Lovins predicts the coming oil price crash won’t be like the last one
The world can always use another profile of Amory Lovins — here’s one in The Economist. (Check out the nuke boosters in comments — man, those guys are like spurned lovers. Let it go already.)
My skepticism about Lovins’ rosy predictions is captured here:
Fine, but what about the specific criticism that any coming oil-price crash will completely undermine all efforts at forging a clean-energy revolution? … Mr Lovins thinks that will not happen again, thanks to two forces reshaping energy that even a price crash would not wipe out: the need to deal with climate change and the energy-security concerns of a post-September 11th 2001 world.
The thing to note is that neither climate change or energy security militate directly for the kinds of solutions greens want. Green solutions are among the range of possible responses — others including military adventurism, blunting the suffering of the poor via jingoistic nationalism and xenophobia, bunkering the rich into secure redoubts, and exploiting the resources of weaker countries.
Climate change and energy vulnerability will put the U.S. under stress. Perhaps that stress will open the establishment’s eyes to the wisdom of resource efficiency and distributed energy generation. But I’m not as sanguine about that prediction as Lovins.