“You are going to spend your entire career in a wind tunnel.”
This was Lisa Magonelli’s words of advice for those in attendance of her talk for Monday’s Big Picture Lecture Series. Magonelli was referring to the accelerating pace of change in the world, and how we are will have to innovate at a pace about three times the speed of the industrial revolution just to keep up. She noted that things are going to change so rapidly that “it will be powerfully disorienting.”
Margonelli directs the energy policy initiative at the New America Foundation, a non-partisan think tank based in Washington, D.C. She spent four years following the oil supply chain to write Oil on the Brain: Petroleum’s Long, Strange Trip to Your Tank, published in 2008. Recognized as one of the 25 Notable Books of 2007 by the American Library Association, Oil On the Brain also won a 2008 Northern California Book Award for general nonfiction.
Her talk Monday was a cautionary tale. She spoke about America’s dependence on oil, and how that shapes our communities and lives—as well as the challenges we will face as we move away from oil dependence.
Margonelli on gas pump design: “Gas pumps are now designed to look and feel like ATM machines because studies have shown that we feel warmly towards them. As consumers, we want to feel better about buying gasoline.”
On our dependence on oil: “We are creating this very lasting and complicated relationship with the Middle East.”