Fixing The Grid: Our Relationship With Electricity. Gretchen Bakke

Our lives depend on it and most of us don't give it a moment's thought. But when the electricity goes off we feel frustrated— powerless.

America's grid was an engineering triumph of the twentieth century, but as the recent sudden freeze and severe power outages in Texas have shown, our electricity infrastructure is fragile and in need of basic repair, especially as the world faces the growing reality of extreme weather events and climate change. On their own solar and wind power are not enough to meet rapidly growing electricity demand. What are other viable, carbon-free alternatives?

We discuss strengthening the grid, re-imaging it according to modern values, and our relationship with electricity with cultural anthropologist, Gretchen Bakke, author of "The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future."

"It's not just that electricity is a modern marvel," Gretchen tells us in this episode. "It almost starts to feel like a natural right. With the pandemic, we really feel how important electricity is to being connected with the world. Everything is plugged in."

Recommendation: Jim is watching the hilarious French TV series, "Call My Agent" on Netflix. Richard suggests that we watch more movies and TV shows with subtitles from all parts of the world.


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