Griffith’s book offers an optimistic—but still realistic—action plan for fighting climate change. The key? Electrify everything
Climate change is a planetary emergency. We have to do something now… But what? Saul Griffith—inventor, entrepreneur, engineer, and founder of nonprofit Rewiring America—has a plan.
In Electrify: An Optimist’s Playbook for Our Clean Energy Future, Griffith lays out a detailed blueprint—optimistic but feasible—for fighting climate change while creating millions of new jobs and a healthier environment. Griffith’s plan can be summed up simply: electrify everything. He explains exactly what it would take to transform our infrastructure, update our grid, and adapt our households to make this possible. Griffith, an engineer and inventor, calls for grid neutrality, ensuring that households, businesses, and utilities operate as equals; we will have to rewrite regulations that were created for a fossil-fueled world, mobilize industry as we did in World War II, and offer low-interest “climate loans.”
Griffith’s plan doesn’t rely on big, not-yet-invented innovations, but on thousands of little inventions and cost reductions. “Switching to more renewable energy sources, such as wind power, and solar are important,” writes reporter Rachel Pannett in a profile of Griffith for the Washington Post. “But there is little use in having wind or solar power if your stovetop, furnace, and water heater are powered by gas.”
We can still have our cars and our houses—but the cars will be electric and solar panels will cover our roofs. For a world trying to bounce back from a pandemic and economic crisis, there is no other project that would create as many jobs—up to 25 million, according to one economic analysis.
Billionaires may contemplate escaping our worn-out planet on a private rocket ship to Mars, but the rest of us, Griffith says, will stay and fight for the future. “This will not be easy, and people will tell you it is politically impossible. But it is still possible,” he writes in the book’s introduction. “The earth is bigger than politics, and to meet our challenge, politics as usual must change.”
Electrify in the media:
- Griffith wrote an op-ed for TIME, in which he argued that the answer to climate change “is actually quite simple and requires no miracle technology: we must electrify everything, fast.”
We Can Beat Climate Change If We Do One Thing Fast
- A review of the book by Bill McKibben appeared in the New York Review of Books; McKibben writes, “I don’t think anyone else has quite so credibly laid out a realistic plan for swift action in the face of an existential crisis.”
The Future Is Electric
- Griffith joins other climate experts in a roundtable discussion in the New York Times about the climate crisis and the limits of politics.
What if American Democracy Fails the Climate Crisis?
- An excerpt of Electrify appeared in Fast Company, highlighting electric cars and home appliances.
How we get to 100% electrical everything
- Bill McKibben, environmentalist and author of The End of Nature, praises Griffith’s work and Electrify in two pieces in the New Yorker:
Are We Finally Ready to Tackle the Other Greenhouse Gas?
Joe Biden’s Solar Plan and the Prescience of Jimmy Carter
- Griffith was interviewed by Dwell about Electrify and his work at his nonprofit organization.
Inventor Saul Griffith Wants to Electrify Everything, Starting With Your Home
- The Washington Post profiled Griffith for their Climate Visionaries series, highlighting brilliant minds worldwide working to find climate solutions.
An Australian inventor wants to stop global warming by electrifying everything
- A profile of Griffith and his work appeared in PV Magazine, discussing his book, work, and his argument that climate action can be reimagined by thinking about the electric “machines” that can be installed in our homes.
Reshaping the climate conversation
- The Arts Fuse reviewed Electrify, writing that the book offers pragmatic steps to create a better environment and a stronger economy.”
Book Review: How to Win the War Against Climate Change—Go Electric
- Griffith was interviewed in The Economist’s Intelligence Unit podcast alongside Albert Cheung and Ramya Swaminathan, discussing what it would take to transform our economies to center around sustainable energy sources.
- Kirkus Reviews called the book “surprisingly optimistic, realistic, and persuasive” in a starred review.
Electrify by Saul Griffith
- The Next Billion Seconds podcast interviewed Griffith about the book and his work.
Would electrifying everything eliminate carbon emissions?
- Alta included the book in a round-up of books they’re excited about in October.
12 New Books for October
- Griffith was interviewed for the Writer’s Voice podcast.
Saul Griffith, Electrify: An Optimist’s Playbook For Our Clean Energy Future