Amory Lovins appeared on the Charlie Rose show on November 28, 2006. Through the magic of Google Video, you can see the interview at Charlie Rose – Amory Lovins / Ian Schrager.
At the beginning of the interview, Charlie began talking about how Amory had attended Oxford. I was impressed by the honest of Amory’s response:
“I dropped out of both Harvard and Oxford. Harvard wanted me to specialize too much.”
This is much more in line with what I found out and published on a post titled Amory Lovins’s Academic Career than the description that many publication have given of him being an Oxford educated physicist.
As usual, however, a careful listen to Amory makes my mathematical head hurt. He blithely talks about “tripling” the efficiency of vehicles including trains, planes and automobiles while giving high praise to Boeing for its new Dreamliner with its 20% improvement in fuel efficiency. There is a huge gap between a 20% improvement in a yet to be delivered aircraft and tripling the overall fuel efficiency of the entire aviation sector of the transportation industry. Similar comments apply to other vehicles.
It is kind of sad – Amory and I have many philosophical agreements, but I am governed by the reality of my experience from being a fan. His prescriptions are vapor and quite hazardous to our collective health. (He is, by the way, also very honest about his friends in high places in the oil industry and in the Pentagon leadership. Since Pentagon leaders are presidential appointees, that is actually a rather redundant statement.)
I am looking forward to a chance to ask Amory a question or two – he is the next scheduled speaker at the Energy Conversations series that I have mentioned in past posts. The talk is scheduled for 12 December – you can find details at “Winning the Oil Endgame” | Energy Conversation