26 September 2023

The Big Switch: Australia’s Electric Future

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Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

By Saul Griffith, Black Inc., $27.99.

Climate change is a planetary emergency, and something needs to be done now. Inventor, entrepreneur, engineer and Australian visionary Dr Saul Griffith has a plan.

He lays out a detailed blueprint – optimistic but feasible – for fighting climate change while creating millions of new jobs and a healthier environment. Griffith explains exactly what it would take to transform our infrastructure, update our grid and adapt our households. The same natural advantages – incredible resources on an enormous continent – that helped Australia prosper in the 20th century are the ingredients for becoming the most prosperous, entirely renewable, economy in the world.

Most scientists view 1.5ºC degrees of global warming from pre-industrial levels as the temperature we should not exceed if we wish to keep the world’s biological and ecological systems functioning largely as they have during the flourishing of our species over the past 10,000 years.

“The point is, we don’t have to be perfect to solve climate change. We just need to be electric. If we go hard and go early on cutting emissions – and if by so doing we encourage other countries to increase their ambition and follow us – we have everything to win. We’ll be winning so much, we’ll win, win, win, win, win. Lower energy prices for all Australians. Driving our vehicles will be cheaper than it has ever been. Heating our homes and our showers will be cheaper too. The average household will probably save $5000 a year or more on energy and car expenses.”

An inspiring, practical plan to transform Australia’s energy system and supercharge our response to the climate crisis

“Now is the time to unify our country’s approach to climate change with the same old-fashioned dedication and hard work. A human generation is often approximated as 20 years. We have one generation to do this job.”

What is the temperature of global warming from pre-industrial levels which we should not exceed? If the answer is correct, you could win a copy of The Big Switch. Entries should be sent to [email protected] by Monday, 20 March 2023. Names of the winners will be published in Frank Cassidy’s PS-sssst…! column on 21March 2023.

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