Small Screen Looks At an Electrified America




This is Scientific American's 60-Second Science. I'm Steve Mirsky. Got a minute?
So in "Beyond the Light Switch 1 and 2, we kind of looked at the nation's energy mix: what our energy options are for producing electricity going forward."
David Biello. He's the energy and environment editor at Scientific American and host of the Beyond the Light Switch series, produced by Detroit Public Television and aired nationally on PBS.
The original episodes aired back in 2012.
"Now in the new episode, Beyond the Light Switch 3 if you will, we're looking at what it would mean if the United States went more electric.
One of the ideas for cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution and a lot of the other problems we have with fossil fuels is to get rid of internal combustion engines and replace them with electric cars.
To have electric cars you need better batteries.
And we explore what the options are for getting those better batteries.
"We also look at what better batteries might do for soldiers.
I spoke with soldiers who served in Iraq basically guarding fuel convoys, which was the most dangerous job.
A significant chunk of our casualties came from these fuel convoys, which were like, really, rolling bombs.
"So those are the kinds of things we're looking at in this episode.
And what that might mean for the American home in the suburbs.
We visit this kind of innovative suburban experiment, really, in Texas, outside of Austin.
It's called the Miller neighborhood.
And basically most of the people there have photovoltaics, most of the people there have an electric car or a hybrid.
And most of the people there have their homes wired with the latest smart gadgets.
A lot of that is subsidized so that folks can study how that impacts, kind of, consumers' behavior.
"So it's really a deep exploration of the electrification of the U.S.,
and what that might mean for our national security, for our economic security, for jobs, and really for our environment.
And it premieres tonight in Detroit and should be coming to a station near you in the coming days and weeks and months.
So keep an eye out and stay tuned."
Thanks for the minute, for Scientific American's 60-Second Science. I'm Steve Mirsky.