• 59°

Leading global energy thinker to speak at Catawba College

SALISBURY — Physicist Amory Lovins, who is considered one of the Western world’s most influential energy experts, will speak at Keppel Auditorium on the Catawba College campus at 6:30 p.m. April 17.

The program is hosted by the Center for the Environment, in partnership with Clean Air Carolina, the N.C. Chapter of the Sierra Club, the N.C. Sustainable Energy Association, the N.C. Conservation Network, and the Department of Environment and Sustainability at Catawba College.

Lovins, chief scientist and chairman emeritus of the Rocky Mountain Institute, will speak on “Transforming the Energy System for Security and Prosperity.”

In addition to Newsweek’s designation as one of the Western world’s most influential energy thinkers, Time magazine named him one of the world’s 100 most influential people and Foreign Policy named him one of the 100 top global thinkers.

This will be his second visit to Catawba. John E. Wear, executive director of the Center for the Environment, called Lovins “a visionary thinker whose rigorous analysis has changed the way the world thinks about energy efficiency and renewable energy.”

The Rocky Mountain Institute, located in Basalt, Colorado, is a market-oriented, entrepreneurial, nonprofit, nonpartisan “think-and-do tank.” The institute has advised the U.S. government and military, along with governments around the world, including China and India, on energy use.

Lovins, an experimental physicist educated at Harvard and Oxford, has briefed 20 heads of state, advised the U.S. Departments of Energy and Defense, and consulted for more than 65 industries and governments worldwide for more than 45 years.

In North Carolina, Lovins helped launch energy-efficiency initiatives that have saved more than $1 billion so far on college and university campuses.

He has taught at 10 universities, most recently at Stanford’s engineering school and the Naval Postgraduate School. He has served on the National Petroleum Council and the chief of naval operations advisory board.

Lovins has held several visiting academic chairs, written 31 books and more than 630 papers, and designed super-efficient buildings, vehicles, and industrial plants. He co-wrote the best-selling book “Natural Capitalism” and the best-sellers “Small Is Profitable” in 2002, “Winning the Oil Endgame” in 2004 and “Reinventing Fire” in 2011. He is the author of Foreign Affairs’ most reprinted article, “Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken,” which predicted year 2000 U.S. energy intensity within 1 percent.

He has received the Blue Planet, Volvo, Zayed, Onassis, Nissan, Shingo, and Mitchell prizes; MacArthur and Ashoka fellowships; 12 honorary doctorates; the Heinz, Lindbergh, Right Livelihood (alternative Nobel) National Design; and World Technology awards.

In 2017, the president of Germany awarded him the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit, the country’s highest civilian honor.

“Most of the energy we use is wasted,” Lovins says. “Smarter technologies and designs that use energy more efficiently could provide the same or better services with far less energy, money, and risk. Moreover, the fossil fuels that provide most of our energy now generally cost more than the modern renewable sources that have already taken over two-thirds of the world’s power-plant market.

“These profound shifts in both demand and supply set the stage for rapid change in almost everything we thought we knew about energy,” he said. “Oil suppliers have more unsellable than unburnable oil: they are more at risk from competition than from regulation. Electricity suppliers, too, face a swarm of disruptors that will transform their business beyond recognition.

“And meanwhile, Edison’s electric industry is merging with Ford’s auto industry to eat Rockefeller’s oil industry — while insurgents challenge incumbents in all three of these giant industries. These transformations offer remarkable opportunities for informed citizens in every community to build a durable economy and to make energy supplies resilient, so catastrophic interruptions of supply shift from inevitable to impossible.”

The presentation at Catawba is free, but registration is required. Register at www.catawba.edu/energysystem.

Questions may be directed to Cathy Green, cgreen14@catawba.edu or 704-637-4791.



Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending


Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City


Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow


Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh


California population declines for first time


GOP leaders differ on bottom line for state spending


Police: Man killed in shootout with officers in Winston-Salem


Man charged after thieves rob would-be gun buyers of wallets, shoes


Blotter: Four added to sheriff’s most wanted list

High School

High school football: Some anxious moments, but Hornets win state title


Photos: Salisbury High Hornets win big in 2AA championship game


County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money


Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury


At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’


COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary


More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot


City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year


Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots


Quotes of the week


Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days


Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site


City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide


City names downtown recipients for federal Parks Service grant

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs 2021-22 budget priorities, supports buying body cameras