Energy drives our civilization: onward towards the limits of human imagination, ever closer to the grave consequences of oil depletion. Technology is often viewed as a mythical force, seemingly bestowing its gifts on an often misguided species in a neutral manner; though what if the best technologies don't always win? Are all the energy solutions we're banking on to continue a capitalist consumer lifestyle just an innovation away from mass deployment? Could social choices of technologies be far from rational? What if the most important electric loads were the ones invented by utility companies? Why does America consume so much energy and believe so heavily in the transcendent role of technology?
In Extraenvironmentalist #16 we speak with Alexis Madrigal about his book, Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology which discusses the precarious path our species has followed towards a more perfect power. Alexis is a senior editor at The Atlantic where he writes about technology and media while tweeting prolifically from @alexismadrigal. Alexis explains how many of the green technologies, now touted as shiny new innovations, have existed for the greater part of the last century and have been stifled through a combination of poor policies and irrational developments. We wonder about the role of innovation in the future, do we have all the technology we really need or are we on the verge of a renewable energy breakthrough that can revolutionize our world?
At the end of this episode, Dennis McKenna joins us once again (at the 1h37m mark) for an apology to Matthew Watkins who was incorrectly lambasted in the previous episode for his critiques to the Timewave theory.
// Music (in order of appearance)
Metric - Twilight Galaxy (Gladkill Remix) via Ohh So Famous
Milagres - Glowing Mouth viaThe Music Ninja
The Dictator's Speech with Inception's music by Hans Zimmer via Youtube
Foster the People - Houdini (Valida's Step Out Mix) via Earplugs Not Included
Blue Sky Black Death - Sleeping Children Are Still Flying viaPotholes In My Blog
Purity Ring - Lofticries via Gorilla vs. Bear