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The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World [Hardcover]

Jeremy Rifkin
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 27 2011

The Industrial Revolution, powered by oil and other fossil fuels, is spiraling into a dangerous endgame. The price of gas and food are climbing, unemployment remains high, the housing market has tanked, consumer and government debt is soaring, and the recovery is slowing. Facing the prospect of a second collapse of the global economy, humanity is desperate for a sustainable economic game plan to take us into the future.

Here, Jeremy Rifkin explores how Internet technology and renewable energy are merging to create a powerful “Third Industrial Revolution.” He asks us to imagine hundreds of millions of people producing their own green energy in their homes, offices, and factories, and sharing it with each other in an “energy internet,” just like we now create and share information online.

Rifkin describes how the five-pillars of the Third Industrial Revolution will create thousands of businesses, millions of jobs, and usher in a fundamental reordering of human relationships, from hierarchical to lateral power, that will impact the way we conduct commerce, govern society, educate our children, and engage in civic life.

Rifkin’s vision is already gaining traction in the international community. The European Union Parliament has issued a formal declaration calling for its implementation, and other nations in Asia, Africa, and the Americas, are quickly preparing their own initiatives for transitioning into the new economic paradigm.

The Third Industrial Revolution is an insider’s account of the next great economic era, including a look into the personalities and players — heads of state, global CEOs, social entrepreneurs, and NGOs — who are pioneering its implementation around the world.


Frequently Bought Together

The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World + The Empathic Civilization + The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism
Price For All Three: CDN$ 61.44


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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

“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 NationThe Lehrer News Hour20/20Larry King LiveToday, and Good Morning AmericaThe 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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Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Futurist Nov. 29 2011
By Doug
Format:Hardcover
Ripkin is a fascinating futurist who doesn't let what is get in the way of what will be or what might be.
He get's it all- Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the bubble economies of the world.
A fascinating read, and really a must read if you want to understand where human civilization is headed in the coming decades.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Third Industrial Revolution Feb. 2 2012
By David B
Format:Hardcover
This is a must read for anyone who is seriously concerned about the future for our planet. Jeremy Rifkin, sets out in a clear and easily readably way, why the ecological and economic future is so very bleak if we do nothing to change the state quo. But he goes even further, and lays down the way out by envisioning a whole new way of of obtaining and sharing energy that will get us away from oil dependancy. His vision for a new world is exciting and what is very promising is the fact that there are cities and even a country (Monaco),that are getting started on implementing his ideas.
This is one of the most hopeful books I have read for a long time. The sad news seems to be that the USA is still dragging it's feet in even considering his ideas, although, San Antonio, of all places, has started work on introducing The Third Industrial Revolution to it's people! So perhaps in time, even America will come around.
This book should be compulsory reading for all high school students and politicians of all stripes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars knowledge May 30 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Great book a true visionary that needs to sell the world on the new way we the survivors need to be focused and accept the inevitable
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5.0 out of 5 stars Light at the end of the eco-tunnel Nov. 24 2013
By BC6915
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Everyone who thinks about the planet and the mess we have made of the environment should read this book. It gives me hope to see the changes that are already taking place in the world around me. This book provides a roadmap, an approach to resolving the inevitable energy crisis and chaos that will ensue if we don't get our act together. I highly recommended that you read this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  61 reviews
101 of 111 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Thought-Provoking Look at the Future Sept. 27 2011
By Jeff D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
"The Third Industrial Revolution" offers a fascinating look at Jeremy Rifkin's views on the future of energy and the economy. Rifkin believes we are on the verge of a new industrial revolution that will transform the economy and society in a similar way to the major changes that occurred in the 19th and 20th centuries.

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."
47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Re Re Repeats itself to make it long enough Nov. 13 2011
By Matthew G. Deboard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is good, but it's definitely verbose, as it repeats the same concepts over and over again. There is no doubt that the author is well versed in the subject matter, both in breadth and depth, but there is only so much one can espouse about the transformation of modern society from a fossil-fuel based economy to a renewable-energy based economy. Yes, Europe is way ahead of the United States in achieving the 5 factors that will successfully transform society into the Third Industrial Revolution - we get it. Oh, you want to make the point again? O.K. - got it. Again? Really? There is no need to study that concept ad-nauseum from every conceivable angle. For the layperson, this book is a little much. I think I put it down permanently about midway through... Wait a month and buy it used in order to save yourself some $$'s and thus form your own mini economic revolution.
39 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Vision Oct. 23 2011
By Jason W. Stone - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I heard an interview with him and was really inspired. So, I got this book. Well, the interview was Great. The book isn't. His vision and ideas are really compelling. I hope I see it all come to pass. However, I couldn't finish the book. It is mostly a chronicle of all the discussions that have happened with many governments. That's all a bit dull. It will make for good history when the TIR happens.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars important content but so badly written April 17 2012
By Pythagoras - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The concepts that Rifkin puts forward are incredibly important to the future of our economy, but more importantly to combating climate change. I so want to like this book, because more people need to become familiar with these concepts. But the writing! Mr. Rifkin, it is very nice that you have had dinner with Angela Merkel, and met with many heads of state, but this does almost nothing for your narrative. It reads more like an ego trip than a description of the very important process of communicating ideas, and the development of long range plans for the implementation of those ideas. The book could be a great resource as well, but is incredibly under-footnoted, so it has very little value for further research. A real disappointment.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The TIR & Intergrid Nov. 14 2011
By Bay Elliott - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In addition to reading this book, if you ever have a chance to see Jeremy Rifkin present on the Third Industrial Revolution and the Intergrid, please, take that advantage (it is well worth it!). Mr. Rifkin has wonderfully distilled and delivered a compelling vision of the world ahead in a sustainable, clean, distributed and collaborative energy model. This book brings a perspective on past industrial revolutions and points to technological processes and connects many of the dots of the myriad & disparate energy technologies and how they will coalesce and be deployed in the years ahead. It is no surprise that Mr. Rifkin has been advising many global governments not only on what the vision is but how to take advantage of the economic opportunity since 2007. It remains disappointing that the political climate in the US continues to inhibit a unified energy policy... and thus puts the US at a severe competitive industrial disadvantage vis a vis countries like Germany, China, Singapore and many others that have been listening... and which understand the rich landscape of commercial opportunities ahead... and the significant detriment to those countries which aren't proactively adjusting to those threats (& opportunities) ahead. There are several books which work well as companion pieces to Rifkin's TIR: "That Used To Be Us", "Reigniting Fire" and "The Quest" are some of them. Based on documented job creation in Germany from the solar sector alone, US economists recently projected that, had the US followed a similar solar/ renewable energy vision, we would likely see over 2million related jobs created. Energy Efficiency carries its own highly compelling ROI. We have clean fuels in our labs now that have an unsubsidized cost per BTU less than that of Natural Gas, and without the carbon emissions. Coupled with the smart grid, these new technologies will allow the highly efficient energy storage that unlocks Rifkin's Intergrid: the sustainable, distributed, adaptive, interactive, renewable energy Intergrid. Rifkin's TIR & Intergrid outlines a compelling vision for the future, but one that is already dawning in labs across the world and beginning to be implemented where there are true leaders. The book drives home its points repeatedly... but the points are well worth paying attention to.
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