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Book Data

ISBN: 9781603585385
Year Added to Catalog: 2013
Book Format: Paperback
Book Art: 89 figures, 6 photos, and 6 tables. Full color throughout.
Dimensions: 7 1/2 x 9 1/8
Number of Pages: 352
Book Publisher: Chelsea Green
Release Date: September 18, 2013
Web Product ID: 777

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Reinventing Fire

Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era

by Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute

Reviews, Interviews, & Articles

  • Choice Review (ALA): "Energy forms the basis of modern living and is tied to every country's economic, political, social, health, and environmental policies. This well-documented work by energy expert Lovins (cofounder, Rocky Mountain Institute) and RMI staff begins by discussing the growing economic and environmental impact of fossil fuel dependence. Next, separate chapters address four different energy-intensive sectors in the US: transportation, buildings, industry, and electricity. Each chapter includes data on current energy consumption along with ways to change existing patterns (e.g., new designs, renewable sources, more-efficient practices). The concluding chapter "Many Choices, One Future," looks at the US in 2050: shortened workdays, decreased road traffic, a cleaner atmosphere, and a huge amount of capital formerly wasted on fossil fuels available to address various social challenges. This assumes that the path charted in "Reinventing Fire" is at work. The authors argue that their proposal is economically feasible and would create jobs, positively impact the environment, and enhance the global competitiveness of the US. Among the barriers listed, the resistance of political incumbents and an absence of visionary political leaders committed to these fundamental changes stand out. A must read for anyone who deals with energy, especially decision makers. Summing up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals; general readers. -- J. Tavakoli, Lafayette College
  • Foreword Reviews

    Reinventing Fire is an engaging and comprehensive introduction to the issues and challenges tied to our nation's energy use. Amory Lovins is a noted authority on energy—especially its efficient use and sustainable supply. In 2009, Time named him among the world's 100 most influential people, and Foreign Policy, one of the 100 top global thinkers. In 1982, Lovins co-founded the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), an independent, nonprofit think tank focused on the "efficient and restorative use of resources."

    The team's expertise is evident, as Lovins and fellow RMI researchers outline the current state of energy use, including what they call the nation's "addiction to fossil fuels," and propose an array of transformational solutions. Their long-term view emphasizes smart business strategy over public policy as the route to the "new energy era." The "winners" in this new era will be those companies, organizations—and even nations—nimble and innovative enough to anticipate and realize the opportunities.

    Following a review of our energy profile today, the book sets the stage with two contrasting scenarios for energy consumption in 2050, one that is "business as usual" and one that "reinvents fire." The optimal scenario would reduce overall energy consumption through innovation and efficiency, while increasing use of renewable sources and bringing a multitude of benefits—to the economy and the environment, as well as to our health and national security.

    The book acknowledges that there are no easy answers, as it reviews options for freight and passenger transportation, building and construction, manufacturing, and the generation of electricity, but it also notes that "miracles are not required." Numerous illustrations and case studies offer real-world examples of how companies and organizations may reduce use, modulate demand, and optimize supply. Each chapter closes with a recap of key recommendations grouped in categories that are increasingly aspirational, ranging from "no regrets" to "opportunities" to "innovative."

    Forewords from executives at Shell Oil Company and Exelon Corporation are consistent with the generally business-friendly tone of the book. Although informed consumers and motivated policymakers will be instrumental in creating the new energy era, Lovins looks ultimately to business for the most sweeping changes: "Who will become the Microsoft of making electricity demand nimble? . . . Will oil companies fade into history like buggy-whip makers and whalers, or will they become dominant players in clean energy and biofuels? As the greatest transition in industrial history unfolds, will America lead this transition or trail behind others?"

    The challenges posed by this book are at once inspirational and daunting, but Reinventing Fire makes it clear that facing them with passion and ingenuity is essential to our future prosperity as a people and a nation.

    Kristen Rabe

  • Book News Review: Author Lovins, a government consultant on energy, is co-founder and chief scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute, an independent think-tank on the use of natural resources. In this color illustrated book for business leaders and others, Lovins predicts that if businesses start now to adopt currently available alternative energy technologies at normal rates of return, the US can realistically stop using oil and coal by 2050, for a savings of $5 trillion. The author argues that because the necessary legislation and public policy are already in place for the transition to clean power, the transition can come about through market-based innovation across many different industries. After explaining the true costs of oil and coal, the book focuses on transportation, building design, improvements in industry energy efficiency, and carbon-free electricity generation. The book's reader-friendly layout includes color photos, charts, and case and example boxes on every page, combined with an accessible writing style. While the contributors are all affiliated with Rocky Mountain Institute, the book's content has been reviewed by outside experts as well. A web site offers supporting methodological and technical material. (Annotation ©2012 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)
  • Energy Trends Insider Review
  • KALW Interview
  • Time.com Article: How to End Blackouts Forever (By Amory Lovins)
  • Home Power Review
  • Energy Bulletin Review
  • Resource Magazine Review
  • Treehugger Review
  • Green Times Review
  • Cool Climate Review
  • Energy Transition Review
  • Mindful World Review
  • IEA Interview
  • GreenBiz Review
  • Union Tribune San Diego Interview
  • Treehugger Recommends Reinventing Fire
  • Excerpt published in Scientific American
  • Foreign Affairs Article by Amory Lovins
  • Guardian Review
  • GreenSource Interview
  • Yale Daily News Review
  • C-NET Article
  • ThinkProgress.org Article
  • Seventh Generation Review
  • The Gary Null Show: Today's Guest is Amory Lovins
  • Living on Earth
  • New York Times Economix Blog
  • List of Lovins' Articles at RMI
  • WorldChanging
  • National Geographic
  • Mother Jones Interview
  • The Guardian
  • Mother Earth News
  • Mother Earth News
  • Yale Climate Project
  • Buildings
  • Discover Magazine
  • Business Week
  • Vattenfall Interview

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