Amory Lovins: Rocky Mountain Institute

Going to talk about climate change, energy, and the spread of nuclear weapons.

“To be truly radical is to make hope possible, not despair convincing.” — Raymond Williams

“Everything works out alright in the end, if it’s not going right then it’s not the end yet.” — ?

Some of the largest companies in the world — IBM, GE, BP, Dow — have been saving huge amounts of money by accelerating their investment in energy efficiency. If we could save 3-4% a year in energy per $GDP we’d stabilize the climate, and it’s profitable! Focus on oil and electricity which are responsible for 4/5ths of the carbon emission in our country. is how to get the US completely off oil by 2040. In the 8 years between 77 and 85 economy grew by 27% and oil consumption went down 15%. Each day your car uses 100x your car’s weight in ancient plants into your car. 87% of the fuel you use is wasted, 6% is used to heat the tires and the road, 0.3% of the energy is actually moving the driver. Toyota went out a 1/X concept car, it has the same interior area of the Prius but with 1/2 the fuel use and 1/3 the weight.

It took the auto industries 6 months to switch from making cars to making the stuff that won the war. Boeing was in deep trouble 11 years ago and their response was the Dreamliner, they’re sold out into 2018, just took 1000th order. It’s made half out of fiber. Rocky Mountain Institute is all about institutional acupuncture. The Pentagon is now the leader in the US government in getting the US not dependent on oil.

Think of it like a Saudi Arabia just found under Detroit when we switch cars to these new materials, and it’s 12x more crash-resistant to steel. It was change the managers or their minds, whichever comes first. 70% of our electricity goes to buildings, 30% to energy. Houses comfortable at 115 degrees outside due to super-insulation, better comfort, normal construction costs. Integrative design yielding multiple benefits from single expenditures, making big savings cheaper. Now designing new chip fabs, data centers, mines. Hatching a plot for the non-violent overthrow of bad engineering.

There is not a nuclear revival because there’s no investors. It saves carbon but much slower and more expensive than efficiency and micropower. If we set a good example in our own energy policy of reducing or eliminating nuclear we could take away the cover of proliferation that countries like Iran can use to start to develop and acquire the ingredients for nuclear bombs. Micropower is beating central plants wherever it’s allowed to compete. Profitable solutions exist for a richer, fairer, cooler, safer world, allow or require all ways to save energy to compete at fair prices regardless of their type, location, or size.

Applied Hope is the latest report they’ve released.

“Only puny secrets need protection, big discoveories are protected by public incredulity.” — Marshall McLuhan

Tim Ferriss: fear is your friend.

Tim Ferriss as a child [image] power squatting.

I thought I was the Incredible Hulk.

When I was 7 I went to summer camp (my parents needed the reprieve). At noon each day we’d go to the docks and jump into the water. I’d been born with lung problems so I always had issues with water. One day I decided to jump through the tube but one of the bully’s grabbed my foot and I got stuck, I thought I was going to drown. After that day, I was terrified of swimming.

My fear of swimming was a weakness and something I did not like. I’m 31 now and in August I decided to conquer this fear.

My art is deconstructing things that scare the hell out of me.

Swimming: First Principles

Here are the new rules of swimming for any of you who are scared of swimming.

Forget about kicking. The problem is hydrodynamics. See this example, he extends the right arm below his head, his entire body is underwater. The arm is etended below the head, in line with the spine, using strategic water pressure. You use small flicks to rotate hips to dive the arm into the other side. Enter the water at a 45 degree angle and propel yourself by streamlining. This is how I was able to go from 21 strokes to 11 strokes in two weeks.

The right position. Bend your arm into the water, not in a straight line.

Breathing. In freestyle, turn your body, roll and look at your recovery hand as it enters the water.

And that’s it. All you need to know.

Languages: Material vs. Method

I was terrible at languages, like many other people. All I knew was Dónde esta el baño? When I started in a new school, most of my freinds were taking Japanese so I decided to take Japanese. 6 months later I had an opportunity to go to Japan. It was my first overseas experience, my parents encouraged me to do it. I arrived in Tokyo, met my host family, was very excited.

To my host mom in Japanese, I asked to be woken up at 8 am. I used the wrong verb and inadvertantly asked: please rape me at 8 am. She was a very confused host mother.

At school, the teacher gave me a piece of paper and it looked like hyroglyphics – it was Kanji, Chinese characters used in the Japanese written language.

I asked what this was and the professor tried to explain (in Japanese) – I was very confused. But that set me on a panic driven search for the perfect language learning method. Finally I found a tablet, determined by the Ministry of Education in 1931. This became my Holy Grail, my Rosetta Stone. As soon as I focused on this material I took off and I was able to read the Asahi Shimbun 6 months later.

I ended up doing translation work at age 16 when I returned to the US.

I’ve been able to apply this to almost a dozen langugaes – someone who was terrible at languages.

It’s oftentimes not just what you do but how you do it. It’s about being effective, efficient, and doing the right things.

Now I love languages.

Ballroom Dancing: Implicit vs. Explicit

I used to be much bigger, not the build for a ballroom dancer. I found myself in Argentina in 2005. Paid 10 pesos to watch a ballroom dance class, had no intention of participating. Due to an uneven gender balance, the instructor told me to particpate.

I immediately broke out in a death sweat.

Then this gorgeous assistant instructor comes to be my partner, I didn’t know where to put my hands. I hold her and she angrily drops her arms, turns around and shouts: this guy is built like a damn mountain of muscle and he’s grabbing me like a Frenchman.

I found that encouraging. [laughter]

I bought a month’s worth of classes.

Then I signed up for a competition, to give myself a timeline for learning. I got a female instructor first because I wanted to understand the sensitivities of following. Then I took an inventory of the characteristics of different dancers who had won championships. Then I interviewed them and compared the answers.

There were external similarities and implicit commonalities.

1 – Long vs. short steps. Longer steps were much more elegant.

2 – Different types of pivots

3 – Different tempos

These were the elements that I needed to compete successfully.

I won that competition. Then went to the semi-finals. And set a world record 2 weeks later.

[shows training footage]

A strong lead matters. I have 100 hours of footage, most categorized.

I used my arch nemesis Spanish, no less, to learn tango

Fear is your friend.

The best results I’ve achieved was by asking: What’s the worst that can happen?

Take the analytic frameworks, apply them to old fears and big dreams.

When I think of what I fear now it’s simple: what my life would have been like without the educational opportunities I have had.

I’ve built half a dozen schools but I know nothing, I’m a beginner and I would love your advice.

Thank you very much.

Happy Birthday Mrs. Wozniak

Famed organist plays Cameron Carpenter plays Happy Birthday while the audience sings…

Happy Birthay Mrs. Wozniak…. Happy Birthday to You.

And congratulations on being a newlywed.

Automotive X Prize and Airship Ventures

There were three 5-minute pitches from people competiting for the automotive X Prize, and one from Airship Ventures. Brief summaries follow:

Jack McCornack. This thing is called a low-cost, it’s a high school auto version of a Lotus 7. It weighs about half as much out of a Miata, we thought it through as something that gets high performance and mediocre milage. What if we switched it around? I’m a big fan of minimalist design; optimist things the glass is half full, pessimist thinks it’s half empty, minimalist thinks we’re using twice as much glass as we need. Escape from Berkeley – year is 2020, petroleum is a controlled substance. There was a New York Times article about it. After we won it we headed back north, we had a 32 horsepower engine. It gets 70 MPG right now, more streamlined will take us to about 90 MPG.

Jim Stansbury. This is a topic about extremes, we’re addressing the opposite end, the SUV. Transformed the “Green Giant” a 1985 Blazer, turned it into an electric vehicle. Two big electric motors, battery packs, replaced shock absorbers with hydrolic pump. Take our big heavy goliath and exploit that, the pumps add power to the battery pack. [He’s now explaining how the different systems feed electricity to each other.] Channels heat into a WHE, waste heat engine, like a steam engine. Put a solar collector on top of the roop, and add that heat to the waste heat engine.

In China bicycles are the #1 mode of transportation. One of the first products at Zap was an electric bikee, the law decided it was illegal because it was a motor on a bike, as long as it’s under 20 miles it’s still a bike, now have sold 100,000 of them. We made a 3-wheel electric vehicle, had to pass laws in 7 states to make it legal.  I did my first electric vehicle in 1973, because my professor said it was impossible. What about flying cars? THe Alias, wanted to create something that’s sexy, looks fast standing still, and that people actually want.

Airship Ventures. Story of bringing zeppelins back to the US. A shared dream with my wife, Alexander, and myself, we approached Zeppelin corporation, discovered they were still around. This is not your grandfather’s zeppelin. The ship contains the latest advancements over the past 70 years, rigid internal frame of carbon fiber, helium filled. How is the Zeppelin different? It’s much bigger. It’s about 246 feet long. The engines mounted on a blimp gondola are like a puffer fish, they’re small and not very efficient. Zeppelins have an aft engine, can take off at a 80 degree angle, more like a helicopter than anything else. Took about 18 months to build, finished May of this year, flew around Europe for a few months, and then had to get it here. Range of about 500 nautical miles, and only one month of the year it could do a crossing. Put it on a dock ship, to Beaumont, Texas. Reassembled it, and then we flew it here to California. The things we saw across the US were amazing, wild horses followed the shadow of the ship, it really gave you perspective of how darn big this country is. Eventually we reached California, went through Long Beach, came up the coast to CA, made a grand entrance over the Golden Gate Bridge, hovered, spun in place, flies at 1000 feet. Home is hanger 2 at Moffett field. Three models: flight-seeing, science missions, and advertising.

Peter Diamandis

The things we need to expand the human race are in abundant supply in space.

Let me speak about what drives us to make those things happen. Eugene Cernan, the last human on the moon as he’s jumping three feet up in the air, he said “Nothing… NOTHING is impossible” if we can do that.

Gene Cerman on the moon

Everything can be done by bringing together the right people, the right capital, and the right technology. To do something fundamentally different is very risky. Society as a whole holds us back, because the goal is to maintain the status quo. If anything can go wrong, fix it! When given a choice, take both! Start at the top and work your way up. When forced to compromise ask for more. No simply means try harder. Best way to predict the future is to create it yourself.

In 1993 I walked into the offices of the FAA and they said it will never happen. Got approval 11 years later: The person I enjoyed flying the most was Stephen Hawking, it was actually against the rules to fly him, the rules said they needed able-bodied people. We got permission to fly him the day before we took off, which was very convenient. Had 4 ER docs and full emergency room set up. He holds the same chair at as Isaac Newton at Cambridge. They had planned on doing one dive, maybe two if things went really well — they ended up doing 8 parabolas. They’ve been able to change the rules and have taken up a number of wheelchair bound children since then.

Next impossible thing, met Richard Garriot, said I’d love to fly into space. Went and negotiated with the Russians to fly private citizens into the space station. To date there have been 6 customers, started at 20 million, up to 35 million dollars a pop. Sergey Brin put down a deposit on an orbital flight. The idea to create a new generation of private spaceships. I had no idea that Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic to win a price.  Offered 25k to the first person to fly from New York to Paris, 9 teams spent 400k. Lindbergh was 25 years old, within 18 months of his flight passengers increased 30x, number of aircraft increased 4x, aviation stocks soar.

Aviation didn’t get easier, but that event changed what people believed was possible, it was a paradigm change. Could that bring along a new generation of private spaceships to take us into space? The X was going to be the name of the person who put up the money, eventually kept the X and called it the Ansari X Prize. 10 million dollar prize purse, privately funded teams, 3 person reusable spaceship, 100km altitude. Announced in May of 96, 26 teams spent 100 million to win the prize.

Decided to create a prize organization, the leverage of 10-40x above the prize size, and the efficiency of only paying the winners, to affect change. 10 million dollar prize ofor the first team to sequence 100 human genomes in 10 days. 30 million Lunar X prize, private robot to land on the moon. Will probably beat governments back to the surface of the moon. Progressive Automotive X Prize – to inspire a new generation of vehicles, clean production-capable vehicles that achieve at least 100 MPG. Will do races in 5-10 of the top US cities.

The X Prize Foundation has built and organized to identify the grand problems of our time. We’re looking forward to launching a couple of prizes a year. We’re focused underwater, energy and environment, life sciences “bionic human”, health care, global development and education, clean water, power, hunger. Every problem on this planet is solvable, and somewhere on this planet of 6 billion people there are folks who can make magic happen.

Dr. Ken Kamler: Surgeon Explorer

I thought I would take you on a climb up Mt. Everest. And show you what it was like when Everest had the worst disaster in history, a two day storm that raged on and on. I was the only doctor on the mountain.

Mt. Everest is 29,035 feet high – the cruising altitude of a jet. At the summit only 1/3 altitude above sea level. The kind of condition you would find on a summer day on Mars. Climbers are exposed to these severe conditions 16-20 hours a day.

On the occasion I’m going to speak about it was so cold when I went to reach for my water bottle, which was near my chest, and it had frozen completely. I set up a medical basecamp. We were one of three expeditions on the mountain, run by the National Geographic but organized by the Explorers Club.

When your climbing the ice floors, it’s like a rat in a maze, you can’t see where you are going. During the night it is the coldest time but also the least likely for ice shifts. We cross cravases, many are ten stories deep or more, on aluminum ladders bolted together, with harnesses on.

Sometimes we say we climb at night so we can’t see how far we could possibly fall.

The winds are constantly scowling the summit of Everest. We climb in the thin air up toward the clouds. On the way up, climbers rest at the camps on oxygen masks, catching up and then evaluating if conditions are good enough to keep going.

What happened that fateful season, the storm picked up. Climbers were already up on near the summit when the storm hit.

[Image] Climbers with face masks and re-breathers, climbers with oxygen tanks.

[Image] Climbers walking on a sheer drop off . 8,000 feet to the left you fall into Nepal. 12,000 feet to the right and you fall to Tibet. No ropes because it’s so sheer, you’ll likely just pull the other climbers down with you. So you’re on your own in these treacherous zones.

When the storm hit 2 climbers were stuck and could not descend. Another climber had collapsed in the snow, others had passed and had left him for dead. There were 18 other climbers that were unaccounted for.

2 basecamp climbers decided to go for a rescue mission. Their first comment was not SHOULD we go but How fast can we get ready?

Rob and Doug were stuck too far up on the mountain for rescue to reach them. Rob was a strong climber but Doug was weak, and rescue informed Rob over radio that he should climb down and leave Doug. That the conditions were so severe if he didn’t they would both die, so he should come down and save himself. Rob replied: “We’re both listening.”

Rob wanted to speak to his wife via radio. She was in New Zealand 7 months pregnant with their baby. They named their child and Rob signed off. That was the last we heard of Rob.

Effects: snowblindness, frost-bitten body parts, hypothermia.

Beth, who we had assumed was dead, eventually stumbled into the medical camp (with some help). He was severely frostbitten and hypothermic. As we nursed him back to humanity, he began to tell us the story of what happened to him. He got disoriented in the storm, lost and then collapsed. He laid in the snow day and night and another day. Other climbers had passed him, he was aware of them, but was powerless to even call for help, motion for help – give any indication that he was still alive. And during that time he realized he did not want to die.And he thought of his family… and powered himself to get up, and stumble down for help.

The human brain is the most complex machine in the universe.

What was the highest helicopter rescue in history – the pilot risked his life to fly above the helicopter cap to reach the camps. When we all reached the bottom, we had a memorial. Many climbers had died and respects were given.

12 climbers died on Everest that year: Scott Fischer was leading the American Expedition. Rob Hall, most experienced mountaineer in history died because he refused to abandon a climber who was weaker than he. I would expect nothing less from him. And others.

The Tibetans feel that the prayer flags (where prayers of safety are written) are carried by the wind to the gods. That year, for those climbers, the conditions were so extreme, the gods were unfortunately not listening.

Thank you.

Day 2 at EG begins!

We kick off another day at The Entertainment Gathering Conference here in Monterey.

A day filled with conversation, inspiration, knowledge-sharing and creative showcasing.

Today’s sessions include:

Going to Extremes :: Better Pictures :: Invention & Illusion :: Work & Family

Stay tuned here for speaker presentations.

David Macaulay, The Way We Work

I want to talk a bit about process. I’m not just explaining what I’ve learned about the body but how I went about discovering it. I realized at the age of 54 or 55 that I knew nothing about my body or the way it worked. I have young kids and they wear me out, I ache more, and I wantedto know more about why and what it looked like in there.

When I started out from zero, it was a pretty steep learning curve, gathered the books and DVDs and videos, dissections, but still after sketching had some leftover organs. I bought a skeleton, statred to try and understand the backbone a little bit, this magnificant column. The parts of each vertabae, nice place to attach all those tendons and ligaments. The discs, are very squishy in the middle and firm on the outside. Also trying to think of ways to present this information to everybody else after I’ve learned enough. Wanted to find a good way to explain the heart. Made something that looked like something you could make from Ace Hardware. [Shows picture of three digestive systems at happy hour.]

I would come back at the end of the day either in the hospital or with medical student and try to make drawings to see if I really was getting a sense of what was happening inside. Photographers don’t have the luxury of ignoring gravity, illustrators do. Another way to lay this out I thought about was to create a campus, a sort of world’s fair of the body. It’s really as story about cells, and I didn’t realize that when I started. I was trying to draw a double-helix in a way it’d never been drawn before, a pretty useless exercise since it’s been drawn in every conceivable way.

Whenever I got despondent about this book being too much for me I’d discover something like the eye and how the cells bend and stretch in the lens. [He’s now going all the way through cells, RNA, DNA replication, the nervous system, a fast-paced serious of illustrations. This is one to wait for the video for!]

Dana Gluckstein

This is my trusted Hasselblad camera, that I’ve used since I was 23 or 24. I got my first job photographing factory workers for a computer company called Quantum.

You must all be wondering why a Jewish girl from a Republican tribe in Los Angeles found her way to Africa. I am not going to talk so much about my photography, but I want to tell you about my lifelong journey to portrait indigenous people struggling all over the world for their land, their air,
their water, their rights. Many of them will disappear. I want to capture these tribes in transition during this fleeting period of history.

Although I came from an affluent family, two of my father’s sisters had a terminal illness and so we had an early understanding of mortality. My father’s middle sister died when I was 12 and was my first mentor, the first person to really influence me. When I was 19 my dad’s second
sister died of breast cancer, and that really changed me because I wondered if maybe my life would be short and I had to live every day to its fullest. So I went back to Stanford and decided not to study psychology but to follow photography.

The next transitional part of my life was in my late 20s. I had the privilige of studying with the Vietnamese monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King Jr. for his work during the Vietnam war. It made me realize that even though I had been in advertising, art could transform people in a more meaningful way.

Shortly after, I had a dream that I was swimming with an ancient pod of dolphins and I heard the direct words imparted to me that my mission in life would be to work with the ancient ones, and that my job would be to be their voice. Traditional people are inherently close to the earth. They are the keepers of the dream. They are also the canary in the mine, if they perish so do we. For example, if we are dealing with nuclear issues all over the planet, tribal areas are also impacted. I hope when you feel these images that what you feel the essence of the person – a homeopathic healing dose of their DNA that is being transferred to you. In this photograph, her spirit is going out to millions of people.

I feel very much that this work is starting to be a voice for people that don’t always have that voice. I want to tell you a little bit about a project that is my life’s passion and dream that comes from my still photography work with indigenous people. About ten years ago, I read a book
“In the Absence of the Sacred” by Jerry Manders and in that book there’s a chapter where he talks about Hawaii. I learned about young people that gave their lives to stop the bombing of an island called Kaho’olawe that was never on the maps, I was so fascinated I flew up to meet the author and he introduced me to the people in Hawaii. Their story was one of a culture nearly decimated, and it was right in our backyard. We stay in the hotels, we see the dances, but we don’t realize that Hawaiians were beaten for speaking their language, the hula was outlawed because it was too sensual. President Bush Sr. returned the island, Clinton made an apology for all that has been done.

I am in the process of making a feature film of this story based on the life of George Helm, Jr. who was the Martin Luther King, Jr. of the Native Hawaiian people. Many believe he was assassinated in the 1970s. Hawaii is the epicenter of the rainbow melting pot where Barack Obama had his coming of age. Like Obama, George was a powerful visionary and his legacy helped shape Obama’s view of the world.

My images are about the divine breath. We are becoming one tribe. The true meaning of Aloha is the divine breath of God. The word for foreigner means to be without breath. I truly believe that our world is merging and we are connected in so many ways. I would like to leave you with a very brief clip of George Helm. I want you to see that the indigenous story is here in our own backyard. This feature film will tell a universal story of peace.

One of the things that happened this year because of the exhibition is that I was urged to form a non-profit organization called Tribes in Transition to further this historic work of documenting cultures in transition. I look forward to speaking to you in the days to come to hear your ideas and thoughts. I hope you will help me in this endeavor.

Frans Lanting: Photographer

A year ago at EG we shared images on the history of life on earth: from the big bang to the present.

What are you going to do after that? Outer space? We decided to do something more organic and specific. We focused on one group of 35 chimpanzees: CHIMPS at the edge (co-produced by Christina Egstrom, wife and partner)

We wanted to rethink the boundaries of chimps and apes and humans. Now we can appreciate them as close cousins, with the same kinds of enduring lives and personalities and discerning minds. Except for orangs, all great apes live in great Africa, and co-exist with gorillas.

Only a half dozen community of chimps have been studied in a long-term basis. Every time there’s a new study, we learn how chimps can vary. Their culture is very specific. The new ape lady, Jill Goodall, is studying chimps use of weapons. She’s interested to see how chimps and their habitat affects their behavior. We’re hoping this will give us insight into our own behaviors in the early days. Savanna woodland is where apes became human. and in southeast Senegal we can find the land where this happened.

Our main guide in the field could not read or write or had not met a photographer in his life. But he had an amazing sense of the chimps and where they resided.

Searching for chimps is a hard job – we had one meal a day in the evening. it’s not a 9-5 job, it’s a 5-9 job. But the best time to get close to chimps is when they take their mid-day siesta.

At dusk we hike back to the village and review our work. Chimps eat lots of greens and love fruit. Honey is like their candy, they go termite fishing (it’s a delicacy). When males get wild, females get out of the way.

[this is just a handful of what the presenters shared about chimp insights]

It was discovered that Fongoli chimps not only make tools but create deadly weapons and strategically hunt their prey. This is the first time outside of humans that mammals were seen to create and use weapons.

What else will these chimps show us given time and more space for observation?

Self-recognition is another factor that we thought were unique to humans. But we observe a child chimp testing the water in a watering hole, and then discovering (and playing with) her own reflection.

Whether there is a future for wild chimpanzees will be determined in this lifetime. We find this to be a big moral dilemma. We think we owe it to ourselves, our children … to make the right decision.