The following profile first appeared in the Grapevine, a daily newsletter produced by Home Energy Magazine staff at the biannual ACEEE Summer Study in Buildings, heald at the beautiful Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, California.
Steve Greenberg and Danny Parker have been attending the ACEEE Summer Study separately and together since the 1980s. You may know Steve as the Berkeley Lab facilities engineer who delivers the Grapevine by bicycle every morning. The conference serves as a regular punctuation for their long
friendship. Over the years, the duo’s attendance has begun to develop its own rituals. Danny arrives to the Bay Area from Florida, and the two carpool down in Steve’s electric vehicle, which is more than a decade old and whose glove box contains a scribbled notebook documenting the details of every single electric charge the vehicle has ever received. They are both incessant empiricists who revel in the collection and interpretation of data.
On the way to Asilomar they stop at a family member’s house for a good meal, good conversation, and the inevitable postprandial nap. The EV gets a good charge too, and soon they’re back on the road headed together to yet another Summer Study.
Watching the two friends interact, their respect and affection for each other is apparent. “I ask Steve for help with technical problems all the time,” says Danny. “This guy’s handy and he can actually do things. If I were stranded on a desert island, Steve is the one person I would want with me.” Both Danny and Steve were members of Art Rosenfeld’s “corral” from the early years of energy efficiency and among the young researchers Art would delegate his curiosity to. Danny credits Art’s prescient advice to look into the potential savings of reflective roofing materials as key to jump starting his own career in energy efficiency.
In his Champions of Energy Efficiency award acceptance speech on Tuesday night, Danny offered encouragement to those just entering our industry. Asked to give advice to those beginning their own paths Steve offered, “People make mistakes. Smart people learn from their mistakes. Really smart people learn from other people’s mistakes.”