The concept of national security is moving beyond bullets, bombs, soldiers and warcraft to encompass the country’s internal resilience, health and environmental sustainability. What’s needed, say two leading environmental visionaries, is the equivalent of a wartime mobilization to create a sustainable planet including a far more decentralized infrastructure. On this week’s edition of Bioneers, global energy strategist Amory Lovins and Oberlin College Professor David Orr advocate sustainability as the strategic imperative and foundation for a new national security narrative. The military is starting to agree.
About the speakers:
Amory Bloch Lovins (born November 13, 1947) is an American physicist, environmental scientist, writer, and Chairman/Chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute. He has worked in the field of energy policy and related areas for four decades. He was named by Time magazine one of the World’s 100 most influential people in 2009.
Lovins worked professionally as an environmentalist in the 1970s and since then as an analyst of a “soft energy path” for the United States and other nations. He has promoted energy efficiency, the use of renewable energy sources, and the generation of energy at or near the site where the energy is actually used. Lovins has also advocated a “negawatt revolution” arguing that utility customers don’t want kilowatt-hours of electricity; they want energy services. In the 1990s, his work with Rocky Mountain Institute included the design of an ultra-efficient automobile, the Hypercar.
Lovins has received ten honorary doctorates and won many awards. He has provided expert testimony in eight countries, briefed 19 heads of state, and published 29 books. These books include Reinventing Fire, Winning the Oil Endgame, Small is Profitable, Brittle Power, and Natural Capitalism.
David W. Orr (born in Des Moines, Iowa) is the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics at Oberlin College and a James Marsh Professor at the University of Vermont. He is a well known environmentalist and is active in many areas of environmental studies, including environmental education and environmental design.
He holds a B.A. from Westminster College (1965), an M.A. from Michigan State University (1966), and a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania (1973). He serves as a trustee for several organizations including the Rocky Mountain Institute and the Aldo Leopold Foundation.
In 1996, he organized the construction of one of the greenest buildings in North America, the Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies at Oberlin College.
He has been awarded a Bioneers Award in 2002, a National Conservation Achievement Award by the National Wildlife Federation in 1993, a Lyndhurst Prize in 1992 awarded by the Lyndhurst Foundation and the Benton Box Award from Clemson University for his work in Environmental Education (1995).