RMI Outlet explores topics critical to RMI’s mission to transform global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, zero-carbon future for all.
The United States uses a tremendous amount of oil each year—enough to fill a large football stadium more than 350 times. More than half of this oil is imported, partly from volatile Middle Eastern countries. Why do we consume so much? We drive the kids to soccer games. We ship orange juice from Florida to Maine. We make business trips from Denver to Houston. More than 70% of U.S. oil in 2009 was used to the transport of people and goods. Such a heavy reliance on oil to sustain our modern lifestyles leaves us defenseless when gas prices soar to over $4 per gallon.
The term, “coopetition” is often thrown around RMI. It describes a spirit embraced by innovative companies to set aside their differences and collaborate toward a common goal—one that is often much bigger and more ambitious than what an organization could reasonably achieve alone.
The black box “voodoo” that many consider building energy modeling to be today is being dragged into the spotlight. New, more aggressive building efficiency standards, codes and disclosure rules such as those implemented in San Francisco, New York City and Washington, D.C., are already acting as change agents, driving greater focus on the importance of energy modeling as an accurate predictor of true energy use.
As the “grave and unpredictable” nuclear crisis in Japan continues, energy experts both internationally and domestically are questioning the viability of nuclear to deliver safe and reliable energy.
As heroic workers and soldiers strive to save stricken Japan from a new horror—radioactive fallout—some truths known for 40 years bear repeating. An earthquake-and-tsunami zone crowded with 127 million people is an unwise place for 54 reactors. The 1960s design of five Fukushima-I reactors has the smallest safety margin and probably can't contain 90 percent of meltdowns. The U.S. has six identical and 17 very similar plants.