Jeremy Rifkin Tells Norwich Crowd that Third Industrial Revolution is Nearly Upon Us
Norwich's Todd Lecture Series continued to amaze last week when Jeremy Rifkin, the well known economist and proponent of renewable energy addressed the crowd in Dole Auditorium. Mr. Rifkin's talk was entitled "The Third Industrial Revolution" and his theories and prognostications were eye popping indeed claiming that carbon based technology is over and the sun is going to rule and take over to replace current fuel sources. He claimed that factories as we know them will soon be a thing of the past as 3-D printing allows us to make most anything we need or want.
President of the Foundation of Economic Trends (FOET), author of 19 books, senior lecturer at the Wharton School's Executive Education Program at the University of Pennsylvania, and advisor to the European Union, Mr. Rifkin spoke to a crowd of over 100 NU students, faculty, and Northfield community members about the importance of renewable energy.
"My read on history is that the great economic revolutions occur when two phenomena come together, " Those two phenomena, as Mr. Rifkin said in an article for Forbes by Terry Waghorn in collaboration by Momentum managing editor, Mary Hoff, are communication and energy. "When we change energy regimes, it makes possible much more complex economic relations."
Mr. Rifkin talked about the "five-pillar infrastructure for the Third Industrial Revolution" that he developed for approval by the European Parliament in 2007. The first pillar represents the goal of having 20 percent renewable energy by the year 2020. The second stands for the proposal to use buildings themselves to create green power, biomass, and geothermal energy, thus distributing the renewable energy.
The third pillar focuses on storing renewable energy, which can be done most efficiently by putting energy in water and using hydrogen to store the surplus, according to Mr. Rifkin. The fourth represents the sharing of green electricity. Through the power of the Internet and communication with one another, promoting the use of renewable energy is possible.
The last pillar, according to Mr. Rifkin's plan, is the integration of "transport into the TIR infrastructure." This can be done by the utilization of the energy, such as using electricity from the buildings to power a vehicle and being able to obtain more through a grid or to sell the extra energy back to the grid.
According to Mr. Rifkin, the world's energy sources are "sun setting" and the globe has slipped into its sixth extinction event, accounting for the many natural disasters that have taken place over the recent years. The only way to save the environment and life on Earth is to move into a new era: the Third Industrial Revolution.
"We have to move from denial to recognition," Rifkin pleaded to the audience of mostly young adults preparing to become the next world leaders. The implementation of the five-pillar infrastructure and the dedication of those like Rifkin is what will make the future bright and clean for the future generation.
For more information on Rifkin and his foundation, the Foundation of Economic Trends (FOET), and/or the Third Industrial Revolution please visit http://www.foet.org/.