Live webchat about energy, past and future, tomorrow afternoon

The way we use and make energy is going to change, one way or another. Tomorrow afternoon, you can join me, along with The Atlantic's Alexis Madrigal, author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology , and Science magazine's Eli Kintisch, author of Hack the Planet: Science's Best Hope - or Worst Nightmare - for Averting Climate Catastrophe, for a live web chat as we talk about how Americans created the energy systems we live with today, and how we might build better ones for the future. "Green Energy's Forgotten Past, Uncertain Future" starts at 3:00 Eastern on ScienceLive. We'll be taking questions from the audience and talking about our respective books, including my upcoming book "Before the Lights Go Out: Conquering the Energy Crisis Before it Conquers Us," which is due out next March.


  1. The following event was partly inspired by “Powering the Dream,” which I purchased when I read about it here on bb — TIA for more ideas:
    We’re looking for ideas and help organizing a TEDx event, including help in thinking about a theme. Our local team could handle this, of course, but we thought it would be worthwhile to try to include a wider variety of voices, and maybe start a larger conversation.

    Our thinking about this has been influenced by listening to Paul Gilding on NPR’s On Point: here’s a link to the show. If you don’t have 45 minutes to listen to the program, you could check out the Amazon page and associated reviews of Gilding’s book, The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring on the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World.

    Mr. Gilding’s approach to what might seem like a very depressing topic is hopeful and empowering, for the most part, and that’s what we have in mind for this TEDx event.

    Here’s the (still rather rough) premise of one possible theme:

    When it comes to energy and global climate change, it seems most Americans can be loosely grouped into 3 tribes (with some overlap), each of which is well-meaning, in its own way:

    a. Global climate change deniers;
    b. Entrepreneurs and others who think we can innovate our way out of any problems, and that new energy sources will be found to replace existing ones;
    c. Citizens who are quietly concerned, hoping and trusting that someone else has the situation under control; some of these citizens are making personal changes — sometimes substantial ones — to do what they can to avert or minimize global climate change.

    What if all three tribes are wrong? Wouldn’t it be a good idea to practice thinking about it?

    What might be some benefits of acting as if all three tribes are wrong? How could it change our business ideas, our approach to education, our planning and policy?

    Is an event geared to thinking about these issues something you, dear reader, would be interested in attending? Who should be targeted as potential attendees?

    Do you, or someone you know, have an idea for a talk at this event? Do you know someone who is already thinking and taking action in ways that are consistent with this event’s proposed theme?

    Please follow this link to comment and share any thoughts or suggestions you might have. If you’d prefer to e-mail Steve at (replace -at- with @), that’s fine too. Thanks for joining the conversation!

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