"Non-Nuclear Energy Strategies"

DOI10.1177/004711787600500302
Publication Date01 Apr 1976
AuthorAmory B. Lovins
SubjectArticles
998
"NON-NUCLEAR
ENERGY
STRATEGIES"*
by
AMORY
B.
LOVINS
Nuclear
issues
cannot
be
considered
in
isolation
from
a
complex
tangle
of
broader
issues
of
energy
and
social
policy,
any
more
than
automobiles
can
be
considered
in
isolation
from
the
wider
patterns
and
values
of
human
settlements
and
mobility.
To
do
so
would
be
a
common
but
serious
error.
The
most
important
and
difficult
questions
of
energy
policy
are
not
primarily
technical
or
economic
but
rather
social
and
ethical,
and
cannot
be
properly
framed
by
people
whose
vision
is
purely
technical.
Such
questions
are
the
subject
of
this
article.
Which
energy
policy
makes
sense
for
a
given
society
depends
on
what
sort
of
society
it
is
to
be,
what
values
are
important
in
it,
where
people
want
to
live,
what
they
want
to
eat,
and
what
they
want
to
get
out
of
their
lives
and
to
leave
behind
for
their
children.
All
these
things
can
to
a
large
extent
be
chosen
through
the
political
and
economic
process.
But
people
cannot
choose
options
that
they
do
not
perceive,
and
often
cannot
perceive
options
that
they
have
not
experienced.
One
job
of
the
energy
strategist
is
thus
to
present
and
assess
some
alternatives,
as
carefully
and
credibly
as
possible,
with
enough
imagination
to
see
how
wide
the
range
of
choices
really
is.
People
suffering
from
a
three-day
week
in
Britain,
or
going
without
hot
water
in
Stockholm,
or
deprived
of
their
accustomed
air-conditioning
in
sealed
New
York
buildings,
may
believe
(or
be
led
to
believe)
that
they
are
having
a
taste
of
life
in
a
low-
energy
society;
and
this
may
be
true.
But
it
may
equally
be
true
that
it
would
not
be
like
that
at
all
- that
disruption
and
privation
are
instead
a
taste
of
life
in
a
vulnerable
high-energy
society.
The
energy
strategist
must
not
only
develop
tools
to
help
the
political
process
to
explore
such
choices;
he
must
also
encourage
a
fundamental
re-examination
of
the
social
role
of
energy,
of
the
difference
between
demand
and
need,
and
of
the
possibility
of
achieving
liberal
social
goals
without
rapid,
or
even
any,
growth
in
the
rate
of
consumption
of
primary
energy
stocks.
Our
energy
choices
have
traditionally
rested
on
a
series
of
self-
fulfilling
prophecies
- forecasts
based
on
correlation,
not
caus-
ality.
Our
forecasters
have
assumed
that
rapid
energy
growth
is
essential
for
a
healthy
economy
and
full
employment.
Yet
there
is
no
evidence
that
this
assumption
is
true;
indeed,
in
the
only
country
(USA)
where
it
has
been
carefully
studied,
it
appears
to
be
untrue.
So
entrenched
is
the
dogma
nevertheless
that
most
people
in
the
countries
with
the
grossest
national
products
find
it
hard
to
imagine
what
life
would
be
like
with
more
efficient
use
of
energy;
but
with
the
levels
of
primary

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