California Burning: Climate Change and America’s Power Grid
The power grid is America’s backbone, a piece of visible infrastructure so massive and so ubiquitous we tend to look right past it—until something goes wrong. In a warming world full of 8 billion humans, a spark in the wrong place can be deadly, as demonstrated by the vicious wildfires that have burned through California in the last few years. At the same time, as humans electrify their cars and stoves and switch to renewable sources of power, it’s becoming even more important that power grids be safe and reliable in the twenty-first century, even if they were born in the late nineteenth century.
The story of the decline of California’s largest utility company, Pacific Gas and Electric, is not just a story for Californians or Americans. It’s a story for anyone interested in the functioning of the world’s largest machines.
Join us online for a conversation between Wall Street Journal reporter Katherine Blunt, author of California Burning: The Fall of Pacific Gas and Electric and What it Means for America’s Power Grid, and Noah J. Gordon, acting co-director of Carnegie’s Sustainability, Climate, and Geopolitics Program. Ian Klaus, founding director of Carnegie California, will kick off the discussion, which will be followed by audience Q&A.