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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Reinventing Fire...

"To shrink U.S. energy use while GDP grows 158% is not a fantasy; in nine of the 36 years through 2009, the U.S. economy actually did raise energy productivity faster than GDP grew. Chapters 2–5 9 (of "Reinventing Fire") show how to do that every year, with major competitive, security, health, and environmental advantages, simply by using energy in a way that saves money, modulating demand unobtrusively over time to match energy’s real-time value, and optimizing supply from the cheapest, least risky sources. This transition won’t be easy, but will be easier than not doing it. It is already underway, driven inexorably by innovation, competition, and customer preferences. Just as whale-oil suppliers ran out of customers in the 1850s before they ran out of whales, oil and coal are becoming uncompetitive even at low prices before they be come unavailable even at high prices. It’s about $5 trillion cheaper, and smarter in other ways, not to keep on burning them, even if their hidden costs were worth zero. 

Here's something that should appeal to those captivated by profits at the expense of the planet and people. Profit-at-any-cost lovers can have their cake and eat it, too...without continuing the current destruction in order to have their fortunes! In fact, move your investments into renewables if money is your object: Amory Lovins makes a great analogy* to the photos of two Easter Parades in NYC separated by 13 years. In the earlier shot, a sea of horse-drawn carriages, with one or two ModelTs sprinkled in...the early adopters of the new technology, cars of course. In the second, 13 years later, the reverse: Horses replaced by what we now get around in. Now the cutting edge is renewables. Fossil fuels are the horse-drawn carriage of our age...break the fossil fuel addiction.

Deep gratitude to the earth for her patience as this slow learner - the human - learns its lessons.