Price of Doing Nothing

Chicago Council on Science and Technology presents:The Price of Doing Nothing: The World’s Energy Future

Energy determines the aspirations and the limitations of a society.

A vibrant global society fifty years from now requires strategic decisions regarding energy—how we will fuel our engines, power our lights and warm our homes tomorrow–be made today. Energy is a basic need of human society, like food, shelter, communication and mobility.


The conventional approach is to project the future of energy based on today’s technologies, and view it as an extension of the present. However, this approach is not only shortsighted; it doesn’t work: for example, while the US and other countries continue to build wind capacity, turbines routinely get turned off during the windiest hours overnight in some areas—the grid simply can’t store the energy, and demand is low during the time the power is generated. Storage technology just hasn’t kept up with generation technology.

A more proactive approach is to define the global society we want in 50 years, identify the energy outcomes needed to enable that society, and target the R&D needed to get there.

Join Chicago Council on Science and Technology and Dr. George Crabtree, Director of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), Senior Scientist and Distinguished Fellow in the Materials Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory,as we explore what the future of energy could look like.

A new international energy landscape is emerging as developing countries create their energy infrastructures. What will they look like? And as new energy technologies move away from fossil fuels toward more sustainable sources and uses, the current infrastructure in developed countries won’t do. Promising R&D opportunities that promote vibrant, interactive and rapidly advancing national and global societies in 50 years will be analyzed.

Crabtree has led workshops for the Department of Energy on topics such as hydrogen, solar energy, superconductivity, materials under extreme environments, and basic science for energy technology. He has testified before the U.S. Congress on the hydrogen economy and on meeting sustainable energy challenges.

WHEN:Thursday, October 24, 2013. Registration 5pm; program 6pm –8pm.

WHERE:NorthwesternUniversity’s Chicago Campus, 303 E. Superior St., Baldwin Auditorium, Chicago, IL 60611. Discounted parking will be made available at 222 E. Huron to the first 50 attendees.

TO REGISTER:Free for C2ST members, $5 students, $20 nonmembers. Visit to register.

THIS PROGRAM WILL ALSO BE LIVE STREAMED. Join us through this link (which will also be available on our website):

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