Since the Arab oil embargo in 1973, the United States has gotten more new energy from efficiency than from all net expansions of domestic energy supplies put together."
That's all well and good, Mr. Lovins, but Britain and Japan have done even better than we have... and did you notice that they are even more vulnerable to disruptions in their energy supplies than we are? And that this is due to their lack of domestic resources?
Efficiency is essential, but it does not by itself yield energy (and national) security. In math lingo, it is necessary but not sufficient. We need energy supplies on which we can rely, and efficiency is just one way of keeping ourself away from dependence on the unreliable.
This refusal to even talk about energy supplies is part and parcel of Lovins' position against nuclear power. His token nods to ethanol and hydrogen (from what source?) are mere obfuscation. He's hoping that if he doesn't talk about it, both it and the need for it (or something else that fills the same need) will go away.
Yes, it's true that we can go a long way with "negawatts". CF bulbs and hybrid cars are great ways to slash the need for electricity and petroleum, but no off-grid homeowner has ever conserved all the way to energy independence. At some point you have to set up the wind turbine, hang the PV panels, or lay the pipe for the hydro generator. You can insulate the heck out of the building (look to these guys for ideas and even kits), but something - even if it's only the people and equipment inside, or the sunshine through the windows - has to generate the heat to keep it warm in the winter.
Sooner or later you've gotta make something. Ignoring or even downplaying that part of the picture is a critical, perhaps fatal, error.
Visits since 2006/05/11: