The Third Industrial Revolution
How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the WorldBook - 2011
"We are undergoing a historical transformation in the way we create and disseminate energy. Together, Internet technology and the reality of renewable energy are creating a new type of electrical grid, one in which energy is stored and distributed on an individual basis. Soon, hundreds of millions of human beings will be generating their own green energy in their homes, offices and factories, and sharing it, just as they now create their own information and share it on the Internet. In just a few years, millions of buildings and even cities will become energy self-sufficient, signaling the end of our reliance on fossil fuels. This transformation is already underway in Europe, where author Jeremy Rifkin serves as EU advisor on a project that will revolutionize the continent's energy supply, with Asia to follow. We even see shades of it in Texas, Colorado, and California, where electrical companies will be laying down parts of the Smart Grid over the next several years. But it's not just about the promise of clean energy. Rather, this "Energy Internet" will fundamentally change every aspect of the way we work and live. It will foster continental markets and the creation of continental political unions to oversee new expansive commercial opportunities. It will signify the end of needless wars fought over energy sources, and the dawning of an era of true international cooperation. Finally, it offers the hope that we can get to a post-carbon era by mid century and avert catastrophic climate change. Here, Rifkin explains how the United States can embrace this ambitious vision of the future, end its decades-old crisis over foreign oil, and ensure its continued status as world power. He also paints an accessible, anecdotal picture of what our lives will look like in this new global order-if we can summon the political will to join it"--
The Industrial Revolution, powered by oil and other fossil fuels, is spiraling into a dangerous endgame. The price of gas and food are climbing, unemployment remains high, the housing market has tanked, consumer and government debt is soaring, and the recovery is slowing. Facing the prospect of a second collapse of the global economy, humanity is desperate for a sustainable economic game plan to take us into the future.
Here, Jeremy Rifkin explores how Internet technology and renewable energy are merging to create a powerful "Third Industrial Revolution." He asks us to imagine hundreds of millions of people producing their own green energy in their homes, offices, and factories, and sharing it with each other in an "energy internet," just like we now create and share information online.
Rifkin describes how the five-pillars of the Third Industrial Revolution will create thousands of businesses, millions of jobs, and usher in a fundamental reordering of human relationships, from hierarchical to lateral power, that will impact the way we conduct commerce, govern society, educate our children, and engage in civic life.
Rifkin's vision is already gaining traction in the international community. The European Union Parliament has issued a formal declaration calling for its implementation, and other nations in Asia, Africa, and the Americas, are quickly preparing their own initiatives for transitioning into the new economic paradigm.
The Third Industrial Revolution is an insider's account of the next great economic era, including a look into the personalities and players — heads of state, global CEOs, social entrepreneurs, and NGOs — who are pioneering its implementation around the world.