Electrify Book Review with Mark Tercek

The Climate Revolution Will be Electric

Saul Griffith’s new book provides a clear climate crisis game plan

“What’s the game plan?” is a question I get a lot. “How exactly should we address climate change in the United States?” 

It sounds like a challenge. Those posing the questions imply that climate-concerned leaders have dithered and failed to put forth a credible path forward. They suggest that’s why we haven’t made more progress. 

Here’s my answer: “If we build the right infrastructure, right away, the future will be awesome.” 

I know that Saul Griffith feels the same way, because I’m quoting him. In his great brand new book, Electrify: An Optimist’s Playbook for Our Clean Energy Future, Griffith provides a compelling playbook for dealing with climate change. Griffith argues for doing two very big things as quickly as possible:

  1. On the supply side: make all electricity clean. 
    Think huge and immediate investments in solar, wind, and some nuclear. End burning fossil fuels for energy.
  2. On the demand side: electrify everything you can. 
    Think huge investments in electric vehicles, heat pumps, storage, and so on. 

Griffith credibly argues that these two big steps could address 85% of the decarbonization that America needs to accomplish. 

Please read this book. It’s very timely — especially with Biden’s climate plan under attack right now. (Biden’s original proposal was really well aligned with Griffith’s plan). It’s inspiring too. We can do this. 

Here are my key takeaways: 

  1. Shift the narrative. Climate strategy isn’t about sacrifice or deprivation and certainly not “degrowth”. It’s about making large-scale investments right away that not only address climate but also get the country on track for stronger economic growth, better health outcomes, a cleaner environment, and a plethora of great new sustainable jobs. The book lays out how renewable energy and batteries keep getting cheaper, which makes this positive scenario possible.