What if society completely phased out fossil fuels? This week, Saul Griffith joins the show to discuss how this future is actually possible. Best of all, much of the work can be done with our existing technology—starting from inside the home. Saul founded the organizations Rewiring America and Rewiring Australia, dedicated to the electrification of those countries. He’s also the author of Electrify: An Optimist's Playbook for Our Clean Energy Future and The Big Switch: Australia’s Electric Future. Saul talks about the efficacy of the variety of climate solutions on the table, from nuclear energy to carbon capture, and from geoengineering to his preferred method of electrification. GPT-4 also supplies a potential pathway to the complete electrification of society based on Saul’s book—but is it too fantastical? Or does it not go far enough?
Read the AI-generated stories for this episode here.
Read the transcript of this episode here.
For more info on the podcast and transcripts of all of the episodes, visit www.possible.fm/podcast.
03:50 - Hellos and intros
04:50 - How Saul manages to stay optimistic
06:55 - How to inspire action against climate change
08:36 - Climate change is mostly a “machines problem”
14:41 - Why and how the solution should focus on households
17:47 - Should nuclear energy be part of the climate solution?
21:21 - Responding to GPT-4 “electrifying the world” story
23:56 - Responding to critics
25:20 - The technology that’s still required for sustainability
29:42 - Carbon capture and storage: use cases and limitations
33:50 - The importance of systems change—a “new social contract”
43:45 - The efficacy of geoengineering
48:10 - Rapidfire questions
55:10 - Debrief with Reid and Aria
Possible is a new podcast that sketches out the brightest version of the future—and what it will take to get there. Most of all, it asks: what if, in the future, everything breaks humanity's way? Hosted by Reid Hoffman and Aria Finger, each episode features an interview with a visionary from a different field: climate science, media, criminal justice, and more. The conversation also features another kind of guest: GPT-4, OpenAI’s latest and most powerful language model to date. Each episode has a companion story, generated by GPT-4, which will serve as a jumping-off point for a hopeful, speculative discussion about what humanity could possibly get right if we leverage technology—and our collective effort—effectively.
Possible is produced by Wonder Media Network and hosted by Reid Hoffman and Aria Finger. Our showrunner is Shaun Young. Possible is produced by Edie Allard and Sara Schleede. Jenny Kaplan is our Executive Producer and Editor. Special thanks to Nan Ransohoff, Christin Pelgrum, Surya Yalamanchili, Saida Sapeiva, Ian Alas, Greg Beato and Ben Relles.