuclIlusion.pdf The Nuclear Illusion]
* [http://sic.conversationsnetwork.org/series/si-energy.html Lectures series on energy efficiency] , March 2007
* [http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/news_press_release,213746.shtml The Volvo Environment Prize is awarded to Amory B. Lovins]
* [http://www.bigspeak.com/amory-lovins.html Amory Lovins Profile Page]
* [http://www.economist.com/science/tq/PrinterFriendly.cfm?story_id=11999219 The frugal cornucopian]
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