Evenings with an Author: Michael Webber
11 February 2020 @ 19 h 30 min - 21 h 00 min
A global tour of energy–the builder of human civilization and also its greatest threat.
Energy is humanity’s single most important resource. In fact, as energy expert Dr. Michael E. Webber argues in Power Trip, the story of how societies rise can be told largely as the story of how they manage energy sources through time. In 2019, as we face down growing demand for and accumulating environmental impacts from energy, we are at a crossroads and the stakes are high. But history shows us that energy’s great value is that it allows societies to reinvent themselves.
Power Trip explores how energy has transformed societies of the past and offers wisdom for today’s looming energy crisis. There is no magic bullet; energy advances always come with costs. Scientific innovation needs public support. Energy initiatives need to be tailored to individual societies. We must look for long-term solutions. Our current energy crisis is real, but it is solvable. We have the power.
Michael is based in Paris, France where he serves as the Chief Science and Technology Officer at ENGIE, a global energy & infrastructure services company. Michael is also the Josey Centennial Professor in Energy Resources at the University of Texas at Austin. His expertise spans research and education at the convergence of engineering, policy, and commercialization on topics related to innovation, energy, and the environment. His latest book Power Trip: the Story of Energy was published May 7, 2019 by Basic Books with a 6-part companion series in development for PBS. His first book, Thirst for Power: Energy, Water and Human Survival, addressed the connection between earth’s most valuable resources and offers a hopeful approach toward a sustainable future.