Electricity just happens. Flip a switch, and the lights turn on. The system is reliable enough and invisible enough that it's easy to spend your entire life not knowing how it works, even though you use it every day. But in an age of limited resources and environmental change, ignoring our electric infrastructure is a luxury we can no longer afford. The good news: Infrastructure is fascinating. Maggie Koerth-Baker explains how our flawed and surprisingly precarious electric system evolved, how it controls what we can and can't do to solve our energy crisis today, and what we can learn about the future of energy by studying its past.
Maggie Koerth-Baker is a science journalist and the science editor at BoingBoing.net, one of the most widely read blogs in the United States. Her work has appeared in magazines like Discover, Popular Science, and New Scientist, and on websites like Scientific American, and National Geographic News. Her book, Before the Lights Go Out, chronicles the inner workings of the American electrical system, why it works the way it does, and how it will have to change to meet the energy needs of a new generation.
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