Rifkin, J. (2011). the Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World

By Glowacki-Dudka, Michelle | Adult Learning, February 2013 | Go to article overview

Rifkin, J. (2011). the Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World


Glowacki-Dudka, Michelle, Adult Learning


Rifkin, J. (2011). The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. 304 pp. ISBN 13-9780230115217 (hardcover).

In The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World, Rifkin moves beyond panicking about the worldwide energy crisis. Instead, he presents a grandiose, yet potential, solution and describes actual case studies from across the world where political leaders are embracing and beginning to implement these changes. Although Rifkin enjoys name dropping and puts much confidence in the power of top-down national/regional initiatives, the arguments and scenarios presented in the text are well referenced and multiple endnotes accompany each chapter. Through this academic framework, he explores and welcomes this third industrial revolution through the changes in communication and energy sources.

The first industrial revolution came about with steam-powered technology and the printing press. The second industrial revolution used electrical communication and fossil fuels, specifically the oil-powered internal combustion engine. The third industrial revolution will take advantage of distributed communication systems such as the Internet, social networking, collaboration, and distributed renewable energy.

Rifkin (2011) recognizes, "Infrastructure is an organic relationship between communication technologies and energy sources that, together, create a living economy ... Infrastructure is akin to a living system that brings increasing numbers of people together in more complex economic and social relationships" (p. 35). In the book, he describes five pillars for the third industrial revolution becoming a postcarbon society:

   (1) Shifting to renewable energy; (2)
   transforming the building stock of every
   continent into micro-power plants to collect
   renewable energies on site; (3) deploying
   hydrogen and other storage technologies in
   every building and throughout the infrastructure
   to store intermittent energies; (4) using Internet
   technology to transform the power grid of every
   continent into an energy-sharing intergrid that
   acts just like the Internet; (5) transitioning the
   transport fleet to electric plug-in and furl cell
   vehicles that can buy and sell electricity on a
   smart, continental, interactive power grid. (p. 37)

Rifkin (2011) projects this new relationship will be a "democratization of energy and universal access to electricity" (p. 63). This focus on a renewable and distributed energy system could empower all communities to become energy producers and share access with all the populations on earth, including the poorest. While Rifkin mentions people in poverty and workers, he does little to describe their role in this transformation. He enjoys focusing on people in power who can directly order actions to be done. Much more education and direct community involvement will be needed to make this vision come to fruition.

The book is divided into three sections. The first section revisits the 2008 economic crisis and makes connections to the price of oil as the trigger for the "worldwide collapse of purchasing power" (Rifkin, 2011, p. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Rifkin, J. (2011). the Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.