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Saul Griffith & Steven Chu on U.S. Energy Flow, Burning Man & Eating Meat

At our third gathering of What’s Now: San Francisco, hosted in partnership with Capgemini, Saul Griffith presented a never-before-seen map of U.S. energy flow, and extolled the virtues of monster truck rallies over Burning Man. Griffith and his team at Otherlab created a map, now available to the public, that provides incredible detail about energy use by type (i.e. coal, solar, wind) and by economic sector (i.e. residential, commercial, government). Griffith and his team hope that this data will encourage scientists and entrepreneurs to tackle any of the many problems that are in dire need of energy innovation.

Griffith answered audience questions about the sustainability of ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber, the merits of farmers’ markets versus industrially produced food, and the environmental costs of eating meat.

Griffith’s primary piece of advice for audience members was to urge their representatives to follow science-based policy. This recommendation was reiterated by former U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, who encouraged all who were gathered to conserve energy by cutting back on the usage of traditionally energy-sucking devices like cars, air conditioning, and cable boxes.

Read coverage of the event in Coexist and Think Progress.

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  • Arc2Arc

    Is the flow diagram a transfer of the similar concept developed previously at LLNL or does it include significant revision? Obviously the format has improved accessibility but what else has changed? Who will pursue further refinement and who will keep the data current. In his previous position the honorable Mr Chu had access to lots of resources to do this type of work. What now?