I wish I knew, just an old aphorism that's been in my brain, I guess!

Expand full comment

Two hundred years ago, very few people had even heard of the telegraph, and railroads were mainly short-range horse-drawn mining cars and maybe some efforts at local transportation. By the US Civil War, telegraph and steam-driven railroad, while not as extensive as they could have been, were extensive enough across the American expanse to change the entire face of warfare, allowing Lincoln and Davis both to do what Congress and King George couldn't -- control the war at a distance.

One hundred years ago, the highway network barely existed. Telephones were a curiosity.

Fifty years ago, ARPANet was the toy of a handful of computer scientists looking for a way to build a resilient system for transmitting data, with a handful of nodes using leased telephone lines.

Thirty years ago most people were still using the wired telephone infrastructure that had been so meagre one hundred years ago.

Point is...massive infrastructure always seems like too much work if you assume you have to boil the ocean all at once. The Interstate Highway System was built one inch at a time. The Internet's growth wasn't even an organized effort, it just kind of...happened as more and more people wanted it to happen, one node connecting to another node.

You gotta start somewhere, and then just keep putting one foot in front of another.

Expand full comment

“Investment Reduction Act” 🤨

Great post Molly. I love reading your pieces. They’ve motivated me to get more involved in the climate scene as best as I can. Can’t wait to read a future book of yours!

Expand full comment
Apr 18, 2023Liked by Molly Wood

So much yes to all of this! I'm a big fan of the "yes, and..." way of thinking. Life rarely hands us binary choices in a vacuum and we need to stop thinking that it is all a zero sum game.

I see that here in Portland, for instance, with the move to electric cars. I've got progressive friends who very much care about climate change but who are pissed off about electric car subsidies because they feel that the real solution needs to be getting rid of the culture of individual cars. They want to see urban design around multi-modal transport, walkable communities, and bicycle/skate/etc as primary transportation.

And I have to respond, "Yes, totally, AND we can still promote the switch away from internal combustion while ALSO promoting changes to urban planning". Mass adoption of electric cars will also improve options for electric busses, bicycles, trikes, etc. Lets get rid of internal combustion while also changing car-centric habits. As you said, we need everybody in the pool. No one has the "one true way".

Expand full comment
Apr 19, 2023Liked by Molly Wood

Idea for (End Explainer) replacement - (Whistle - Adult swim time). Maybe too cutesy.

It is so strange that people don't really see the huge, amazing, innovative structures and technologies around them. These did not come from thin air. They came from years and (hundreds of?) thousands of innovations, and they're still happening. I'm old enough to have started programming pre-internet, and now I have the equivalent of the Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy in my pocket, and honestly cannot function when the GPS and maps aren't working on it. The sheer amount of infrastructure, invention, extraction and physical work that led to this point is amazing, but it's also something we humans do *all the time*. We can do big things.

Expand full comment

I was reading the editor's note on the newsletter and started wondering "What does Molly mean by 'everyone in the pool' and where did that saying come from?"

So the first question was nicely answered here. The second is way less important, but I am still curious: did you get the saying from somewhere, did it come from a conversation on a show you did or some other genesis?

Expand full comment
May 25, 2023Liked by Molly Wood

This is exactly how I feel, especially this quote “if you want to find and train a whole new skilled workforce, you should definitely look within traditionally disadvantaged groups because you need everybody in the pool.”

Amazing organizations like GRID Alternatives (https://gridalternatives.org) are already making this happen and need more private & public support for training the next generation of solar installers, electricians and renewable energy construction managers. I’ve gone thru their solar installer training program myself and it’s top notch!

Expand full comment
May 2, 2023·edited May 2, 2023Liked by Molly Wood

After ~30 years of study, I agree that opportunity, both economic & social, ABOUND in this undertaking of the clean energy transition. Many respected biz experts say it's the greatest biz & job creation opportunity of our lifetimes, maybe ever, and this is not hard to see if you dive into the subject matter. I'm almost as excited about the opportunities at our fingertips as I am terrified of the (IPCC) science ...

Expand full comment

Molly, this is amazing. 100% agree with the need for everyone, and many solutions.

My work is about opening up pathways for all students — yes, even K-12 — into the world of climate solutions and opportunities. This requires bridging a lot of the fractures in education (among districts and states, between K-12 and community colleges and universities, among public/private/charter/etc) and helping people reimagine how things can connect.

Maddeningly, here in California where climate ambitions are high, the state just passed a new five-year Career Technical Education plan that doesn’t mention climate in any substantive way, let alone call the state to grapple with the huge opportunities and implications. So yes, we need everyone in the pool, and we need new ways of talking and working together across disciplines, agencies, walks of life.

A group of us are working on a roadmap for green jobs in California, and I’m anxious to ensure it acknowledges that everyone can be a innovator, a changemaker, a founder. (Would love to get you in front of school leaders to help spread your message!)

Expand full comment