RMI Outlet, Rocky Mountain Institute’s blog, explores topics critical to RMI’s mission to transform global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future.
Plug Into New Ideas
We’ve all heard a common myth about the Empire State Building: if someone drops a penny from the roof, and it hits someone on the ground below just right, it will split them in half. When an audience member at the recent Aspen Business Luncheon asked ESB owner Tony Malkin to validate, he responded, “I’m in the real estate business, and we don’t have that kind of money to throw around.”
Last week, President Obama announced a plan to boost the fuel economy of vehicles sold in the U.S. from 27.5 to 54.5 mpg beginning in 2017—effectively doubling fuel economy standards by 2025. This important step—agreed upon by the auto industry after some wrangling—to reducing America’s reliance on foreign oil requires annual fuel-economy increases of 5 percent for cars.
Last week, technology ruled at FORTUNE Brainstorm Tech in Aspen, Colo., where participants were abuzz about the latest gadgets, companies, tools and programs to shape the competitive business landscape. Serving as a “marketplace of ideas,” the conference assembled innovators of the Fortune 500 and the next generation of leaders to shape the future of business.
“We all have to seriously sit down and see the other side,” says Catawba College senior Sarah Moore, who is majoring in environmental education. “Our failure to see the other side holds us back, especially in the environmental movement.” This belief, as well as Moore’s internship at Catawba’s Center for the Environment, has motivated her to spend her last summer of college helping to organize a cross-disciplinary national environmental summit for high school students.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently announced a program to make the city’s buildings more energy-efficient. Now that he’s taken a bold step to save taxpayer dollars and create hundreds of jobs by shaving the energy consumption of City Hall, the Harold Washington Library and other government buildings, what’s next?