Amory in ’08!
You want a president with…Vision? Intelligence? Compassion? Commitment? Look no further. Vote Amory in ’08.Amory Lovins, or simply “Amory,” already has the one-name celebrity recognition perfectly suited to America’s love of familiarity. Oh, and if it means anything to voters, Amory’s work at Rocky Mountain Institute is changing the world – one “negawatt” at a time.Negawatt is a mantra at RMI. It means the opposite of a megawatt for reducing energy consumption through efficiency. This is where Amory derives his cache of growing support. He doesn’t scold piggish consumers and condemn them to Spartan simplicity, but instead advocates for providing goods and services with minimal waste. This makes Amory a populist conservative with a liberal mindset – a “Popconlib.”Amory doesn’t have presidential hair, and his tonsured, mustachioed appearance lacks stereotypical presidential style, but that suits him perfectly as a reformer, a refreshing antidote to the American Idol model of American democracy.If Amory refuses the nomination, then he’ll have to be drafted for the leadership he can bring to office: “Hundreds of our alumni are making important contributions,” said Amory in a recent interview. “And thousands of people I meet all over the world say we’ve inspired them to rekindle hope and commit to action.”Hope, commitment and action are the words by which Amory lives, words the rest of the world needs to believe in, especially at a time when global challenges make you feel, in the words of Tom Lehrer, like a Christian Scientist with appendicitis.I once asked Amory how he keeps going in the face of daunting obstacles. He thought for a split second and said, “What’s the alternative? I keep going because I believe in the end results. Otherwise, there is only despair.”Amory practices what he calls “aikido politics,” the art of steering political and market forces in a positive direction. He does this with deft agility by grasping problems and converting them into benefits using the inertia of the status quo: “We’ve gotten more astute about how to harness causality and influence, and far more deeply engaged with commerce as our prime instrument of outreach and effectiveness. Now we’re poised for a whole new level of effectiveness.”Amory approaches global change through economic incentives, namely the profit motive. The big lever for correcting wasteful government and business practices is to improve the bottom line. Amory’s strongest argument is that resource efficiency improves national security.”I’d like us to help bring the Hypercar revolution to fruition; set the United States, then others, irreversibly on the journey beyond oil and beyond coal; help drive the integrative-design and biomimicry revolutions; embed in dominant public and private policy the enormous opportunities for profitable climate stabilization; and continue the military’s transition to a new strategic triad that integrates conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and nonprovocative defense.”These are not words you’ll ever hear from George W. Bush, mainly because he can’t pronounce them, let along comprehend them. These are the words of an enlightened intellectual with deep passion for the vitalizing power of positive change. His inaugural speech could have heads spinning and journalists scrambling for dictionaries.Imagine the Lovins White House … an array of solar panels on every roof, a banana-growing atrium in the Oval Office, low-e windows in every casement, new caulking and insulation, compact fluorescents in every light fixture, a Hypercar motorcade, an ultra-light Air Force I, a clothesline in the Rose Garden! Pass on the popular political posturing of polished pontificating promoters. Choose substance, sincerity and brains. Vote Amory in ’08!Paul Andersen’s column appears Mondays.
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