Friday, June 26, 2020



The Green New Deal
   Dick’s general introduction.
   Dick’s summaries of the Introduction and chapters one and two.
   Publisher’s summary.
   An Excerpt.
   About the author.
   Google Search
The Third Industrial Revolution
His other books.

DICK’S General Introduction.
Although this book is about the familiar subject of resilience in adapting to the climate emergency, it is far from familiar in scope in most other ways, which is a major reason why it kept my attention page after page.
    In any textbook on rhetoric and argumentation, establishment of the speaker’s authority is usually near the front of persuasive techniques. Pull a climate book off your shelf and glance at the endorsers.   And then look at Rifkin’s:  the Director of the largest energy consulting team in the industry; the co-chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate; the former President of Doctors Without Borders; the Principal of the number one architecture firm in the US as ranked by Architecture magazine; Vandana Shiva, recipient of the Right Livelihood Award.
      They like the scope and boldness-and persuasiveness--of his plan.
       The scope and boldness: the collapse of the FF civilization, the rebuilding of the planet’s infrastructure, zero carbon living, free sun and wind.
       The persuasiveness: well, that depends upon our judgment during a close reading,
but I found his exposition of the European Climate Vision to be what has been missing in the USA, ironically in a book declared to be about the USA’s new New Deal.  He has used our pre-World War II Dust Bowl and Depression and the transformative but truncated national project of the Democrats’ New Deal as the foundation for the new ND’s realization in post-WWII European national experiences.  It’s a complex story of course; he offers no simple magical solutions, only clear thinking and hard work.
    For example, chapter 1, p. 29, “in the European Union [of the 21st century], EU citizens recognize the importance of maintaining a balanced partnership between government and commerce, and there is a deep appreciation for the role that the government plays in providing public infrastructure and services. . . .  By contrast, everywhere we look across America today, the public infrastructure is in dire straits and disrepair,” to which the American Society of Civil Engineers gave a report card of D+.   (Here’s an example from Arkansas: Emily Walkenhorst, “High-risk dams in rough shape….” (NADG, 11-18-19).  Or this nation-wide: Ellen Knickmeyer, “Report: 60% of Superfund sites at higher risk in climate change.”  (11-19).  Who do you think is readier for the climate emergency, Europe or the US?)
      And how will we pay to catch up our infrastructure in order to be resilient when the hyper-storms and -floods and -fires and -droughts strike?   That’s all laid out too by Rifkin in “Finding the Money” (182- and passim).
      This is a brilliant, comprehensive, necessary book for the emergency, and I urge all CBF members to read it.  

Jeremy Rifkin.  The Green New Deal:  Why the Fossil Fuel Civilization Will Collapse by 2028, and the Bold Economic Plan to Save Life on Earth.  St. Martin's Press, 2019.
Dick’s summary and comments on the Intro. and chapters 1 and 2.
Part I.  “The Great Disruption: The Decoupling Stampede and Stranded Fossil Fuel Assets”
In four chapters: the ferocious effort of corporate investors to extract every drop of FF before that trillions of dollars of profit is shut off and the new economy of free sun and wind arrives and empowers the people. 
Part II.  “A Green New Deal Rising from the Ashes.” 
In three chapters: the new “social capitalism,” a cooperative society of the people creating a new democratic civilization. 
INTRODUCTION (Notes on pp.247-).
This thoroughly political book opens with 2018’s wakeup calls:  1) The IPCC’s October “dire warning of “accelerating emissions” and “escalating climatic events, imperiling life on the planet.”  To avoid that chaos, we must “cut the emission of global warming gases 45 percent from 2010 levels” in only 12 years.  2) The Nov. 2018 election of a younger generation of Democrats who understood the warning and were “committed to a radical redirection of the American economy” to a more equitable distribution of its fruits.  By Feb. 2019 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with Senator Ed Markey had introduced a Green New Deal Resolution.  Quickly over 100 members of Congress cosponsored it, including several presidential contenders, and hundreds of state and local officials. 
     This “turnaround in the national mood” followed a decade of disastrous water events indicating a “disruption of the Earth’s hydrosphere.”  Climate change and the GND were moving to the center of the 2020 electoral campaign.   91% of Democrats supported the Resolution, 88% of Independents, and 64% of Republicans (pp. 5-6).  Elite representatives were also joining the movement, especially in support of a carbon tax.  And a similar GND “swept across the European Union.”  (6-7).
     Meanwhile, “solar, wind, and other renewable energies are coming online.”   The cost for solar and wind installation has “plummeted” until they are now “’cheaper than the most efficient gas plants, coal plants, and nuclear reactors.” (7).   Here Rifkin introduces what becomes a major topic of the book: the move from FF to cheaper renewables will create trillions of dollars worth of FF “stranded assets,” creating a “seismic struggle” as the “principal sectors responsible for global warming” begin “to decouple from the fossil fuel industry.” (8).  
     Rifkin calls this energy change the “Great Disruption,” and it is part of the “Third Industrial Revolution” (TIR) of divestment from FF and embrace of renewables.  Of great concern to millions of US workers  is the safe transition of over $40 trillion invested in pension funds.  This will be “the biggest divest/invest campaign in capitalist history” (9). 
     Unfortunately, the US has no plan for the transition to a zero-carbon future.  Europe and China, however, are preparing, which Rifkin has assisted.  This book on the GND is intended to help the US catch up (10).  He is confident that the global companies and the governments of the EU and China ”that I work with” can do it, and that the US will join them. 

CHAPTER ONE: IT’S THE INFRASTRUCTURE, STUPID! (Notes pp. 249-251) [From the First Industrial Revolution to the Third]
    [We think in trinities or triads?  Rifkin does.]
     We need a new economic vision and fast, for we need to transform simultaneously all three parts of our interactive infrastructure: 1) communication, 2) transportation, 3) energy, and we have only 20 years to accomplish it [to others, 10 years].
     This total paradigm revolution can be understood historically as three economic revolutions, which Rifkin compares not in chronological order, but the First and Second are woven into his narrative of the Third. 
     The new economic system, the Third Industrial Revolution, will change everything [remember Klein’s book] “comparable to the shift from agriculture to an industrial society,” creating “new business models. . .new kinds of mass employment,” training “millions of people.” 
     The digitized Communication Internet is converging with digitized Mobility/ Logistics Internet powered by a Renewable Energy Internet “atop an Internet of things (IoT) platform embedded in the total infrastructure (pp. 15-16).  [Rifkin thinks BIG and the FUTURE.  See pp. 24]
     The rest of the chapter takes up topic after topic of the shift  from the Second Industrial Revolution into the “smart” zero-carbon, Third Industrial Revolution economy and infrastructure that are “the very center-piece of a Green New Deal” (23).
          This new economy’s infrastructure must be enormous to accomplish such scope of planetary changes.  “Big Data,” available to all free, will increase efficiency and productivity, reduce carbon footprint, and lower marginal cost, “forcing a fundamental change in the capitalist system” (17).   “This is what the green digital Third Industrial Revolution does.” (18).  And since it is universally embedded, it will be a “sharing economy” composed of “sharing networks” using dramatically less natural resources and causing  significantly less carbon emissions.  “The Sharing Economy is a core feature of the Green New Deal era” (19).
     The GND’s roots in the 2nd IR of the Roosevelts and the Democratic Party is announced by its name, and such roots go far back into the 1st IR via the Morrill Land-Grant Acts of 1862 and 1890 (32-33).
      But those infrastructures were flawed by their economic and social inequities (34).  The GND envisions a democratic future, governments in partnership with the public.  Power including economic power must be “glocalized,” or decentralized to regions, states, counties, and cities,  and to “peer-assemblies” (35-6, 42-45).  “Deep public participation” should be the rule in this laterally scaled 3rd IR in which the infrastructure is perceived as public open-source commons. 
     Why has the national infrastructure been so neglected in recent decades?    Why  have we delayed?  Why are we so far behind Europe?     Despite the countless ways government (i.e. public) money has built the infrastructure of this country, the evidence that increasing infrastructure spending increases jobs and GDP, and the popularity of infrastructures, well-funded Republican anti-government, pro-private and corporate ideology has been gaining power ever since Ronald Reagan (28-31, 36-7).  

[In the preceding summary, I mainly assumed the voice of the author.  In the following, I speak as clearly another person telling about the chapter.  –D]
       Jeremy Rifkin has extraordinary knowledge of the history of the “Green New Deal.”  He is the first historian of the movement that I know of to identify its roots in 2007 Europe.  By then Europe had become the leader in decarbonizing societies.  In 2007 the European Union (EU) established the 20-20-20 protocols requiring all EU member states to increase their energy efficiency by 20%, reduce their global warming emissions by 20%, and increase their generation of renewable energies by 20% by the year 2020.  Thus it was “the first major political power to establish a…legally binding commitment to….transform the continent into a zero-carbon society” (47).  [Did they meet their deadline?]
     Almost simultaneously the Green New Deal movement began.  The eclectic Green New Deal Group met in the UK “to rethink the economic paradigm.”  And in 2008 they published a 48-page declaration titled A Green New Deal: Joined-Up Policies to Solve the Triple Crunch of the Credit Crisis, Climate Change, and High Oil Prices.”  Central to the document was the 20-20-20- formula.  It inaugurated the zero-carbon Third Industrial Revolution paradigm shift (the First in the nineteenth century: coal, steam, telegraph; the Second in the twentieth: oil, electricity, telephone):  renewables, digital infrastructure (see chapter 1).     
      The document’s title was no accident.  The group chose President Roosevelt’s New Deal as the inspiration for transforming the European economy into green (48). 
      One year later the German Green Party issued a manifesto titled Toward a Transatlantic Green New Deal: Tackling the Climate and Economic Crises.  They hoped to unite the US and EU to advance a postcarbon transition. 
    Later the same year the European Greens published a detailed plan called A Green New Deal for Europe: Towards Green Modernisation in the Face of Crisis.  And the United Nation’s Environment Programme (UNEP) issued its report, Rethinking the Economic Recovery: Global Green New Deal.   2008 was a great leap forward for GND.
      Next year S. Korea signed a $36 billion initiative for low-carbon projects and 900,000 new jobs.
     And in 2011, Rifkin co-authored a book titled A Green New Deal: From Geo-politics to Biosphere Politics, focusing on architecture and infrastructure (49). 
     The Green New Deal “continued to gain momentum” and became “a theme in the 2019 European elections.”
     Meanwhile, in the US, GND “became the moniker for the US Green Party and the presidential run of Jill Stein in 2016.”  And in 2018 the new sunrise Movement and US Representative Ocasio-Cortez [with Senator Markey] made their own declaration. (Discussed earlier p. 3, e.g. 103 members of Congress, several Democratic Party  presidential contenders,  and hundreds of state and local officials had cosponsored it by 2019).
     To sum up, the GND had been prepared for a decade before coming to fruition via the new millennial and Gen Z political revolution.  [See chapter 1 on earlier preparation during 1st and 2nd IR.]
       This historical sketch constitutes the first half of chapter 2 (to p. 50).  The second half is even more important.
     Rifkin perceives the transition, the “paradigm shift,” to the Third Industrial Revolution and GND (and Paris Climate Summit) as occurring in “four sectors that make up the Second Industrial Revolution infrastructure” (see p. 16 ): ICT/telecommunications; energy and electricity; internal combustion mobility; residential, commercial, etc. buildings.   Here is the battleground emphatically from 2015 onward of the four sectors decoupling from the fossil fuel civilization and recoupling with green energies and technologies, and “leaving stranded [100 trillions of dollars of] fossil fuels assets everywhere (my italics) (50).   [Here’s why the question --why can’t people just get along?-- is so foolish, and why the ff companies and their investors are drilling and selling with such frenzy.]  Add to fear of an international binding commitment to limit global warming by 2 degrees at the Paris Summit, CEOs and investors also feared the rapidly “falling cost of …green power and storage,”  which would leave trillions of dollars of potential ff profits abandoned (52).  
     The remaining pages of the chapter gives some details; and the rest of the book is closely tied to it.   I’ll single one out that highlights his important role in this history.  One of Rifkin’s books is The Third Industrial Revolution.    In 2012 China’s Premier Li Keqiang read the book and instructed high-level national centers to follow up its ideas (65).        
  An important factor unrevealed by my selection of highlights is Rifkin’s long and deep leadership in the GND movement.  The main theme underlying this history is that mitigating warming requires a comprehensive, international political movement. He is one of the original thinkers and a steady promoter of the concept during the last decade.  This book can be read as an autobiography of his promotion of GND.  
     The first two chapters suggest that the great Resolution by Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Markey did not spring out of nowhere, but is as much a culmination as it is a beginning.     
        My summaries and comments on chapters one and two were intended to help us compare the book with other GND narratives .  In a critical review, I would have examined for example Rifkin’s under-attention to population growth (zero citations) and to Bernie Sanders (one).

THE GREEN NEW DEAL: Why the Fossil Fuel Civilization Will Collapse by 2028, and the Bold Economic Plan to Save Life on Earth by Jeremy Rifkin.  St. Martin's Press, 2019.
The Green New Deal

256 Pages
An urgent plan to confront climate change, transform the American economy, and create a green post-fossil fuel culture.
A new vision for America’s future is quickly gaining momentum. Facing a global emergency, a younger generation is spearheading a national conversation around a Green New Deal and setting the agenda for a bold political movement with the potential to revolutionize society. Millennials, the largest voting bloc in the country, are now leading on the issue of climate change.
While the Green New Deal has become a lightning rod in the political sphere, there is a parallel movement emerging within the business community that will shake the very foundation of the global economy in coming years. Key sectors of the economy are fast-decoupling from fossil fuels in favor of ever cheaper solar and wind energies and the new business opportunities and employment that accompany them. New studies are sounding the alarm that trillions of dollars in stranded fossil fuel assets could create a carbon bubble likely to burst by 2028, causing the collapse of the fossil fuel civilization. The marketplace is speaking, and governments will need to adapt if they are to survive and prosper.
In The Green New DealNew York Times bestselling author and renowned economic theorist Jeremy Rifkin delivers the political narrative and economic plan for the Green New Deal that we need at this critical moment in history. The concurrence of a stranded fossil fuel assets bubble and a green political vision opens up the possibility of a massive shift to a post-carbon ecological era, in time to prevent a temperature rise that will tip us over the edge into runaway climate change. With twenty-five years of experience implementing Green New Deal–style transitions for both the European Union and the People’s Republic of China, Rifkin offers his vision for how to transform the global economy and save life on Earth.
·         Book Excerpt
·         Reviews
·         About the Author
·         From the Publisher
We are facing a global emergency. Our scientists tell us that human-induced climate change brought on by the burning of fossil fuels has taken the human race and our fellow species into the sixth mass extinction...
Praise for The Green New Deal
"[Jeremy Rifkin] is a principal architect of the European Union’s long-term economic vision, Smart Europe, and a key advisor to China's Third Industrial Revolution vision...The European Commission is calling for a climate-neutral Europe by 2050. His new book, The Green New Deal, is essentially an attempt to rouse the United States from its slumber within a collapsing 20th century fossil fuel era." —Forbes
“The futurist and prolific author is the kind of thinker popular among chief executives and the TED Talk crowd. So it’s not surprising that ‘The Green New Deal’ takes a stance quite different from that of typical Green New Deal supporters... he’s interested in building factories, farms, and vehicles in a fossil-free world, asserting that ‘the Green New Deal is all about infrastructure.’ He’s best at articulating the huge financial risk the oil, coal, and natural gas industries face from stranded assets - all the pipelines, ocean drilling platforms, ports, mining equipment and power plants that will soon be obsolete... there is an unmistakable sense that with disaster comes opportunity. Will we seize this moment to become a more just, more equitable, more resilient world.” —The New York Times Book Review

"[In The Green New Deal], economic theorist Jeremy Rifkin, whose work has inspired climate legislation in China and in various countries in the European Union (E.U.), is well positioned to advocate for this new political vision. In The Green New … More…
Reviews from Goodreads
Jeremy Rifkin
JEREMY RIFKIN, one of the most popular social thinkers of our time, is the bestselling author of 20 books including The Zero Marginal Cost SocietyThe Third Industrial RevolutionThe Empathic CivilizationThe European DreamThe Age of AccessThe Hydrogen Economy, and The End of Work. His books have been translated into more than 35 languages. Rifkin is an advisor to the European Union, the People’s Republic of China, and heads of state around the world. He has taught at the Wharton School's Executive Education Program at the University of Pennsylvania since 1995 and is the president of the Foundation on Economic Trends in Washington, DC.
Jeremy Rifkin
image of Jeremy RifkinoNone
·         Author Web Site
Wikipedia Author PageGoodreads



Rifkin, Google Search, 10-24-19
In The Green New Deal, New York Times bestselling author and renowned economic theorist Jeremy Rifkin delivers the political narrative and economic plan for ...
An urgent plan to confront climate change, transform the American economy, and create a green post-fossil fuel culture. ... Facing a global emergency, a younger generation is spearheading a national conversation around a Green New Deal and setting the agenda for a bold political ...
Oct 8, 2019 - In his new book, The Green New DealRifkin argues that we are entering a zero carbon economy. Much as coal and steam powered the First ...
The Green New Deal by Jeremy Rifkin. An urgent plan to confront climate change, transform the American economy, and create a green post-fossil fuel culture.
Oct 9, 2019 - Jeremy Rifkin: We're on the cusp of a Third Industrial Revolution. It's the heart of "The Green New Deal." So the communication internet we're ...
Sep 17, 2019 - In new books, Naomi Klein and Jeremy Rifkin take very different approaches to A.O.C.'s progressive climate proposal.
 Rating: 3.7 - ‎19 votes
The Green New Deal: Why the Fossil Fuel Civilization Will Collapse by 2028, and .... Only Rifkin's god can help you, and all it takes is to accept Rifkin as the true ...
Jun 25, 2019 - THE GREEN NEW DEAL. Why the Fossil Fuel Civilization Will Collapse by 2028, and the Bold Economic Plan To Save Life on Earth. by Jeremy ...
Oct 7, 2019 - Two new books—Naomi Klein's On Fire and Jeremy Rifkin's The Green New Deal—present arguments for adopting such a plan. Although ...

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--Rifkin, Jeremy.  The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World.    Excerpt:    Review: Published Oct 4 2011 by Climate One, Archived Oct 11 2011

Jeremy Rifkin: The Third Industrial RevolutionAudio

by Justin Gerdes


The world is doomed to repeat four-year cycles of booms followed by crashes if we don’t get off oil, Jeremy Rifkin warned a Climate One audience in San Francisco on October 3. The solution, what he calls the Third Industrial Revolution, is the “Energy Internet,” a nervous system linking millions of small renewable energy producers.
For Rifkin, author of the new The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy and Changing the World, a seminal event occurred in July 2008, when the price of oil hit $147 a barrel. “Prices for everything on the supply chain went through the roof, from food to petrochemicals. Purchasing power plummeted all over the world that month. An entire economic engine of the Industrial Revolution shut down,” he said...
"Every time we try to re-grow the economy at the same growth rate we were growing before July 2008, the price of oil goes up, all of the other prices goes up, purchasing power goes down, and it collapses.” This is a wall we can’t go beyond under the current energy regime, he said. “We’re in this wild gyration of four-year cycles, where we’re going to try to re-grow, collapse, re-grow, collapse.”
The solution is a plan based on five pillars, which is being implemented in the European Union: 1) Renewable energy targets: such as the EU’s 20% by 2020 mandate 2) Green buildings: over the next 40 years, Europe plans to convert its 191 million buildings into energy-efficient, micro power plants 3) Energy storage: batteries, flywheels, and hydrogen used to smooth the intermittency of renewables 4) “Energy Internet”: create a central nervous system so that buildings can talk to the grid and sell or store power depending on prices 5) Plug-in electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles...   MORE:


Original article available here

Jeremy Rifkin books
The Hydrogen Economy
The Zero Marginal Cost Society
The Empathic Civilization

--Rifkin, Jeremy.  The Empathic Civilization.  Rev. Amanda Gefter, “Jeremy Rifkin: The third industrial revolution,” NewScientist (Feb. 17, 2010).    In The Empathic Civilization, Jeremy Rifkin argues that before we can save ourselves from climate change we have to break a vicious circle and embrace a new model of society based on scientists' new understanding of human nature. I asked him how we can do it.   MORE:

The Age of Access: The New Culture of Hypercapitalism Where All of Life Is a Paid-For Experience
The European Dream
The End of Work

The End of Work--Rifkin, Jeremy. 


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Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)