Earth911 Podcast Innovator Interview

Earth911 talks with Roger Duncan and Dr. Michael E. Webber of the University of Texas at Austin. They are the authors of The Future of Buildings, Transportation, and Power. We discuss the profound changes in the ways we travel and the places we work or live that will occur as we build a sustainable economy. Listen in to hear the political, social, and economic opportunities and challenges that will emerge as electricity displaces internal-combustion engines and fossil fuel power generation.

Duncan and Webber describe a world in which cars and buildings are “sentient-appearing” systems that learn and adapt to their users. How should the U.S. prepare for a smart, networked environment? We talk about their advice for President-elect Joe Biden and his administration about the transformation of education and policy necessary to provide widespread prosperity in the sustainable era. They are techno-optimists who believe technology can wring immense efficiencies out of current, wasteful economic system, which will fund new green jobs and companies capable of supporting everyone’s basic needs. We also explore how information technology can continue to grow in importance without creating more new CO2 emissions than it saves.

Roger Duncan and Michael E. Webber
Roger Duncan and Michael E. Webber

We also talk through the sudden changes in behavior caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, which has accelerated the adoption by companies of sustainable practices. After three decades, the digital transformation of society leaped forward because of the pandemic as people stay home and work remotely, organize and manage services, such as home grocery delivery and new retail experiences, and rethink their relationship to work.

Check out The Future of Buildings, Transportation, and Power to learn more about what we can expect in the future of sustainability and the ways we live. You can also find them at

By Earth911

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