Shifting away from oil: A move toward a sustainable future


Amory Lovins is one of the world’s leading authorities on energy. In particular, he is an expert in regards to its efficient use and sustainable supply and would deliver a captivating sustainability-focused talk. I am an adamant supporter of all areas of sustainability and what can be done to make the world a “greener” place. Global warming is happening now. The effects are evident not only in the obscure places of the world like the North and South Pole but even here in the United States. Drastic storm systems and high off-season temperatures are becoming more and more frequent. My home town was just wiped out by Hurricane Sandy and it will take years to rebuild all that was lost. I am very close to these issues and I am always looking to raise more awareness.

As the vice president of the Environmental Club here at Bucknell, I am always looking for ways to make our campus more green. Our initiatives include promoting people to conserve water, use less electricity, recycle, etc. Lately we have been hoping to enlist some more outside help because it gets to a point that our badgering of people as they walk through the LC Mall just doesn’t work anymore. Bucknell could really use the advice of Amory Lovins to raise awareness on the issues of the dependence of the United States on oil.

In his talk, “A 50 Year Plan for Energy,” Lovins drives home the point that we must leave oil before it leaves us. Not only should we start saving electricity, but we should also be making it differently. This is a talk that describes the steps that can be taken to allow the United States to no longer be dependent on oil and coal by 2050. When I first heard him suggest that figure, I was pretty apprehensive to believe that we could change that quickly. I still think Lovins is a little too naïve in how simple he believes this challenge to be, however, his proposals have a lot of possibilities. His talk outlines the sectors in the United States that need to change. He also discusses the solutions, but directs his listeners to read his book Reinventing Fire to get the full details of all the suggested solutions. Perhaps if we were able to get Lovins to speak at Bucknell, we could also have him do a book signing after the talk. That will promote more people to read his book prior to the talk and simultaneously spread more awareness. Just remember that peak oil is around the corner and more people should really be listening the ideas of Amory Lovins!

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5 thoughts on “Shifting away from oil: A move toward a sustainable future

    • I’m really not an expert on the peak oil debate. It is a huge controversy and the actual date of when oil is to reach its peak is constantly being challenged. I believe Lovins said peak oil would be in 2016, when other sources say 2014, and some say that it has already passed. His talk isn’t so much geared toward the threat of when it will occur, but what we need to do as a nation to prepare to be less dependent on the resource.
      Also, my hometown is Beach Haven on Long Beach Island, NJ. It might be time to rethink living at sea level!

  1. Look at how much change the internet wrought in our economy in 20 years. In 1992, just email for a few people. No WWW. No ebay, Amazon, Google. That was the FIRST wave of change, before mobile platforms and “social media.”

    So, what can happen in 50 years will blow your mind. In 1962, much of Jim Crow still was in place and people were lynched for registering Black voters.

  2. Yes, I suppose I am being way too close-minded. 2050 is still about 40 years away. I’m curious about what changes will happen between now and then. Hopefully more people jump on the bandwagon of supporting visionaries like Lovins. Then I will have more faith that we will be able to accomplish all that he has proposed.

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