Beyond the Light Switch

An In-depth and Essential Addition to America’s Energy Debate

A Detroit Public Television & Scientific American Production

Winner of the DuPont-Columbia University award for outstanding journalism, Beyond the Light Switch took viewers on an enlightening and comprehensive journey of discovery into the inner workings of our existing energy infrastructure. Guided by an independent advisory panel, Beyond the Light Switch investigates whether the United States can completely transform its existing energy landscape before it’s too late…

While the future of the United States’ energy economy remains uncertain, many difficult decisions will soon need to be made. The documentary explores the possible paths forward including coal, natural gas, renewables, natural gas, solar, the “super grid” and others to determine what achieves the goals, creates jobs and gains a measure of energy security.

Woven throughout each episode of Beyond the Light Switch is a provocative story structure focused on:

  • Leveraging innovative electricity generation & distribution technologies into a new economic driver for the U.S.
  • Weaning the U.S. from a disproportionate reliance on foreign sources of fuel and electricity
  • Knowing that future electricity generation on a global scale must take Climate Change into consideration as new technologies and policies are developed and implemented

By drawing together the most knowledgeable sources and asking the tough questions, Beyond the Light Switch provides a much needed balanced perspective to the critical issues surrounding the future of energy in the United States.

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Beyond the Light Switch – Part III

On this edition of Beyond the Light Switch, we focus on the electrification of the American economy – in transportation, shipping, airlines, even in the U.S. military and its importance to our national security. Our host, Scientific American’s David Biello, journeys across the country to examine America’s switch to electrification as a key strategy in reducing our foreign oil dependence.

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Web Extra: Micah Rue

Major Micah Rue led the 3rd Armed Calvary regiment through two tours in Iraq and he sees the military’s efforts to reduce fossil fuel consumption as a matter of life or death for soldiers.

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Web Extra: George Shultz

There’s one reason former Secretary of Treasury George Shultz has solar panels on his roof that dive his electric car. He believes reducing American reliance on fossil fuels is a matter of national security.

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The Production Team

Ed Moore, Producer/Director/Writer
At the helm of Beyond the Light Switch is award-winning producer/director Ed Moore. Ed is highly regarded by PBS for his insightful storytelling which conveys often highly technical information in a disarming, jargon-free manner. This skill set makes Ed a superb choice to organize the many disparate facts underpinning Beyond the Light Switch‘s subject matter into compelling, edifying, and highly accessible viewing.

David Biello, Host/Writer
Beyond the Light Switch is hosted by David Biello, energy and environment editor at Scientific American. Winner of the 2009 Earth Journalism Award, David has been reporting on energy and the environment since 1999. In Beyond the Light Switch, David acts as our tour guide while examining the knot of political, social, technological and environmental issues he encounters while confronting the many uncertainties of America’s energy future. Join David as he travels to a first-of-its-kind coal plant in West Virginia, gas wells in Pennsylvania and Texas, inside a nuclear reactor under construction in Tennessee, to wind farms along the Hood River Valley in Oregon, to the shores of Cape Cod, and (quite literally) beyond.

Jordan Wingrove, Editor
With a meticulous eye and artistic hand, braintrustee and editor extraordinaire Jordan Wingrove infuses Beyond the Light Switchwith his seamlessly innovative style of storytelling. Much to the delight of the Beyond the Light Switch braintrust, Jordan also infuses any edit session with his unique brand of humor.

Sophia Kruz, Co-Producer

EMMY® Award winning documentary filmmaker Sophia Kruz has a passion for non-fiction storytelling. Her work has screened at film festivals, museums, libraries, community centers, and health-care facilities nationwide, and is broadcast regularly on PBS stations. Learn more about Sophia Kruz >