Jeremy Rifkin Blog

Creating a Brighter Future with the Third Industrial Revolution

Gross domestic product is something that has been on the decrease on a global scale for some time. In fact, productivity has been declining for the last 20 years all over the world, which has led to an increase in unemployment. This is most evident among the Millennial generation who may struggle to find where they fit in with the world of today.

Economists are projecting that there will be another 20 years of low productivity and slow growth, which in turn contributes towards a more profound crisis. Following two industrial revolutions, we are now in real-time climate change. There have been huge amounts of co2 and methane released into the atmosphere which has led to a failed ecosystem.

Scientists report that we are now within the sixth eviction event of life on this plant, which means up to half the species of life on Earth could be eradicated within the next eight decades. The last time this happened was 65 million years ago.

This is about more than realising a change is needed, it’s about waking up the nation and creating a new economic vision that going to allow life to continue in the future as well as presenting more options for greener living.

A decision needs to be made that can be instilled into many countries, inducing those that are industrialised and developing. To be clear, civilisation must stop using carbon in less than 40 years if we have any chance of surviving the abyss.

There have been several economic paradigm shifts in history that all share a common denominator that sees three different technologies emerge and converge to create what’s called in engineering a general-purpose technology platform. What this means is that there is a change in the way that power and economy are managed. In turn, this changes the way that civilisation manages its resources.

The First Industrial Revolution of Britain discovered cheap coal and created the steam engine as a way of moving this coal. The same pattern was discovered again in the 20th century which sat communication, energy and transport centralised, and offered new iterations of communication including television and radio. These technologies converged with a new energy source, Texas oil. Following, this everyone took to the road in various forms of transport.

The Second Industrial Revolution peaked in July 2008 when Brent crude oil was retailing at $147.00 a barrel which was the same time when the entire global economy shut down and the crash of the financial market 60 days later can be considered the aftershock because of civilizations reliance on carbon fertilizers.

Regardless of whether its fuel, fibre power or construction there is too much reliance on fossil fuel which has the potential to cause bigger aftershocks as we move forward. This highlights the need for change, especially as we are now in the sunset of the Second Industrial Revolution

Currently, there are stranded assets in the fossil fuels worth trillions of dollars which further highlights the bubble civilisation is in. We are now on the cusp of a Third Industrial Revolution which his seeing the Information Internet converge with a nascent revolutionary digitalised renewable energy. The two converged will lead to the Third Industrial Revolution that makes the sharing of energy as easy as the sharing of information online.

In total, the Third Industrial Revolution will see three separate Internets working together in the guise of communication, power and logistics. The difference between the Third Industrial Revolution and what has gone before is that rather than relying on a dated method of managing resources which people have no access to, civilisation will be able to create their own power at work and at home, and stored this for future use. Should there be times when the energy isn’t needed it can be resold above market price to other parts of the world?

This allows for a greener and more viable future as the distribution of this information cannot be monopolised. Although the concept of a fully-connected world can seem far-fetched to some, we only need to look at the rise of technology so far to recognise that we’re more connected than we’ve ever been, and being able to move in the same direction ensure that we can preserve species, offer more opportunities and offer a smarter way of managing resources in the future.

Jeremy Rifkin Blog

Controlling Cattle Production Allows Us to Safeguard Our Current Climate

We’re currently at a point where we’re uncertain if humanity will be able to make it in the future. This may be far-fetched to some and difficult for others to hear, but the fact remains that unless humanity is willing to embrace the need for change, then its lifespan could be a lot shorter.

Given that such information hasn’t really been mentioned when discussing climate change, it understandable why some may not even recognise that the raising of cattle for beef production poses a problem. However, this is much of the problem associated with beef production and remaining ignorant to the fact could mean a series of consequences for the environment.

When we look at different forms of life that have inhabited the earth, we know that 99.5% of species have come and gone in the past. Although some may be in denial, humanity must accept that climate change is very real and the way it is dealt will determine as to whether humanity can survive for the long-term.

When it comes to making a change, there is very little time to make the jump. To be able to make a change in the way humanity operation there must be a shift in consciousness, which means a move from geopolitics to biosphere politics quickly.

At the moment, there are those that are operating in single camps, and for the problem of climate change to be addressed, we have to recognise the problem as a species. Only then can a solution be put in place that’s going to be effective. While it’s commendable that some countries are taking the necessary steps in relation to renewable energy, it’s important that humanity has the same vision when dealing with such issues.

Getting to the Root of Global Warming

When we think of global warming it’s easy to assume that the problem is related to the gas that we put in our car, but the truth of the matter is the meat we put on our table is one of the biggest causes of global warming by humans. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation put out a report that gets next to no attention that states the production of livestock contributes towards global warming more than all the transport on the Earth.

Another finding was that up to one-third of the world today is being used to grow grain to feed the cattle being produced. The fact that agriculture influences global warming is rarely discussed in public policy. It also speculated that this figure will reach 60%, meaning that there will only be 40% of the land for humanity.

There are around 1.3 billion cows in existence that collectively take up 23% of the landmass. There is also a lot of methane produced when dealing with cattle, which is 23 times more potent than co2. Despite these findings, there has been no mention of humanity reducing its expectations when it comes to cattle production, meaning that as demand rises, the more damage there is to global warming.

Instead, the solutions being offered is that the land should be used in a more efficient and sustainable way. Given that it takes nine pounds of grain to produce one pound of steak, it’s amazing that there is more focus on the use of gas in cars when the way in which beef is manufactured is more wasteful and has a greater impact on the environment.

This isn’t to say that the use of gas is going to be continued in the long-term, but it does highlight how some of the more important issues are overlooked when consciousness is lacking. Around the world, there have been various taxes applied to things like alcohol, tobacco and sugar. One way of ensuring that livestock is produced in a way that’s less detrimental to the environment is to ensure that there is a cap in place.

Back in 1990, I wrote a book called “Beyond Beef” which focused on the production of beef in the USA where I was told I was out of my mind and that very few wanted to offer our dietary habits, however different parts of the world have a different outlook. The Netherlands is a country renowned for beef consumption and is aware the moving down the food chain is essential for the survival of humanity.

To some, this may seem a little excessive, but it’s important to focus on the long-term goal, which is making a situation that’s getting out of hard right in order to preserve the future of the human species.

Jeremy Rifkin Blog

The Third Industrial Revolution: What It Is and Why It’s Needed

The promotion of renewable energy is nothing new, but in order to achieve a future, that’s not only prosperous but also sustainable means that new technologies must be embraced sooner rather than later.

Despite some denying that climate change is even an issue, there is flooding occurring in every part of the world, and the more worrying aspect of this is that it has become the new normal.

What Are the Reasons for Climate Change?

Although there are greenhouse gases that occur naturally, human activity has meant that the gases are occurring on a more regular basis, with the following being released in the atmosphere in concentrated amounts.

  • Carbon Dioxide (co2)
  • Methane
  • Nitrous Oxide
  • Fluorinated Gases

The reasons what the above gases are being released into the environment in plentiful quantities can be attributed to the following:

  • Burning of Coal and Gas
  • Deforestation
  • The Increase of Livestock Farming

Of course, much of this has been due to a reliance on the way things have worked in the past, but to be able to reduce the global average temperature, change is needed on a global scale. This is where the Third Industrial Revolution comes into play

What is the Third Industrial Revolution?

Industrial revolutions are based on new technologies and concepts that allow for a different way of working. The first Industrial Revolution involved the use of steams, which allow from the production of cheap textbooks, and was also aligned with the cheap price of coal to allow for steam-powered transportation.

The Second Industrial Revolution came in the form of centralised communications, cheap Texas oil and the creation of the internal combustion engine.

The Third Industrial Revolution will need to take the current dependency on fossil fuels and focus on renewable energy such as solar and wind.

Currently, there are over $100 trillion in stranded assets used with the fossil fuel industry. Moving towards self-sufficient communities that can create their own power using wind and solar can work in partnership with energy companies to ensure a more positive approach is taken when dealing with the distribution of energy.  

What Steps Are Currently Being Taken?

Iceland is one of the first countries to embrace renewable energy and can now boast that all its energy is 100% renewable. There are also steps being taken to ensure that buildings are being retrofitted to make them more energy-efficient moving forward.

However, for the real change to be recognised, it’s important the world adopts renewable energy. Not only is the use of renewable energy more suitable for the environment in its current state but allows for more affordable energy to be rolled out to Third World countries that currently can’t contend with the exorbitant price of fossil fuel.

The need for distributed energies has also been recognised by the 27 member states of the European Union, and a five-pillar infrastructure was endorsed by the European Parliament in 2007 and was set out as follows:

  • Pillar 1: A goal of 20% renewable energy by 2020.
  • Pillar 2: Determining how renewable energy will be collected.
  • Pillar 3: How renewable energy will be stored.
  • Pillar 4: Deciding how to distribute renewable energy.
  • Pillar 5: How transportation will be integrated into a renewable energy infrastructure.

These pillars will not only be used to generate a future where people can create their own power but also means that there are opportunities to create businesses and jobs in the thousands, as well as restructuring the world of commerce as a whole.

What About the Big Players in the Energy Sector?

It goes without saying that companies that are currently profiting from fossil fuels will be fearful of renewable energy which can be distributed freely, but it’s already a big part of daily life in many countries, and as more and more people start to generate their own power, the need for a middleman charging heavy premiums will no longer be required.

This isn’t to say the companies will fade in the distance, but they will need to accept the before long, people will be able to forward energy in the same way they forward information.

The Third Industrial Revolution will need a lot of changes, and not all of them are easy to deploy. However, the change needed isn’t impossible, and the sooner it’s implemented, the more sustainable the world can be moving forward.

Jeremy Rifkin Blog

Is Animal Husbandry Really the Number Two Cause of Global Warming Emissions?

When we think of the environment and the problems it currently faces, it’s easy to assume that the problem is due to fossil fuels, but this isn’t always the case.

Animal husbandry is a term that’s used to describe animals that are raised for meat, eggs, milk and other products. Although this is a practice that has been carried out for many years, the rate of production has increased significantly, meaning that more emissions are being produced as a result.

Unlike the fears surrounding fossil fuels and other emissions, not many seem fearful at the rate at which meat is produced, and if the problem is recognised by all soon, then there could be serious ramifications.

How Serious Is Animal Husbandry?

There are many that would assume that agricultural practices are the best way forward when dealing with a growing populous, with some even suggesting farming is moved indoors in conjunction with the efforts already being made outdoors.

Unfortunately, many are missing the point when it comes to the problem this creates. Firstly, an astonishing 40% of agricultural land is used to produce grain and feed for animals.

Secondly, the model currently being used in inefficient at best, given that it can take ten pounds of grain to produce one pound of meat.

Other Ramifications of Intense Agricultural Farming

Although many consider the use of intense agricultural farming to be the answer to global warming, this isn’t the case.

The biggest problems associated with intense agriculture is the amount of methane and nitrous oxide produced. For example, the amount of fertilizer needed to produce grain release large amounts of co2.

In conjunction with this, animals consuming the grain will also emit methane, which while not as potent as co2 can still affect the environment in a negative way.

If Intense Agricultural Farming Isn’t the Answer, Then What Is?

When pointing out the pitfalls of intensive agriculture, many may assume that the use of GMO foods is the way forward, but there are very few that understand the inner workings of GMO to make them a worthwhile venture.

There’s also the patenting of GMOs to factor in. While some may argue the need to patent GMO foods, the end goal should be finding a sustainable way to provide food moving forward.

There have also been instances where the effects of GMOs on the environment haven’t been factored in, as seen with the release of the Ice-minus bacteria,

Marker-assisted selection is a more viable way forward, and many life science companies have already taken the reigns in this regard. The use of marker-assisted selection allows for food in short supply and use its genetic makeup which allows for more robust crops.

The way that power is produced will also have a determining factor on the production of food in the future. Although there are many businesses still relying on fossil fuel for their food production, there are others that are harnessing the benefits of renewable energies, and this is slowly started to be recognised around the world.

Those making the change are not only finding that the production of their own energy is cheaper than having to rely on fossil fuel, but energy not being used can be sent to another destination with ease.

Will It Be Easy to Make a Change to Renewable Energy?

The longer than something is relied on, the more difficult it can be to embrace change. However, a change is needed otherwise there could be a shortage of food and fuel to sustain future generations.

Just because a change is difficult doesn’t mean it’s impossible, but governments do need to recognise the dangers that could occur if a change isn’t made sooner rather than later.

Just as many governments seek to reduce carbon emissions from motor vehicles, similar steps need to be taken to introduce a more sustainable way of creating power that not only provides more cost-effective fuel but allows Third-World countries to prosper further.

Countries such as Iceland and Sweden have introduced renewable energy as part of their social infrastructure, and the Blue Lagoon power plant in Iceland has even become a tourist attraction.

Is Going Fully Organic Achievable?

For the most part, farmers would like nothing more than to be fully organic, as they receive a premium, and consumers have embraced the ice of organic food. Unfortunately, the change can be a problematic one for farmers, as the land they use would need to lay fallow for several years.

This simply isn’t an option of farmers, as they obviously use the land to generate an income. The idea of supplementing farmers to let their land lay fallow may seem extreme to some, but the cost of this will allow for less energy cost and more benefits to the environment.

Where Does the Internet of Things Fit In?

In order to achieve a more sustainable future, the world needs to embrace change, and the way in which the Internet is used will play a big part in the change needed. The Internet of Things in layman’s terms is the way we’re connected to the digital world.

As the Internet has grown, so too has the independence of users, and the Internet means that businesses can be self-sufficient in that they can produce their own power and can often mean that there is no requirement for a middleman.

The production of meat can be just as harmful as the use of fossil fuels, and it’s important that changes are made sooner rather than later to lessen the dependency of animal husbandry and finding more effective ways of acquiring food for future generations.

Jeremy Rifkin Blog

The Marriage Between Zero-Margin Production and the Internet of Things

Although many may not be aware, we are on the outskirts of a new economic system that has a sole focus on collaboration and distribution. Despite the evolution seen in sectors such as technology, it may surprise to learn that this is the first new paradigm introduced into society since the advent of socialism and capitalism seen in the early part of the 19th century.

What’s interesting is the reason why a new economic system is being born, and that’s zero-marginal cost. Marginal costs are the costs of production after fixed costs are taken care off. Despite many professionals and businesses being aware of this concept, the general public overall isn’t. However, the concept of zero-marginal costs is something that will affect every single person in the coming years.

There is a paradox that’s heavily present at the centres of the capitalist market system that has been undisclosed and is responsible for the vast amount of success that capitalism has experienced over the last 200 years. The irony of this is that the paradox is essentially leading to an endgame, with a new paradigm focused on collaborative commons.

In the traditional market, sellers will be pro-actively seeking out new technologies that can increase productivity and reduce their marginal costs which in turn allows businesses to offer cheaper products and services that win over new customers and give profit back to investors.

Businesses never dreamed that technology would essentially reach a revolution that might reduce these margins of cost to almost zero which would mean products and services are essentially free, priceless and bypass the market exchange economy. However, this is now happening in the real world.

The beginnings of the zero-margin cost phenomenon were first seen when the World Wide Web was introduced in 1990. Although primitive in its initial guise, the rise and popularity of the Internet has allowed people to stay up to date with news as well as communicating with each other via audio, video and email at near zero-marginal cost.

This meant that the millions of people who were consumers in the past now become prosumers. News blog and websites are being created, as are a multitude of videos. This has been enough to impact some of the big industries, especially those that operate in the newspaper and magazine industry. Some newspapers went of business as they just couldn’t compete with near-zero marginal costs. The same with those producing magazines.

There where industries who believed that the distribution of information was a good thing. Many believed that the distribution of freemiums would encourage the purchasing of premiums. An example of this can be when a musician starting out will give away music to make their presence known. The idea behind this thinking is that fans will start to build loyalty and then make purchases in the future.

Another example is the way some news platforms have adjusted their business model in the hope that freemiums will convert into a premium subscription. The New York Times will allow online users to view around ten articles for free a month in the hope that the users will then apply to its subscription model. This very rarely happens and demonstrates how the world has changed in relation to the distribution of content.

In the past, this hasn’t impacted the physical world in the sense that physical goods can be created using a zero-margin cost method. The new technological revelation will mean that as well as being able to share their own information, but also energy and physical goods.

The Internet of Things is an expansion of the online world that has been taken place over the last few years. This concept of the Internet of Things is that it acts as a central hub for the millions of sensors already in existence.

IBM estimates that as we head in 2020, we can expect over 30 billion sensors to be in existence, which is made possible thanks to the Internet of Things. As well as allowing people to manage their devices and appliances from almost anywhere, it is also possible to genre big data.

All this data can be used to create analytics in the same way search engines do but allow a shareable platform. The use of big data ensures that we have more accurate information to hand and ensuring that data can be distributed in a proactive way ensures that businesses can reduce marginal cost in the production of physical items.

Jeremy Rifkin Blog

The Energy Internet Explained

To many, the Internet can be viewed as on sole platform, and while advancements are using the Internet as a central hub for connected devices, the infrastructure used has seen the Internet evolve, which means that more than media can now be shared online

The energy Internet is an evolution as to how power is generated and stored, meaning that not everyone will be as familiar with it. Its foundations derive from countries situated in Europe, including Denmark and Germany. As Europe heads towards renewable energy, there are many different businesses that have been transformed into small power plants that make it possible to produce green electricity.

The business come in many different shapes and sizes, as does the form of renewable energy being used. As well as being to install solar panels on the roof of a warehouse, it’s also possible to use bio converters that allow for garbage to be converted into biomass energy.

Germany alone has seen one million buildings retrofitted that allow businesses to operate in a more efficient way. This simple implantation has meant that a million buildings in Germany are now producing their own green electricity, taking away the costly ramifications of fossil-fuel-based solutions. There’s even a feed-in tariff that offers a premium for those sending their electricity back to the gird, in which people receive more than the market price.

Renewable energy must be stored, and there are many ways in which this can be done. Some of the technology already used include batteries, capacitors and hydrogen. Hydrogen has been the focus of storage, as it can be used as and when the energy is needed.

Although there are many ways of accessing renewable energy, the way in which energy is stored is also important as the sun won’t always shine when we want it to, just as the wind won’t allow blow on demand. The current electricity grid of Europe is being converted into the energy Internet which will be built using the same technology of the information Internet.

The current iteration of the rid is over 60 years old and is designed to be centralised and go in one direction. When power is generated from fossil fuel it is sent to the passive consumer at the end of the line. What the old transmission grid wasn’t designed was the managing of millions of small players that are creating their own renewable energy and sending it back to the grid. It also struggles when it comes to monitoring how power is used, this the requirement for an overhaul.

The update will allow power to be stored hydrogen in much the same way digital deals with media content. This means if energy isn’t required in one location it can be shared with another in much the same way we share photos and video.

Although many aren’t aware of the rise of the green Internet, it has already been implemented in many places and will be an economic revolution that makes for a brand-new energy regime. Back in the 19th century, there was a requirement for steam power to be able to run a locomotive. The 20th century required centralised electricity and used the telephone to manage the complexities of an oil and suburban era.

The 21st century is instilling a distributive and collaborative peer-to-peer Internet. Although renewable energy is being created, it is in very small quantities. This means that critical mass as to be created which means collaborating across many different continents to organise the energy and then ensure that they are shared in lateral economies and scale.

In short, the energy Internet will sit alongside the information Internet to form a neural network, which is already occurring in real-time.

Jeremy Rifkin Blog

Millennials, Trade Unions and Cooperatives: Working for a Better Future

Trade unions were originally created as a response to the stock holding companies that came into existence during the first and second industrial revolution but were often left playing catch up due to centralised transport and communication that all require massive capital.

As a result of this, the modern stock-holding company had to be created in order to obtain capital from other parts of the world. However, to be able to make a return on the investment, the stockholders had to create giant integrated companies that were able to raise bigger economies to repay the investment.

Labour unions were used to help those working organise their rights and be recognised as a vital part of the production and be treated as such. When the cooperatives stepped in, they were looking to over an alternative, but again were playing catch up because of the vertical integration required.

The Third Industrial Revolution is better designed for cooperatives and trade unions due to it not being centralised and transparent allowing more people to benefit from it. This means that the more a network is built laterally, the more benefit it can offer.

This isn’t to undermine the value of trade unions, but the fact remains that despite how admirable the efforts of trade unions are, they are often stifled by the fact that they’re still operating in the Second Industrial Revolution.

There is more evidence of open-source and non-profit platforms obtaining recognition, with Wikipedia being a prime example. This means that the potential for change is there, and embracing what millennials have to offer could mean that change can be implemented sooner rather than later.

However, just because millennials have a better idea of the digital era and the Internet of Things, they also must realise that the solution to every problem can’t always be resolved online. Evolving autonomous technology is impressive, but if there no one taking the reign as to what some solutions are put in place, it could mean that we become reliant on technology we don’t fully understand.

To make the changes that matter, it’s important to have a realistic outlook on the current issues of the world. This means bearing witness to what’s happening and putting realistic measures in place to resolve these issues.

The goal of the Third Industrial Revolution is to use technology that can be distributed, meaning that trying to monopolise it wouldn’t bear fruit. It will also be reliant on those that have seen the struggles of the past, such as the unions and co-operatives.

This allows for a change of consciousness that offers more information to work with in order to build a more suitable infrastructure than benefits everyone and assumes control of production without the economic strain experienced in the past.

The marriage between the two is one that’s essential for change, but time is also of the essence. Things need to start changing now, and while the millennials are being drafted in by some of the top companies, a new infrastructure is needed, as this is what will favour the unions and cooperatives, who in turn can offer more information to build the foundations of a better tomorrow.

Jeremy Rifkin Blog

Changing Our Relationship with Fossil Fuels

Fossil fuels have been around for over 200 years, so it should come as no surprise that humanity has become so reliant on oil. Despite its property as fuel, many may not be aware of just how reliant on fossil fuel we are. Whether it’s used for power, clothing or food, our current climate is enslaved to the concept of fossil fuels.

Some time ago, the urgency of resolving the issue may not have seemed urgent, but this has meant that some of the changes that could have been instilled haven’t been. As such, the need for change is more urgent than it’s ever been, and they only real way to move forward is by adopting a different infrastructure that’s cleaner for the environment and more prosperous for humans overall.

Many people will already be are of the some of the steps that can be taken when it comes to lessening the impact of the environment, but many are unaware that simply relying on fossil fuels has the potential for our everyday lives to change for the worst,

This has been made evident in the past, where worries concerning fuel have at best caused food shortages and at worst caused riots. As technology has advanced, so too has the reliance on fossil fuel. As humanity continues to increase in numbers, so too does the need for fossil fuel, but there’s only so much to go around.

It could be argued that if the shortage of fossil fuel isn’t going to happen in our lifetime, then why should it be a concern? The fact of the matter is that technology could change again in the future, which could mean that resources become limited again.

The potential for the social infrastructure to come to a grinding halt is greater than ever, and one of the most frustrating aspects of this is that change can be implemented if we act sooner rather than later.

It’s worth remembering that the “The New Green Deal” I’m proposing isn’t something that can be used in conjunction with fossil fuels, it is a Third Industrial Revolution infrastructure that looks to offer a greener solution that’s easy to manage and the potential to improve the quality of life overall.

Now, it could be argued that the use of greener work is down to the business itself. Again, we must face facts here. Although there are many businesses making every effort to work in a greener way, others aren’t. This could be due to not knowing how to, or not wanting to, feeling that the move from fossil fuel is a pointless one.

As such, we need to rely on the leaders of the world to take responsibility and to ensure that not only are changes made in relation not the way power is generated, but also ensuring that there is a reliable infrastructure n place that allows this power to be used in the right way.

As well as being able to create a more sustainable future, the use of renewable energy such as hydrogen also ensures that the impacts of fossil fuels aren’t reflected in the environment.

This includes high pollution generated from manufacturing and motor use, as well as some species of animals becoming extinct within the next couple of decades.

There are many people who are keen to make a change, but the changes require a high level of teamwork and understanding to move forward in the right way. The more that some ignore that problems that exist, the bigger the impact it will have on society overall.

While some of the changes being made in the world are admirable, a larger collective is needed to make the changes needed for a greener future.

Jeremy Rifkin Blog

Empathy Needs to Remain at the Foundation of an Industrial Revolution

Seeing as humans have only been in existence for 175,000 years, it’s fair to say that we’re cited the “youngsters” when examining evolution at vast scale. As such, it’s a worrying concept that humanity has the potential to become an extinct species within the next century.

There have been many apocalyptic assumptions in the past that it can be easy to brush these types of claims aside, but there haven’t always been statistics connected with the predictions of the past.

One of the things I have reminded CEOS and business leaders about over the years is that there are times when we must go back to basics and concentrate on the real economy, which is photosynthesis.

This may seem nonsensical on the surface, but the breeding of life all relies on this very important bottom line, be it the places in the environment or the air we breathe. Given that there are over 6.8 million humans that span the globe, it would be easy to assume that humankind is at the top of the list when it comes to biomass, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Humans account for less than one percent of the biomass of the earth and in turn, are using more than 24% of all photosynthesis on earth. As the populous looks to increase from six to nine billion within the next couple of decades, it stands to reason that the current approach isn’t sustainable.

So, while there have been visions of doom in the past, which fortunately never came true when there are cold hard facts put in front of use, it’s important to start making the changes needs sooner rather than later. The hard call-to-action here is that we either change or face becoming extinct.

Fossil fuels have been used for the last two centuries and are essentially what created the industrial age, which we’re currently heading towards the end of. We have seen in the past how fuel crisis can affect the social economy, and the impact it can have on everyday items, making them more expensive.

This is due to humans relying on the carbon deposits from the Jurassic age and forming an entire civilisation based on the same. Although it could be argued for progress to take place fossil fuel is essential, the temperament of fossil fuel in the modern means that it has the potential to collapse an economic infrastructure.

Many philosophers in the past have had takes on what babies crave when they come into the world. Some state that they strive to obtain pleasure and avoid pain, while others will state they’re designed to meet the economic stature of the current infrastructure.

Although the current autonomous culture has been praised for its innovation, the use of technology must be done in a responsible way. While some technology is created to make life easier, some may be used to undercut the value of humans and what they must bring to the table when it comes to a more efficient future.

Machines and technology in the current ages if capable of a lot, but there are human qualities that can’t be replicated, and empathy is a human notion that continues to be important when creating a future that works.

Those that have been fortunate to bring children into the world will understand this concept only too well. Very rarely will there be a set path that children must travel to be deemed a success. Parents will want to ensure that their children are happy in whatever they do, and not looking at a world where there is little opportunity to develop.

Despite the heavy influence of fossil fuels, there is still plenty of work being carried out under the radar. However, for real change to be made, it’s important to break the shackles of conformity associated with the Industrial age.

When setting into a set trail of though, it means we become less conscious of what’s occurring. Becoming more conscious of the real threats surrounding us allows us to become more open to potential solutions that could be implanted quickly if everyone shared a similar vision and sense of empathy.

The current lifestyle adopted by many could be considered materialistic whether we mean it to be or not, simply because of the changes made during the Industrial Revolution.

Jeremy Rifkin Blog

Waking Up a Nation: Recognising the Potential of the Third Industrial Revolution

Upon the release of my book “The Green New Deal” I gave an overview of how the masses are entering a zero-carbon economy. My goal is to create the Third Industrial Revolution, which essentially changes the foundations of how energy is consumed. To better understand the concept of the Third Revolution, we simply need to look at what has gone before.

The First Industrial Revolution was powered by coal and steam, with oil and telephony pioneering the Second Industrial Revolution. Become less reliant on fossil fuel will mean that a cleaner infrastructure will pave the way for the Third Industrial Revolution.

I believe that the convergence of 5G communication is integral when it comes to creating a modernised infrastructure  as is a renewable energy Internet, From here, a cleaner and more beneficial infrastructure can be put in place that creates a brighter environment as well as more opportunity in relation to employment.

It’s worth noting that the fossil fuel industry currently represents stranded assets of more than $100 trillion. This is made up of various ports, power plant and ocean drilling that will have to become obsolete at some point.

The future doesn’t have to be one that is lacking hope and inspiration, but it’s important for changes to be made sooner rather than later. For example, a discussion with US Congress shows that there are many changes that need to be implemented in order to achieve a brighter future, including the updating of buildings and upgrading of the current energy grid.

There is also the transportation infrastructure to consider as well as the implementation of a green0-collar workforce. Such transitions can take time and trying to implement them at the last-minute means there is less time for society to adapt.

The continuation of the Second Industrial Revolution also means that there is more disruption in different areas of society, especially when it comes to employment.

I feel that the key to transition is leveraging the benefit of the pension fund industry. As the global pension funds represent $40 trillion in investments, it’s certainly a worthwhile consideration, but time is of the essence.

We have less than 12 years to try and cut the emission of global warming gasses by 45%, or we could fall foul of the current ecosystem breaking down around us.

Just because some are slow to embark on the changes needed to introduce a more progressive future, this doesn’t mean that steps aren’t being taken by other major economies. China has risen to prominence for several reasons of late, and this can be attributed to the open-minded approach the country takes to technology as well as the environment.

A recent report by the IRENA states that China is perfectly primed to become the world’s renewable energy superpowers. To break this down, Chine current has one-third of the world’s wind power, six of the top ten solar panel manufacturers and four of the top ten wind-turbine makers.

Despite Chine hoping to deliver low-carbon and circular development to Asia as well as having a potentially global customer base, China has also had to recognise that it is one of the largest polluted countries in the world.

Many may not be aware that China us response for the burning of half of the world’s coal, and it’s BRI ventures have been responsible for the exportation of dirty energy projects. However, Beijing is keen adopt a future that consists of clean energy, with signs show that China will invest as much as $6 trillion in clean energy technologies over the next 20 years.

Although there are signs that countries such as the US are taking steps to create energy in a renewable form as opposed to fossil fuel, there are still a lot things that need to be done to ensure that the world as a whole is prepped for the future.

Acting sooner rather than later ensures that society has time to adopt a new green energy, and for this occur, all those in power need to making the right decisions.