Jeremy Rifkin on Europe’s next industrial revolution [Der Spiegel]

The industrial revolution is over, and the machines have won. But as jobs in factories and offices disappear, there are still opportunities to create new kinds of employment.

According to Jeremy Rifkin, the first opportunity lies in what he calls the “Hydrogen Economy.” The hydrogen economy envisions a transition from today’s reliance on fossil fuels to hydrogen power. Individual hydrogen fuel cells would be transformed into a networked grid of energy providers that would use the same type of networks and software that run the Internet, but in the hydrogen economy, they would distribute power rather than just bits. Hydrogen cars could produce enough energy to not only to drive, but also to power a home and share energy with a neighbor. Hydrogen fuel cells, he says, could be as ubiquitous in 25 years as today’s PCs.

He also argues that the steady erosion of manufacturing and service jobs could also be partially offset by a greater focus on the “third sector” — the non-profit civil society positions that have accounted for up to 40 percent of all the new jobs created in the most advanced 15 European Union nations over the past 10 years.

Read full story (August 4, 2005)

Previous contributions by Jeremy Rifkin:
Why the European dream is worth saving (July 28, 2005)
Europe’s commitment anxiety (July 29, 2005)
American capitalism vs. European social markets (August 1, 2005)
Why America needs a strong EU (August 2, 2005)
The end of work (August 3, 2005)

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