SUSTAIN #4: Would electrifying everything eliminate carbon emissions?

Inventor Saul Griffith has a radical proposal: electrify everything, saving energy, money, and cutting emissions almost to zero. It simultaneouisly transforms the costs of climate change into enormous opportunities. Co-host Sally Dominguez explores three amazing new battery technologies.

A must-read companion to SUSTAIN:

Saul Griffith’s forthcoming book ELECTRIFY is, well, an electrifying read that makes the clear, and obvious case that electrifying everything (coupled with renewable generation) is the win-win solution for the planet and our economy. Pre-order it here.

Sally Dominguez loves sodium-ion batteries, and here’s a report about why they may come to rival the dominant Lithium-ion batteries we use today…

Sally and I both love ‘structural batteries’ – they’ll allow us to store electricity pretty much everywhere, in pretty much everything. Read about them here.

SUSTAIN #3: Can we collect and store enough renewable energy to replace coal-fired electricity?

In 2020, renewables became the cheapest source of electricity – and frequent guest Ramez Naam brings us all the stats about this fully underway transition to solar and wind power. But without cheap storage, renewables will never be able to be the entire solution for a world that looks to need a lot more electricity. Australian startup MGA Thermal may have invented the ideal technology to accelerate our transition from coal to solar.

Read this article about how much wind energy the USA added to the grid in 2020 (a record!)

Here’s a Techcrunch article about MGA Thermal getting backed by Australian VCs Main Sequence – and their power station trial in Switzerland.

And finally, here’s a story about the day that solar generation (briefly) eclipsed generation by coal-fired plants in Australia’s winter!

SUSTAIN #2: Will electrified transport help us ‘flatten the curve’ on climate change?

Mercedes goes all in on EVs, with studies now indicating EVs do save 50% of emissions over their lifetime, versus petrol vehicles. Is this enough to keep on course to a low-carbon future? And what about flying cars? Co-host Sally Dominguez and Special Correspondent Drew Smith have some answers.

Mercedes goes all electric by 2030 – read about it here.

Study confirms EV has much lower lifecycle emissions than petrol vehicles – read that here.

Here’s that mindblowing video from Joby Aviation, showing how quiet this eVTOL ‘flying car’ really is!
And a really long flight with their aircraft – proof that electrification of air travel can work!

SUSTAIN #1: Can we ‘flatten the curve’ on climate change?

The recent UN report on climate change gives us about twelve years to really reign in our carbon emissions. That means it’s time to think clearly and methodically about how to get the most benefit for the least pain. We can do this!

At nearly 4000 pages, the IPCC Sixth Report on the Physical Science of Climate Change isn’t a quick read — but the first hundred or so pages contain the condensed facts. Everything you need to know to make decisions today to keep us on SSP1 – the path toward no more than 1.5ºC warming. Grab it here.

GEOPOLICHIPS #4: Will the next war be fought for control of semiconductors?

TSMC – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation – now fabricates the best computer chips available at any price, transforming Taiwan into a prize that China needs in order to continue its rise as an economic and military superpower.

To service the growing demand for semiconductors, South Korea has committed nearly $200 billion.

TSMC is planning on investing at least $100B over the next four years.

GEOPOLICHIPS #3: How did America lose the semiconductor race?

For sixty years, Intel made the best chips in the world. As of 2020, they no longer do – and a company you’ve likely never heard of now holds the chip-making crown.

One of the key events reported in this episode concerns the firing of Intel Chief Engineering Officer Murthy Renduchintala after the chip maker announced delays in development of its all-important 7-nanometer semiconductors.

Not long after that, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich stepped down.

GEOPOLICHIPS #2: Why do computers get faster and smaller and cheaper?

More than 60 years ago, integrated circuits created a revolution in electronics that transformed the entire world. How are chips made? And why do we keep getting better at making them?

The ALTAIR 8800 was a landmark in computing – the first ‘microcomputer’, built around Intel’s breakthrough 8080 microprocessor. I remember it from the cover of Popular Electronics:

A magazine issue that changed the world, and kicked off ‘microcomputing’.

You could buy the ALTAIR 8800 in kit form, or fully assembled:

All of which led Paul Allen and Bill Gates to write ALTAIR BASIC, and sell it through their new company: MICROSOFT.

GEOPOLICHIPS #1: Why is there a global shortage of computer chips?

Manufacturers of video game consoles, automobiles – even toothbrushes – have been impacted by a global shortage of semiconductor integrated circuits – computer chips. How did these devices become so central to everything we make?

Read the amazing Playboy interview with William Shockley below…

Episode 5.08 – What stands in the way of electric vehicles?

Co-host Sally Dominguez and special correspondent Drew Smith explore the many facets of vehicle electrification with Mark. EVs are finally happening – but does that make them inevitable?

(Pictured: GMC’s new Hummer EV SUV, coming at the end of 2021)

Episode 5.06 – What’s the next fuel after batteries?

Co-host Sally Dominguez looks beyond battery-powered vehicles, opening the door to a future featuring hydrogen, “paste”, and ammonia-powered engines. This diverse transition from fossil fuels enables a range of new vehicles for all of the ways we’ll live and work in the decades to come.

Sally’s new book EPIC Resilience is a great guide to staying match-fit in an ever changing world. Grab a copy here!

Episode 5.05 – Has Europe gone ‘all-in’ on electric vehicles?

Special correspondent Drew Smith explores a European car market that appears to have reached a tipping point in sales of electric vehicles. Is it real? Is it sustainable? Can the power grid handle all those new EVs?

Drew asks the experts – and gets some surprising answers.

Drew co-authors the amazing ‘Looking Out’ newsletter – read the latest one here.