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The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World Paperback – January 8, 2013
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“Jeremy Rifkin was always ahead of his time. The New Industrial Revolution confirms that the times have caught up with him. It is no longer possible to ignore his vision for the future of humankind.” ―Calestous Juma, Harvard Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School
“Jeremy Rifkin argues that green energy and the internet will revolutionize society and the environment...With the European Union already on board, this is a big idea with backbone.” ―Nature
“Impeccably argued…a compelling and cogent argument to overhaul our society and economy in favor of a distributed and collaborative model.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Rifkin connects the two defining technologies of the 21st Century -- the Internet and renewable energies -- giving us a powerful new economic vision for the future. As we look to regrow the economy, generate millions of jobs, and create a sustainable future for our children, the Third Industrial Revolution offers an indispensable roadmap.” ―Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post Media Group
“Mr. Rifkin clearly outlines the challenges facing our global community, and creates a vision for business leaders, government and citizens.” ―John Chambers, Chairman and CEO of Cisco, Chairman and CEO of Cisco
“The creative thinking of Jeremy Rifkin has been inspiring policy makers and citizens alike. This book shows the key role renewables and modern technologies can play in our transition to a low-carbon economy.” ―José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission
“This is a remarkable piece of work from one of the foremost thinkers of our time…Rifkin has come up with a visionary and innovative economic development model that ensures the sustainability of our natural resources and ecosystems.” ―Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
“A brilliant new economic paradigm to guide the human journey in the 21st century. Jeremy Rifkin's comprehensive Third Industrial Revolution vision, which is the centerpiece of Rome's long-term economic development plan, provides a blueprint for every city in the world to create a sustainable and prosperous society.” ―Gianni Alemanno, Mayor of Rome
“More than thought provoking… a call for action to policy makers and business leaders to embrace the opportunity of a society and economy driven by sustainable innovation and powered by renewable and distributed energy.” ―Rudy Provoost, CEO of Philips Lighting
About the Author
Jeremy Rifkin is president of the Foundation on Economic Trends and the author of eighteen bestselling books, including The Hydrogen Economy and The End of Work. He has been a guest on Face the Nation, The Lehrer News Hour, 20/20, Larry King Live, Today, and Good Morning America. The National Journal named Rifkin as one of 150 people in the U.S. that have the most influence in shaping federal government policy. He has also testified before numerous congressional committees, and since 1994, Mr. Rifkin has been a senior lecturer at the Wharton School's Executive Education Program at the University of Pennsylvania.
Rifkin is chairman of the Global CEO Business Roundtable, which includes IBM, Cisco, Cushman and Wakefield, and has served as an adviser to various global leaders, including Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Angela Merkel of Germany. His monthly column on global issues appears in many of the world's leading newspapers and magazines, including The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian in the U.K., Die Süddeutsche Zeitung in Germany, Trud in Bulgaria, Clarín in Argentina, and Al-Ittihad in the U.A.E. He lives in Bethesda, MD.
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Top Customer Reviews
Rifkin's "third" industrial revolution is based on "five pillars:" (1) A general shift to renewable energy. (2) Micro-generation of clean energy in homes, offices and other buildings. (3) Hydrogen and other forms of energy storage in homes and throughout the economy (4) an "Internet-like" smart energy grid that would allow individuals to generate power and then distribute it, and (5) Conversion of transportation away from fossil fuels to electric plug-in or hydrogen fuel cells.
While the book contains a lot of insightful analysis, I think it gives short shrift to the problem of jobs. Technology and globalization are increasingly destroying well-paid opportunities for workers in developed countries. The book does discuss this, but only in the very last few pages. This is surprising because, of course, Rifkin wrote a book about this issue in the 1990s ("The End of Work"). Now, however, he seems to buy into the more conventional view that green jobs will solve the problem of unemployment.
I'm doubtful of that. Technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics are accelerating and will soon have a dramatic impact. Advancing technology will also make offshoring of high wage jobs a bigger and bigger problem in the West.
"The Third Industrial Revolution" offers many good ideas, but I think it ultimately falls short of answering the question on many peoples' minds: How will average people in developed countries like the United States make an adequate living (and keep pace with the cost of living) while competing with both technology and globalization? That is a critical question because if households are focused on individual survival, it will be very difficult to amass political support for the energy and climate change policies Rifkin advocates. For a strong analysis of the jobs/income issue and some solutions, also read "The Lights in the Tunnel."