Environmentalist Peter Huber Discusses his Book Hard Green

Environmentalist Peter Huber talks about his book Hard Green, discussing the soft energy path and advocating a move away from fossil fuels.

| October/November 2000

An interview with Environmentalist Peter Huber.

Matt Scanlon talks with environmentalist Peter Huber for MOTHER.

Could you describe what the term "hard green"means?

Well, I am using the term in response to a phrasing that was invented by Amory Lovins in describing what he called the "soft energy path." He was specifically advocating a move away from what he described as the "hard fuels" . . . fossil fuels, generally, and toward what he described as the "soft fuels," namely solar and wind. He emphasized conservation a lot. It was quite an influential thesis [Foreign Affairs, 1976], and it's been quite widely embraced. Not by policy-makers or people who actually generate most of our energy, but by many lifestyle advocates, I suppose.

Do you refute what Amory Lovins said about the benefits of conservation?

No, but I recognize that his philosophy is only one piece of the puzzle. He seems to have spent much less time on the macroenvironment and macroconservation . . . how you preserve forests, and watersheds, arid lakes and streams. It's much more concerned about the microassaults and very long-term effects and elaborate computer models.

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