Saul Griffith - "Electrify" - Professor Robert Rosner

Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Saul Griffith

Join us for a conversation with Saul Griffith on his book, Electrify: An Optimists Playbook for Our Clean Energy Future. He will be joined in discussion by Prof. Robert Rosner.

Presented in partnership with UChicago ECo

Virtual Event

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About the book: Climate change is a planetary emergency. We have to do something now--but what? Saul Griffith has a plan. In Electrify, Griffith lays out a detailed blueprint--optimistic but feasible--for fighting climate change while creating millions of new jobs and a healthier environment. Griffith's plan can be summed up simply: electrify everything. He explains exactly what it would take to transform our infrastructure, update our grid, and adapt our households to make this possible. Billionaires may contemplate escaping our worn-out planet on a private rocket ship to Mars, but the rest of us, Griffith says, will stay and fight for the future.

Griffith, an engineer and inventor, calls for grid neutrality, ensuring that households, businesses, and utilities operate as equals; we will have to rewrite regulations that were created for a fossil-fueled world, mobilize industry as we did in World War II, and offer low-interest "climate loans." Griffith's plan doesn't rely on big, not-yet-invented innovations, but on thousands of little inventions and cost reductions. We can still have our cars and our houses--but the cars will be electric and solar panels will cover our roofs. For a world trying to bounce back from a pandemic and economic crisis, there is no other project that would create as many jobs--up to twenty-five million, according to one economic analysis. Is this politically possible? We can change politics along with everything else.

About the author: Saul Griffith, inventor, entrepreneur, and engineer, is founder of Rewiring America, a nonprofit dedicated to decarbonizing America by electrifying everything, and founder and chief scientist at Otherlab. He was a recipient of a MacArthur “genius grant” in 2007.

About the interlocutor: University of Chicago Professor Robert Rosner is the past Chief Scientist and Director of the Argonne National Laboratory. He is currently the William E. Wrather Distinguished Service Professor, Departments of Astronomy and Astrophysics, and Physics, Enrico Fermi Institute, the Harris School of Public Policy Studies, and the College. His research work is largely in the areas of theoretical physics and astrophysics, more specifically theoretical and computational fluid and plasma dynamics and plasma astrophysics. He has been especially active in the areas of solar and stellar physics and high-energy astrophysics, as well as in the use of laboratory experiments in verification and validation of simulation codes and in uncertainty quantification of computational modeling. His recent activities have expanded to include code development for more applied areas, including advanced nuclear reactor design, as well as examination of policy implications of various energy production strategies and the electrification of all transport. He was elected to the “presidential line” of the American Physical Society in 2020, and is currently vice president of the APS.

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