Author Jeremy Rifkin presents an insider's account of the next great economic era: the Third Industrial Revolution, when a new ethic of sustainability will revolutionize the world we live in.
Jeremy Rifkin seems to be convinced that the world (at least the European world) is enamored with Jeremy Rifkin. Perhaps he is correct. Much of the The Third Industrial Revolution is spent recounting endless meetings with European Union technocrats. Meetings that almost always seem to end with some sort of wholesale adoption of Rifkin's plan to remake the economy, society, the education system, and perhaps the local sandwich shop for good measure. Part of me suspects if you were to ask Angela Merkel about Jeremy Rifkin that she'd return the question with an uncomprehending Teutonic stare, but maybe the Chancellor and Rifkin truly are bfd's4ever.
It is sad that The Third Industrial Revolution has so much of Jeremy Rifkin (the globetrotting entrepreneurial policy wonk prophet/savior of post-carbon capitalism) and not enough of Jeremy Rifkin the thinker and analyst. Because that Jeremy Rifkin has some interesting things to say (although which could have been said in the space of a Kindle Single). Rifkin's main argument is that we need to move our whole economy off carbon based fuels, and on to clean renewable energy such as solar and wind. He believes that the age of centralized power distribution is over (he is no fan of nuclear power), and the future lies in distributed power generation hooked up through smart grids. Every building becomes a power generator, creating its own power and selling excess juice automatically through a web enabled and intelligent electrical distribution system.
Distributed renewable power generation hooked into a smart grid would constitute a 3rd Industrial Revolution. The 1st Industrial Revolution of the 19th century was based on coal, the 2nd (20th century) on oil. Rifkin places the blame for our recent economic meltdown squarely on oil, arguing that increased demand (especially from China) has driven up costs beyond what the world economy can absorb. He predicts continued economic shocks until the world wises up and starts putting solar panels on every building in the land.
Progressive, Prius driving people (I'd love a Prius) will be sympathetic to these arguments. Who is against solar panels on every roof? Who does not like a smart grid? Who loves big oil? The problem is that Rifkin is an evangelist, and is unable to evaluate counter-arguments or diverse perspectives. The move away from carbon based fuels is probably an issue of when and not if. But will this change happen as quickly as Rifkin predicts? And if this transition does not happen (RIGHT NOW!), is the world economy in for total destruction? I'd like to hear the arguments on both sides.
Jeremy Rifkin would be a great speaker to bring to campus. I think that he would do a terrific job of engaging our students, and challenging them to do their part in constructing a Third Industrial Revolution. Just don't make the mistake of passing his book out before he arrives on campus.
9 of 11 people found this review helpful
This is an important book. Although the price of energy has gone up fast in the past this book suggests that the price will go up really fast and high in the nest 40 years. That will make solar and wind as well as geothermal, garbage, and hydro ready to offer a cheaper and high employment type of energy. This book needs to be read by as many people as possible. It will help us work out what we in the US will do about energy development in the near future.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
What did you like best about The Third Industrial Revolution? What did you like least?
My first encounter with Rifkin. What he says is right on, but his ego really gets in the way. Other people were doing the same things at the same times – Rifkin was not the only one! His comments about the changes the young generations are creating are very hopeful. Between Rifkin's ego, and the narrator, who I just couldn't stomach, I gave up before finishing the book. There are better discussions of this really important subject.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
first of all this a book that needs to read over and over and studied in-depth. we finally have a solutions with these ideas and not just complaining about how bad everything is (because EVERYONE knows how horrible the current economic and energy situation is) the main thing that he mentioned is the changing not only our habits but our consciousness and honestly I really don't know if humans are ready to do that on a global scale 🤔👀🌍🌎🌏
What made the experience of listening to The Third Industrial Revolution the most enjoyable?
I have been waiting for this book to be released in audio format for quite a while now.
I got a broad overview a comprehenvie insight in to some of the current affairs in the industry and in policy as well as in Rifkins successes and visions for a post carbon society...
What other book might you compare The Third Industrial Revolution to and why?
Cannot truly compare it to any other I personally have read.
he is going straight for solutions rather than rehashing the failures of the giant utilities and coporations like others do. it is time to quit debating and install the infrastructure albeit diverse.
Have you listened to any of Kevin Foley’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
Quite mellow good tempo for ths particular book
What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?
that governements and communities are making the quantum leap to innovations they have to and they are willing do go for the practical bit by bit colutions without more legislative nonsense and debates.
Any additional comments?
Wish the fobidden areas could be discussed like seperating hydrogen from oxygen in water //a simple simple technique //to produce two volatile energy sources ...from water.
.and more about photosynthesis the model for solar cells and solar efficiency
it is good to pinpoint who and waht companies are stopping progress and their conenctions to big companies and oil-coal-gas.