Whenever you're gettin' down on the world and the prospects for humanity, here's what you do: Listen to Amory Lovins, the prophet of negawatts and the author of Winning the Oil Endgame
. The man is positively unshakable in his conviction that the solutions to our energy predicaments are near-at-hand and, indeed, that success in surmounting them is just around the corner. On the ocassion of the 25th anniversary of his Rocky Mountain Institute
, Lovins is interviewed by Grist's David Roberts
and Newsweek's Fareed Zakaria
. The Grist interview is more brass-tacks, under-the-hood type stuff, while the Newsweek
one more general and glancing. When Zakaria, stating the obvious, says "You're an optimist," Lovins responds:
I think we will look back in a few decades and wonder what all the oil fuss was about because, just like whale oil, we will have made this product obsolete. Oil is going to become, and has already become, uncompetitive, even at low prices, before it becomes unavailable even at high prices. So we will leave it in the ground. It's very good for holding up the ground, but it won't be worth extracting.
Hmmm. Bowing to Mr. Lovins' superior intelligence, I'm not so sure about that. At the same time, to borrow a line from Mr. Hemingway, Isn't it pretty to think so?