39 North Innovation District Plan Unveiled
The Science in Our Food
Back to Results
Amory B. Lovins, Cofounder, Chief Scientist and Chairman Emeritus of the Rocky Mountain Institute, will be the featured speaker at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center’s annual SEEDS of CHANGE event on Tuesday, September 16, 2014.
Below is an excerpt from Time Magazine
Lovins, who was named by Time Magazine as one of the World's 100 most influential people in 2009, had the solution to the energy problem in 1976. It's taken the rest of us years to catch up. In the wake of the 1973 Arab oil embargo, Lovins wrote his seminal piece in Foreign Affairs comparing what he called "the hard" and "the soft" energy paths.
The hard path, which most people advocated, involved securing more and more fossil fuel at any price. The soft path involved looking for new and renewable energy sources. In 1982, Lovins, who had studied physics and the arts at Harvard and Oxford, founded the Rocky Mountain Institute, where he kept his green drumbeat going, calling for cars that hacked away at the inefficiencies of the postwar era. Now 61, he is watching as his arguments become accepted wisdom and is even helping in the transition away from fossil fuels, as when he taught Wal-Mart how to make its trucks more efficient. It's been a long wait — more than three decades — but Lovins' patience has clearly paid off.
Amory Lovins recently explains to Forbes contributor, Devin Thorpe, why existing technology can reduce carbon emissions by 80%. “The United States now wrings more than twice as much work from its energy as it did 40 years ago, yet most of the energy used today is still wasted. We can now save twice as much as I then claimed (to much ridicule), but at a third the real cost. With the best modern techniques, more efficiently converting energy into the same or better services can save, for example, about ⅔ to ¾ of the energy we use in buildings (with a 33% IRR), half in industry (21% IRR), and ≥4/5 in transportation (17% IRR)). “Integrative design”—optimizing buildings, factories and industrial equipment, and vehicles as whole systems for multiple benefits, not isolated components for single benefits—can often make big savings cost less than small or no savings, turning diminishing returns into expanding returns.
Modern energy efficiency makes it easier and quicker to switch supplies from old, expensive technologies to newer, cheaper, safer, cleaner ones. Reinventing Fire showed how with a 14% IRR and a $5-trillion NPV saving, the United States could run a 2.6x bigger economy in 2050 with no oil, coal, or nuclear energy and ⅓ less natural gas. This would require no new inventions or Acts of Congress, but could be led by business for profit. For more from Forbes, click here.
SEEDS of CHANGE, hosted by the Danforth Center’s Leadership Council and sponsored by J.P. Morgan will begin at 7:30 a.m. with a breakfast reception in the lower atrium followed by Lovins presentation, REINVENTING FIRE: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era, at 8:00 a.m. in the AT&T Auditorium at the Danforth Center, 675 N. Warson Road.
Follow along on Twitter and use the hashtag #SEEDS
Danforth Center: @DanforthCenter
Amory B. Lovins: @AmoryLovins
Rocky Mountain Institute: @RockyMtnInst
Reservations are required but complimentary; seating is limited. To reserve your seat, call (314) 587-1077 or register on-line.
| Seeds of ChangeEnergyAmory Lovins