2013-03-07 / Front Page

Jeremy Rifkin Tells Norwich Crowd that Third Industrial Revolution is Nearly Upon Us

BY ARIELLE EATON


Jeremy Rifkin, the well known economist and proponent of renewable energy talks to a large group at Norwich last week during the Todd Lecture Series where he prognosticated that 3-D printing will revolutionize the way we make things and the sun will lead the way in providing energy as carbon based fuels disappear from the scene. We’ll charge our electric cars from our own solar cells on the roof he predicted. 
Photo by Arielle Eaton,The Northfield News Jeremy Rifkin, the well known economist and proponent of renewable energy talks to a large group at Norwich last week during the Todd Lecture Series where he prognosticated that 3-D printing will revolutionize the way we make things and the sun will lead the way in providing energy as carbon based fuels disappear from the scene. We’ll charge our electric cars from our own solar cells on the roof he predicted. Photo by Arielle Eaton,The Northfield News 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/.

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Anything can be done

Anything can be done effectively 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. It is really an awesome and hopeful idea. windows update not working

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The past industrial

The past industrial revolutions never failed to impress and fascinate me. This third one is of no difference. With the recent increase in constant signs of global warming, I bet everyone else is just like me and cannot wait for us to finally go through yet another industrial revolution. It is time to save our earth in a greener way of living. Solar storage panels have proven to us since so many years ago that they are indeed very capable to provide a comfortable lifestyle and I am looking forward to fully change that to our main source of energy.

This is in addition to what

This is in addition to what anonymous and mark sommers were saying. Rifkin's playing favorites.Rifkin's in favor of renewable energy,so he's not going to raise any warning signs or question the safety of hydrogen storage.But the thing is,if Rifkin was opposed to renewable energy,like he is with biotechnology.He would be going around the country,organizing protests and demonstrations against it.He would write articles in newspapers and magazines condemning hydrogen storage systems.He would use the hydrogen explosion on the space shuttle Challenger as an example.This is why I wouldn't trust Rifkin and his Third Industrial Revolution any farther than I can throw 'em.

Anonymous was right about

Anonymous was right about Rifkin being a hypocrite.Back in 1989, Rifkin filed a lawsuit against NASA.It was to prevent the space shuttle Atlantis from blasting off into space.The reason for the lawsuit was that Atlantis's payload was a galileo space probe.It was powered by plutonium.Rikfin feared that a explosion aboard Atlantis,like what happened with the Challenger shuttle,would rain plutonium back to earth,contaminating hundreds of people.Well,the Challenger explosion was caused by hydrogen leaking from the fuel tank.So now,if Rifkin was worried about a hydrogen explosion occuring aboard the Atlantis shuttle,then HOW can Rifkin be going around promoting hydrogen storage systems and assuring people that it's safe to store hydrogen?

Rifkin's not only full of

Rifkin's not only full of it,but he's also a hypocrite.Back in the 1980's when Biotechnology was emerging,he filed a ton of lawsuits against it.His main objection was that scientists and companies were rushing to utilize this new technology without investigating the enviormental,ethical and consequencial impacts of the this new technology.He also questioned the safety of this technology.But now with his Third Industrial Revolution,he's doing the complete opposite.He rushing people to embrace renewable energy with solar panels,storage systems and plug-in electric cars.The problem here is that he's not raising important questions about renewable energy like he did with Biotechnology.Questions like how are people going to pay for expensive hydrogen storage systems?What about building codes concerning such systems?Where's the money going to come from to build a massive hydrogen infastrucure to power all these fuel cells cars he's talking about?I'm all for renewable energy and for using hydrogen as an alternate fuel.But renewable energy has to made available at a price that everyone can afford instead of being up to their necks in debt,paying for it for the rest of their lives.

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