There was a time when human beings worshipped nature. The sun, animals, plants and the earth itself were revered and protected. From worshipping nature to trying to conquer and control it, we’ve come a long way. After decades of trying to overpower the very things that allow us to exist, there is now a growing awareness of the need to surrender our assumed powers, a need to sustain the forces of nature. In an ironic twist of fate, the thing that makes this possible is the very thing that took us away from all things natural: technology. Only this time, it comes with the world ‘green’ attached to it.
From energy-saving methods, to the generation of alternate options to fossil fuels, to the ability to recycle and reuse existing resources, technology paves the way for new ways of sustainable living without losing out on the comforts of 21st century.
Amory Lovins, an American physicist, environmental scientist, writer and the Chairman/Chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute, has worked in the field of energy policy for four decades. Lovins is of the opinion that we can maintain our standard of living with all its comforts and still save the planet, if only we use technology the right way. One of his greatest contributions to environmental science and sustainability is his campaign for the ‘soft energy path’. This involves the use of new technologies to harness alternative energies like geothermal, solar and biofuels to replace non-renewable fossil fuels like coal. The soft energy path has impacted the resource policies of the US and other nations from the 1970s on.
Lovins is also the inventor of the Hypercar, an ultra efficient mode of transport.
The Negawatt was a concept introduced by Amory Lovins. It is a theoretical unit of power measuring the amount of energy saved. Lovins created this measure with the idea that it would help cut down electricity consumption without changing energy usage, simply by using more efficient and modernised power sources. His focus on making electricity use more efficient has helped save enormous amounts of power and, of course, money.
Lovins believes that technological innovations by large companies and awareness on how to access the best energy ‘buys’, are the way forward. His book ‘Reinventing Fire’ rethinks the four sectors of the economy that are traditionally energy-intensive: transportation, buildings, industry and electricity. Lovins’ green technology ideas are never at the cost of economic growth; in fact, they aim to enhance it.