The Long Now Seminar Series: Saul Griffith


By Robert Bartolucci

Published 9.27.15

The Long Now Foundation is a wonderful Bay Area organization dedicated to promoting long-term thinking. Recently they made a generous donation of 10 tickets to Presidio Graduate School students enabling them access to a sold-out talk by Saul Griffith on Infrastructure Climate Change.

"So far we are trying to deal with climate change at the wrong timescale. A really deep problem cannot be solved by shallow innovations, no matter how clever. The scale of climate change requires thinking and acting in multi-decade terms at the level of infrastructure—personal as well as societal. Get it right, and “the result can be like living in a beautifully managed garden.”

What did you think of Saul Griffith's talk?

Having the opportunity to witness Saul Griffith’s vision of how our world’s infrastructure will ultimately dictate the battle against climate change was a rewarding and insightful experience for me. I say “witness” because at no point during his seminar did I feel like I was simply listening to someone preach their opinions. He crafted his presentation in a way that I could connect with, as a citizen of San Francisco and a resident of California. The energy issues facing our world today are magnified in the Golden State and Saul did a wonderful job of providing familiar and tangible examples that led me to think deeper about my own life choices.

One of his talking points that I found most interesting was the idea that many people today believe that they are making a difference by switching to electric cars or going solar. The reality is that these actions are merely the tip of the iceberg. Saul challenged each and every audience member to not only think about their personal infrastructure on a day-to-day basis but also to speak out against the political fence that is hampering every city’s potential to make a stronger environmental impact.

I applaud The Long Now Foundation for giving a platform to someone whose life purpose is dedicated to long-term thinking. I am also fortunate and appreciative of the organization donating seats to members of Presidio Graduate School. On behalf of each and every one of us at PGS, we strive to live up to your mission of responsibility that endures the test of time.

Date of Talk: 9/21/2015

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Robert Bartolucci

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