Jerimy Rifkin recently published Third Industrial Revolution. Rifkin has worked as a consultant for the European Union and helped develop their 20-20-20 agenda (a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a 20% increase in renewable energies until 2020). With this agenda, the European Union has implemented the five pillars of the Third Industrial Revolution in its policy.
The five pillars are as follows:
- Change to renewable energies.
- Change the buildings to micro-power plants generate renewable energy.
- Usage of H2- and other energy storages in all buildings and at the cross points of the grid to equalize the availability of power.
- Using internet technology to manage the smart grids that are necessary to take the electrical power from the different sources and distribute it to potential users.
- Change transportation to electric cars or fuel cell cars only.
These technical pillars are the foundation for the change in the Third Industrial Revolution.
Rifkin demonstrates where the different countries stand at the present time and the development he expects for the different world regions. Until this point, I was only fascinated by the book, but I now thought—This is the narrative for our future.
Rifkin describes the changes that should take place in our education system, economy, and society in general. In the third chapter, he changes his writing style. It is much more scientific and describes a vision. This part is still not clear enough to be our narrative for the future. But this part is very important to the development of our future as a system. We should know soon which business model we should use to install renewable energies. Changing the behavior and value system of society takes a long time. Generations are necessary to change society, and I agree with Rifkin: It has to start in our education system.
This task is political, and the visionary must assure that this change leads to the Third Industrial Revolution will not be pinned half it way. It has to be also clear enough to motivate all of society.
A “must-read” book overall should create an image of society development and what renewable energies are necessary for change. The U.S. is building centralized renewable energy parks. This will have a much lower impact on economic and societal changes than Rifkin and the European Union’s approach. We have to decide what we really want. To finalize the narrative of our future should be a common interest.