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Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  124 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Imagine fuel without fear. No climate change. No oil spills, no dead coalminers, no dirty air, no devastated lands, no lost wildlife. No energy poverty. No oil-fed wars, tyrannies, or terrorists. No leaking nuclear wastes or spreading nuclear weapons. Nothing to run out. Nothing to cut off. Nothing to worry about. Just energy abundance, benign and affordable, for all, fore ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published October 15th 2011 by Chelsea Green Publishing Company (first published October 1st 2011)
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Relentlessly positive doesn't even begin to describe this book. Lovins has made a career out of advising companies and governments how to be energy efficient, and while I suspect that in his off-message moments (if he has any) he would agree that his achievements have been small in comparison with the scale of the problem, nevertheless he has achieved much. He's a hero, and in his case I use the term advisedly. He's also a consultant and as such optimism is a professional necessity. Trouble is, ...more
Ever since its discovery, humans have been fascinated by and feared fire. In Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era, by Amory B. Lovins and Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), fire is energy. Over thousands of years, the wood burning fires of our ancestors have become the fossil fuels we burn to generate the energy that powers our current civilization. Reinventing Fire presents a vision and road map for carrying out a new energy strategy by 2050.

The Bottom Line

Amory B. Lovi
The subtitle should have been a clue to me about the focus of this book--Bold Business Solutions. The ideas are exciting, and I love seeing that a future without dependence on fossil fuels is possible. What I don't get from this book, though, is how I help to make that possible. I don't direct large business, and so I felt left out of the conversation.

I also didn't like all the sidebars and such; it's formatted like a modern-day textbook, which makes me feel unable to focus on any idea for very
At first I thought it was just an update to Natural Capitalism - and it was to some extent - but Reinventing Fire is actually a roadmap for how the US can reduce it’s CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050 (as suggested by the IPCC to avoid catastrophic climate change).

Lots of graphs and figures and, as I’ve found with other RMI writing, the information is sometimes conveyed in a more complex and convoluted manner than is necessary (which makes some ideas harder to wrap your head around than they should b
More classic Amory Lovins. The book is the usual, glorious blend of stat-backed nerdery (both financial and technological) with a surprising veneer of optimistic and illuminating prose. It is the road map for getting off fossil fuels entirely within the next four decades, all while saving several trillion dollars compared to "business as usual". It is a grand vision and, were it not for the 750 footnotes, one would assume it was too bold and upbeat to be possible. Much like Natural Capitalism, i ...more
Douglas Ross
Lovins and his Rocky Mountain Institute colleagues lay out a compelling case for why the dubious "global warming" debate actually detracts from solving the real problem. Energy is a much broader problem of; national security, jobs, technology innovation and competitive advantage, as well as climate change and the environment. The path to renewable energy and energy independence by 2050 is laid out in layman's terms and is based on profits, growth and free market capitalism. This is the best summ ...more
It is "Textbooky" and thus coffee table/lue sort of reading material...or perhaps a good text for an environmental studies class, political action group, or anyone researching what they can do to be part of the solution. It is a well detailed outline of realistic transition to a sustainable energy future.
Eye opening book about HUGE hidden opportunities.
Karl-Friedrich Lenz
As in my review here of Mark Lynas' "The God Species" the other day, this is just a rather long copypaste of four reviews I wrote on my blog last November. Here we go.

(1) All of the above, published on Lenz Blog November 17, 2011

A couple of days ago I bought the Kindle edition of Amory Lovins' latest book "Inventing Fire - Bold Solutions for the New Energy Era".

I have enjoyed reading it and learned many interesting facts. This book is essential for anyone interested in the field of energy.

I read this entire book for my book group which I think is quite an accomplishment for me. I learned quite a bit about alternative sources of fuel. There are options presented here I had never dreamed about and not always in the status quo of "going green" the way we tend to think of the future. It's more like "going greener". One of the more interesting statistics (for me) is that cars got the best gas mileage in the mid-80's. Worst year for gas mileage - 2001. This is why my mid-80's Prelude g ...more
This phenomenal text book should be used at universities and community colleges across this country. Amory Lovins is the great genius of energy conservation. My problem with him over the year was that he presented too much information in such arcane language as to render is deliver indecipherable. Reinventing Fire is understandable and highly comprehensible by the casual reader and the professional alike. That said this book is a must read by those who are in government and businesses interested ...more
Alex Rogers
I didn't feel that I really learned a lot new here - some interesting chapters, but on the whole I've read a lot of more interesting books on the subject.
Ken R.
Not always engrossing reading, but everyone involved in making business and political decisions about energy should read it.
Geoff Davies
Lovins has for a long time been at the forefront of showing us what we already do that will revolutionise the world, and save it. This is an excellent recent summary that cuts through all the nay-saying and shows that a healthy world is there for us to choose. The only thing stopping us is the bullshit and fear propagated in the mainstream conversation.
Lovins and his Rocky Mountain Institute are well ahead of the mainstream. I have a severe problem with the underlying suggestion that humans can engineer their ways out of the energy/resource problem that is coming... but Amory Lovins is world famous and I'm a nobody so maybe that says enough. The graphics and flow of the book though are so well done too... easy to appreciate the learning that was taking place as I read it.
My friend suggested I read this to see the reality and value of investing in new energy. I have to admit the argument was pretty clear. Not only were numerous examples of the positive given, but it presented it from a pragmatic lens rather than a purely political one. This is bound to have more appeal and impact with the conservative crowd.

Nothing really new here.
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