Well it does not seem that the people who have responsibilities for the world are aware of the huge responsibilitiy tothe human species they bear. At the moment it looks like they are just play around and enjoying the “Ville Lumiere. leonor Taylor, political correspondant of The Guardian Australia tells us everything about the first week of the COP 21 in Paris.
On Day 2 most of the 150 world leaders who had spoken to the summit on Monday had gone home, the motorcades were thinning out and the grinding process of actually negotiating the agreement began.
US president Barack Obama was still around though and at a press conferencehe confirmed the US was happy for one critical part of the deal to be legally binding – the need for each country’s reduction target to be periodically reviewed.
The US can’t agree to the whole deal being legally binding because it would be virtually impossible to get it through the Republican-controlled Congress, but the president’s remarks are important because the targets now on the table would at best hold warming to 2.7C – which would still unleash catastrophic climate impacts on low-lying islands and poor countries. Regular reviews hold open the hope that countries do more over time.
Obama also met leaders of some of the low lying island states, recognising the extreme threat they face from global warming. I wrote about that meeting.
The Australian environment minister Greg Hunt was challenged about why he had approved a coal mega-mine proposed by Indian company Adani in Australia with a production so huge the coal mined would create annual emissions greater than New York City. He came up with a whole new “rationale” – that it wasn’t Australia’s mine and Australia wasn’t a “neo-colonialist” power telling poor countries what to do. Yesterday he downplayed suggestions that the developing countries would be able to amend the purpose of the agreement to keep global warming under 1.5C (a harder goal than the current 2C).
Negotiators are saying the initial talks are “bumpy” with deep disagreement over thousands of points. Their job is to hone down the 50-plus page document before handing the running of the talks to the French presidency on the weekend for the final, critical week.
Here’s today’s reading list, with a few extra long reads for the weekend
Byron McCormick is among the world leading experts on hydrogen technology applied to the mobility. In 2002 he designed the famous General Motors Hy Wire car that left all the industry analists open mouthed and speechless. It was indeed a great revolution in the concept of the car aimed at providing much more space and freedom than the conventional internal combustion engine cars (see this video of that time https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=3&v=Obs2tAq57j8). A revolution the world was probably not ready for at that time. In fact the Hy Wire never saw the production chain lines. But that was then and this is now. Is the world ready for the Revolution now? Ever since Byron retired from GM research department he has been tiredlessly advocating the cause of hydrogen mobility, one of the pillars of the Third Industrial Revolution vision brought to the world by his friend and colleague Jeremy Rifkin.
So the answer is yes, the world is ready now.
But how ready are the hydrogen technologies?
Here is Byron’s latest feature on the Huffington Post answering to just that!
Byron McCormick – CEO, Prepared Minds International LLC
The Third Industrial Revolution, Like Moore’s Law, Is a Guide to the Future
As an informed reader of The WorldPost, if you viewed Jeremy Rifkin’s articles on the “Third Industrial Revolution,” you may have read seriously and given some thought to the premises and projections for a few moments. You may have just skimmed. You may have thought, “Interesting, but just another projection of the future that’s jamming the Internet and talk television.” Or, “So what, another prophet is reading the tea leaves to predict the future.”
Whatever your initial thoughts, you then got on with your life, worrying about the kids, planning your day, going to work, taking care of all manner of today things. If you run a business, you went on worrying about cash flow, keeping customers happy and employees engaged and on track — and if there was time, planning prudently to invest and build for the future. If you are in government, you were swamped with meetings and generally trying to get things done through the myriad of mazes that is government bureaucracy.
So, the question is, the Third Industrial Revolution … so what!?
The “so what” of it is that this is only the third time in human history when there has been a confluence of radically more capable technologies in energy, propulsion andcommunications, enabling not only new, but revolutionary new forms of human endeavor, new products serving peoples’ needs and desires, new businesses and new social models. When enabling fundamentals such as the five pillars of the Third Industrial Revolution converge, ideas spawn and connect. People experiment. New ideas breed even newer and better ideas. Things reorganize. The world changes.
The last time such a major confluence of enablers happened is called the Industrial Revolution in textbooks. But, in truth, it was one of only two such events in the history of mankind. Each changed human history fundamentally and irreversibly.
The initial result of this last event is that a small island off the coast of Europe transformed itself into the British Empire, a global colossus that turned much of the world into suppliers of raw materials needed to feed the massive industrial engine of the Empire. English became a necessary form of communication, and the framework of today’s global education structure was created to supply capable workers to keep the global enterprise running efficiently. We are all today now living in the evolved form of that revolution.
Smoke streams from the chimneys of a coal-fired power station in Germany. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)
The “so what” message, then, is that there are massive winners and losers in this process. Nations rose. Nations fell. Economies prospered. Economies went bankrupt. Businesses were created. Businesses failed. Workers thrived. Workers were displaced. Fortunes were made. Fortunes were lost. And the Luddite movement, which protested, sabotaged looms and gears and set fires in factories, was squashed by the inevitability of the creative construct. Stop it in one place and it springs up somewhere else in a new and more capable form. Such is the power of the fundamental, enabling, synergistic ideas, technologies, products, businesses and social constructs that the world was forever changed.
I think we would all agree that it’s been for the better, even though there are undeniable and serious problems and externalities that need our most urgent attention. Yet, I suspect that most of us would rather stay in this time and place than go back to a past time of incredible scarcity and shorter lifespans.
In that historical context, the Third Industrial Revolution concept and understandings are then potentially vitally important.
The synergistic effect of Rifkin’s five pillars and the multiplicative power of their combined capabilities and virtues enables solutions to the most pressing deficiencies of the current world, which is based on the Second Industrial Revolution, like pollution, climate change and global distribution of wealth. The Third Industrial Revolution is a natural and healthy way to address these critical problems without needing to resort to artificial mandates and penalties-based approaches, which, no matter how carefully conceived, always bring manifold and often serious unintended consequences.
It is far better and more efficient to work to enable the Third Industrial Revolution, which is eventually and inevitably going to happen anyway.
As Les Shephard of the University of Texas, San Antonio wrote in a recent email to me, “It seems Rifkin’s message has become a beacon for many in the developed world and a source of hope for those from emerging nations.”
‘Rifkin’s message has become a beacon for many in the developed world and a source of hope for those from emerging nations.’
If this is true, then how should we think about the Third Industrial Revolution? What is it really?
A good analogy for the Third Industrial Revolution is to think of it as an all-encompassing “Moore’s Law” for energy, power, communications and major social constructs. “Moore’s Law” is a well-known projection by Gordon Moore of Intel that described the future frenetic progress of integrated circuits, their size, capability and cost. It is based on a fundamental understanding that the path to those things would be determined by continued reductions in the wavelength of light used in the photolithographic processes and the normal learning processes from experience and volume manufacturing, aided by inevitable human creativity and ingenuity. Smaller feature sizes. Smaller devices. Chips with millions of devices. Faster computers. Faster data rates. Massive memories.
Moore’s Law is at once a vision of the future — millions of devices on a chip, higher speed, more capability — as well as an important guideline on the path to that end. The critical piece of learning from this analogy, however, is that those that understood and consistently acted on the many implications of this seemingly simple statement have prospered. They grasped the opportunity. Like Intel, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Google, Uber, Kahn Academy, Alibaba and so many others. Computers are everywhere.
Bandwidth, powerful software, Internet, communications, personal power, the “Internet of Things.” Those that missed or did not think through the broader implications failed. Here are a few examples: RCA, the then dominant global electronics giant, which made modern integrated circuits for the government, chose, for internal reasons, to wait until it was too late to catch the semiconductor pioneers. RCA is now, at best, a second-rate brand name only. Then there’s Kodak, with an enabling tech base, big money at its disposal and formidable patent portfolio, which has basically gone away, dissolved by choosing to make its profits and invest in film for far too long. (“Mama, Moore’s Law done took your Kodachrome away.”) And IBM, the globally dominant computer company, which invented the basic architecture of the modern personal computer, euphemistically known as “Wintel,” chose not to build on the opportunity, instead focusing on defending its mainframe computer business. That choice, in turn, opened the door for Intel and Microsoft to become the dominant enterprises they have become. Other examples abound.
Android smartwatches on display in San Francisco, California. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
So, is the Third Industrial Revolution really a Moore’s Law?
Those of us who have been involved with helping create some of the technologies, products and businesses embodied in Rifkin’s five pillars think it is. And, by working with and applying its synthesis deeply and in detail, we become convinced it is. The Third Industrial Revolution is based solidly on observations of what is and what is now emerging. For example, solar cells are following their own Moore’s Law trajectory. They are now at parity with and soon will be cheaper than conventional power generation. It’s happening globally today. China installed almost as much solar capacity in 2014 than is currently in place in the total U.S.
For my part, in the automotive industry, antilock brakes led to stability control, and electric power steering and advanced sensors led to “active safety” and automatic parking. Internet connectivity will soon enable driverless cars, which inevitably will be connected with Uber-type business constructs.
When our General Motors team created EV1, we knew from basic physics that an electric drive was a better way to propel vehicles. The protests and movies when EV1 was shut down poignantly proved its popularity. Next generation, on-board electric power and energy-storage systems that we and others had under development at that time are now entering the marketplace. Today, those lithium batteries and hydrogen fuel cells are powering electric cars being introduced by numerous automotive companies. During the run up to the Frankfurt Motor Show, BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Porsche and Jaguar Land Rover announced or showed new electric vehicles and/or vehicle architectures that enable several electric propulsion variations all from the same modular architecture.
China announced a 50 billion yuan ($7.85 billion) development this year for electric and highly electrified cars. Additionally, China’s production of such vehicles is expanding rapidly, threatening to surpass the United States. Meanwhile, Toyotaannounced a new plug-in hybrid Prius with 30 miles of pure electric range, in addition to its revolutionary Mirai fuel cell automobile.
Red Saturn EV1, parked at a gas station. (John B. Carnett/Bonnier Corp. via Getty Images)
The electrification of the automobile is in full swing, including Formula 1 race cars being hybridized, not only because of mandates, but because the products are better, more responsive, more efficient, quieter and, like Teslas, just plain more fun.
Some EV’s are being fueled by solar today. More will be tomorrow as more solar is installed.
Without a doubt, renewable wind and solar energy will create electricity and electrolyze water to form the electricity-hydrogen complimentary energy carrier set, which will fuel our vehicles and allow us to store our renewable energy. It is happening today. And, with something on the order of 100 KW of power electronics, energy storage and power capability in every car, how long before cars that are parked over 90 percent of the time will be plugged into and become part of a new Web-enabled distributed energy network and energy-price arbitrage network?
So, relative to the Third Industrial Revolution construct, it delineates both an end point and guidelines to the future, based on today’s observed realities. It is the foundation on which the next phase of our collective human future will be built. How quickly and well that future is built matters to our kids and grandkids and those of future generations unborn.
How quickly and well this future is built matters to our kids and grandkids and those of future generations unborn.
There is little doubt that it will happen. It is happening today. It is built on the ongoing results of ideas turned into products and businesses by the sustained effort of millions of our fellow humans worldwide, combined with the investment of billions of dollars.
But, we must recognize that the next stage of the rollout will not be smooth or easy. It will be messy and confusingly people-centric, with our today-focused pressures and preoccupations, prejudices, fears and the all too human foibles.
Make no mistake. There will be winners. There will be losers. Nations will prosper. Nations will stumble. Companies will arise. Companies will disappear. People who develop the requisite skills through luck or educational opportunity or personal drive will prosper. Those without will struggle.
Looking back on the last industrial revolution or the recent computer/semiconductor/software/Internet revolution, it all appears deterministic in hindsight. Clearly this was all enabled and foretold, and only a fool would have missed it, at least as books and magazines present it.
But, in fact, it was generally chaotic. It was created by those with an idea and passion here, a risk taken there, a decision taken to commit to, protect and grow the disruptor in spite of the ever-present inertia and bureaucratic obstacles, emotional objections and protection of what currently is. The Internet of Things was created by people who internalized the basic understandings of what was happening through Moore’s Law and acted on it. Opportunities were missed by those who didn’t see the storyline, chose to ignore the all-too-clear message, chose the path of obstructionism, or were not, owing to various circumstances, able to participate.
So, with that in mind, we are presenting this conversation on the Third Industrial Revolution for your consideration in the hopes that as a Moore’s Law-like guideline, it will aid you personally, your family, your organization, your nation, your region and, as a result, mankind in general, to understand, align activities, seize opportunities and together, piece by piece, create a far better, more prosperous, sustainable, healthy and more equitable society and future for all of us.
As Sheikh Zaki Yamani, a Saudi oil minister for more than two decades, once said, “The stone age didn’t end for lack of stone.”
And, as Louis Pasteur said, “Chance favors the prepared mind.”
The Third Industrial Revolution is now upon us. What we make of it will be our legacy.
John Vidal Environment reporter for the Guardian, is in Paris and sends his reports on what’s going on from a particular perspective, that of the Newspaper who started the “Keep it in the Ground” campaign to leave oil and fossil fuels where they are.
I’m out in Paris as part of the team of Guardian correspondents covering the UN climate talks. Yesterday was the big set piece day for speeches by heads of state and government. They were meant to stick to 3 minutes each but of course many spoke for much longer and the speeches carried on well after dark. Barack Obama said the fact the talks were going ahead was an “act of defiance” following the terrorist attacks 2 weeks ago.
Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, implored countries to come to a deal: “Please, let’s meet on the middle ground, show some flexibility and sense of compromise for the common good. We can’t go on like this. We can’t waste any further time.”
I spent the first two days talking to the heads of the most important developing country negotiating groups and I must say they have rather more faith than I do that they will get a deal. Now that the leaders have jetted out, there are only three days of negotiations left before the politicians arrive and, boy, there are mountains to climb over cuts, long term goals, finance, equity, and the principle that the rich countries should act first and dig deeper because they are responsible for the historical emissions. My feeling now is that there will be a monster collision and rows in a few days time, but then all parties will come to their senses and realise that everyone has to compromise. It will be painful, but it’s the only chance of success.
Hyperboling is one of my favourite sports. But when it comes to climate, I don’t like playing with fire, nor water. This is the last call. Theupcoming COP 21 United Nations Climate Conference in Paris is by no means the only opportunity left to our decision makers to give human life still a chance on this planet. But it’s not only about them. Personal, daily decisions about our lifestyle play an equally important role. Please, at least turn off the car engine when reading this article.
World’s decision makers, among other things, are called upon to decide how to counter the rise in earth’s temperature that is radically changing the waywater is distributed around the globe. We are already witnessing bizarre weather events everywhere, and this is just the beginning. The failure of Copenhagen talks in 2009 for stronger commitments in this respect, together with the renewed expressions of idiocy of dirty energy companies against renewables are only making it more difficult to find a solution.
I am talking first to those who are planning to have a family, raise children, make plans for the future and are not yet aware. Each and every one of us should know what is going on. Scientists tell us since a while that human economic activities in their current form areadversely affecting the biosphere. And it happens that the human life takes place here, in the biosphere. Projections are clear: if we do not reduce carbon emissions and take a radical departure towards a post-carbon era, half of Earth’s species will be extinguished by the end of the current century, humans included.
If you still think that I’m over-exaggerating, consider what James Hansen, the former head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Spece Studies, forecasts: a rise in the Earth’s temperature of 4 degrees Celsius between now and the turn of the century, meaning the end of human civilization. Oh, you’ve finally turned off the car engine, thank you.
I see people enjoying climate change
For those who do not care about the future, nor human life in general: cool maynes, but your nihilist stance will be affected by the prospects of a Third Industrial Revolution that will take place soon. Actually, it has already started, with the active involvement of ordinary citizensaround the world. Yes, human life still has a chance on this Earth, based on what American economist and social scientist Jeremy Rifkin calls the emerging political consciousness of the biosphere.
The Third Industrial Revolution is entirely based on new technological developments applied to the sharing economy model. It’s better if this revolutionary change takes place with rather than without you, of course. It’s up to you to decide if you want to joins forces and accelerate the shift or just play the inertial mass’ role in the whole process.
Forget the Green Economy – Change Paradigm
The gradual emergence of a highly unequal society goes hand in hand with the devastation of the natural environment. These phenomena aremanifestations of the same problem: a faith in the so-called ‘progress’ as we’ve come to know it. Since the Second Industrial Revolution, our life depends on the extensive use of fossil fuels and theover-exploitation of land, water and air.
Recent attempts toward sustainability were mainly blabla that brought no change at all. Indeed, we are observing now thecommodification of natural resources and the ever greater concentration of the economic power in the hands of a few. The Green Economy was just a cosmetic change that paved the way to the extension of the existing (failed) markets for carbon and environnmental services to agriculture and water. We keep on using the tools of the same model that caused this socio-economic disaster.
Dear Prosumers, Welcome to the Third Industrial Revolution
The Third Industrial Revolution (TIR) is based on the idea of adistributed energy deriving from renewable sources. Unlike fossil fuels and uranium for nuclear power, the sun and the wind are free. This means that after the fixed costs for the renewable infrastructure are paid back, the marginal cost of producing green energy is near zero. In some regions of Europe and America, solar and wind energy is already as cheap, or cheaper, than fossil fuel or nuclear generated energy. The TRI implies that developing countries could leap-frog from the pre-industrial age to the Third Industrial Revolution. China has already embraced this new approach.
The TIR involves a radical shift from a consumer toward a prosumerperspective: we will be able to produce energy at home and exchange the surplus of green electricity on the national/ global market thanks to the smart grid. In Germany, where green energy is among the most innovative and successful sectors worldwide, a democratised use of solar and wind energy is already taking place. Indeed, the majority of the green electricity powering is being generated by small players in electricity cooperatives. In the TIR perspective, this democratisation will also apply to the Information and the Logistic & Transportsectors.
Angelo Consoli: Together they will constitute the Internet of Things. The Internet of Energy, the Internet of Information and the Internet of Logistics and Transport – with digital manufactoring, 3D printing and satellite driven clean vehicles – are now converging in an Internet of Things platform that, if properly planned, will create millions of Jobs for the next 40/50 years. This is the core of Digital Agenda as we explained it to President Juncker back in September.
So the EU is at the forefront in developing plans for digitalisation. At the same time, it still provides funding for fossil fuels extraction and distribution activities. Lobbies, right?
A. C.: Yes. The fossil lobbies are still very very very powerful and manipolative in Brussels. But still less than in Washington, may I add.
Various stages are envisaged in TIR towards establishing the Energy Community: where are we at in Italy?
A. C.: Italy is struggling because it has a very fast forward civil and economic society, and a very backwards political leadership. Let’s look at renewable energies: while Germany has virtually no bureacreacy to install them, in Italy there are very heavy bureacratic procedures, taxation, and continuosly changing legal framework, while instead fossil fuels are heavily subsidized and put in fast lane with special urgent legislation. That is the opposite of what Europe recommends in its 2020 Strategy that I have contributed to draft and pass in 2007. Let’s take another example, waste policies: while Europe reccommends the three R policy (Reduction-Reuse-Recycle), and is now even planning a Circular Economy Directive, Italy is puttingincinerators in fast lane. Again, the opposite of the European virtuous cycles.
Instead, in the French Nord Pas de Calais region TIR plans are already at an advanced stage. During a 4-day workshop in June 2013 with some 50 experts of the Jeremy Rifkin TIR scientific team and the local authorities, a work plan has been set up according to Rifkin’s TIR vision (renewable energies, hidrogen storage, positive energy buildings, smart grids, Zero Emission transports). That later became a TIR Master Planpresented in Lille in October 2013. A C : the Master Plan foresees full decarbonization of the region by 2050, reducing energy intensity by 2/3 and covering the remaining part with distributed renewable energies. It also foresees a transition from a linear to a circular economy, from mechanical to digital manufacturing and original funding schemes that include crowdfunding and TIR special savings schemes. The secret fo this outstanding success is that the region has created a special unit that coordinates and leads all operations related to the social, economic and political transition to a post carbon TIR future.
The TIR implies a radical structural change in the world’s economy. How fossil fuel companies could adjust – and facilitate – this shifting? Is there a place for them in the new era?
A C : There will be place for all industries, in the TIR future. Telecommunications, utilities, logistics, constructions, services, culture. The only industry I can really not find a place for is the fossile industry.
Angelo Consoli is the European Director at The Office of Jeremy Rifkin and President of the Third Industrial Revolution European Society” CETRI-TIRES.
Researcher & translator based in Brussels. An inquiring mind and aspiring reporter with a soft spot for music and visual arts. Italian mothertongue, but I dream in French.
Writing for ROOSTERGNN on governance issues.
This article appears by courtesy of the Global News Network and the original of it can be found at this web page: http://rgnn.org/2015/11/12/the-third-industrial-revolution-interview-with-angelo-consoli/
This chinese statement means: ” Jeremy Rifkin’s Third Industrial Revolution arrives in China and speeds up the Country’s transition towards a sustainable, empathic, digital and sharing future”.
This is breaking newsfrom the Huffington Post today.
Jeremy Rifkin meeting with the Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang in Beijing to discuss how China can be a global leader in the transition toward a Third Industrial Revolution sustainable paradigm.
Premier Li Embraces the Third Industrial Revolution in China
President XI and Premier Li Keqiang
The Huffington Post reports today from Beijing that “Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has not only read Jeremy Rifkin’s book, The Third Industrial Revolution, and taken it to heart. He and his colleagues have also made it the core of the country’s thirteenth Five-Year Plan announced in Beijing on October, 29th.”
The Huffington Post goes on to say that “this blueprint for China’s future signals the most momentous shift in direction since the death of Mao and the advent of Deng Xiaoping’s reform and opening up in 1978.”
There are currently 500,000 copies of Mr. Rifkin’s book, The Third Industrial Revolution, in print and 100,000 copies of his new book, The Zero Marginal Cost Society, in print in China.
China’s New Five-Year Plan Embraces the Third Industrial Revolution
BEIJING — Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has not only read Jeremy Rifkin’s book “The Third Industrial Revolution” and taken it to heart. He and his colleagues have also made it the core of the country’s 13th five-year plan announced in Beijing on Oct. 29.
“The future development of China,” Premier Li told us at the outset of the “Understanding China” dialogues organized by the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council, “is about economic transformation and upgrading — about expanding domestic consumption and advancing the new type of industrialization through the application of Internet technologies, urbanization and agricultural modernization. And it is about pursuing green growth. This will bring new opportunities to the balanced development of other economies and the world’s sustainable development.” The aim, in the words of the Chinese premier, is to move from “quantity” of growth to “quality.”
The aim, in the words of the Chinese premier, is to move from ‘quantity’ of growth to ‘quality.’
Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, the Politburo Standing Committee member in charge of the economy, laid out for us the comprehensive dimensions of the plan that will guide China’s development over the next half decade. The new buzzwords in his presentation could have been pulled right out of the series of essays by Rifkin — andresponses by global political and thought leaders — that we have been publishing in recent weeks in The WorldPost. Zhang envisions linking up China’s manufacturing and infrastructure through the resource and logistical efficiency enabled by the “Internet of Things” — what the Chinese call “Internet Plus.” He spoke of “circular” use of resources in which waste is recycled and about “weakening the urban concentration of Beijing” by integrating development through decentralized, smart infrastructure in the northern provinces surrounding the capital. Under the new plan, he said, the first criteria in the promotion evaluations of mayors, governors and party secretaries will be their “green” accomplishments.
Above all, the mantra now on the lips of every cadre and bureaucrat in every corner of China is “innovation” and “mass entrepreneurship.” Though it is questionable exactly how fully the Communist Party apparatchiks grasp what this means in any practical sense, it nonetheless reflects the recognition of China’s leaders that the export manufacturing model that has resulted in the high-growth rates of recent decades due to massive inputs of labor and capital has about run out of steam. New wealth and sustained growth, they now understand, can only come from the innovation of industry through the application of information technology.
Can Innovation Be Planned?
Slogans, of course, don’t make an economic revolution. The big question about this great leap forward proposed by China’s leaders is whether innovation can be planned, and just how far they are willing to go in giving “a decisive role to the market,” as President Xi Jinping told us in a separate conversation, as the vital spur to “mass” entrepreneurship.
Jack Ma’s Alibaba, Baidu and the rest of China’s high-tech companies are clear evidence of the entrepreneurial genius of Chinese society when left to its own devices. Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn and a top venture capitalist, observed at the meeting that Chinese start-ups have an edge over Silicon Valley entrepreneurs because “they work much harder and will do anything to win.”
But there is a core challenge for the Communist Party as it tries to shift from the Second Industrial Revolution to the third: innovation entails steady disruption while the Party seeks above all to maintain stability. It is not easy to see how you can both clamp down and “purify” the Internet by limiting the flow of information, as Xi has called for, while at the same time extolling “Internet Plus” innovation. Can “Internet Plus” and “Internet minus” go together? Where the Chinese authorities decide to draw the line between “freedom” and “order,” as we discussed with Internet czar Lu Wei in Beijing, will determine the scope of innovation-based prosperity.
One can be more confident on the integration of smart technology and infrastructure side of China’s ambitions. That lends itself to the long-term continuity of policy and purpose that has been the strength of the one-party system. On this score, the five-year plan marks only the beginning of the transition China’s economic managers hope to complete through their longer range policy known as “Made in China 2025.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel also visited Beijing recently, signing agreements with Premier Li to bolster coordination between the two manufacturing powers. Germany has a similar plan to integrate the Internet into industry called “Industry 4.0.” Here, Germany and China clearly have an edge on the U.S., where we have plenty of mass entrepreneurship but precious little political capacity to build out the infrastructure of the future.
China faces other challenges as well in the transition ahead. To stimulate faltering growth in recent years, it has unleashed vast amounts of credit into the economy, above all generating overcapacity in real estate. The massive, empty apartment buildings one used to associate with second and third-tier cities in the boonies, are now plentiful even around primary cities like Beijing. By some estimates, the resultingdebt ratio is more than 280 percent of GDP.
Where the Chinese authorities decide to draw the line between ‘freedom’ and ‘order’ will determine the scope of innovation-based prosperity.
This debt-fueled effort to keep up the growth rate was necessary because of slackening demand in the global economy upon which China’s export model has depended. It is clear that there is now an interdependence that cannot be disentangled; the world needs the Chinese economy in order to grow, but China needs the world economy to be healthy for it to grow.
In our conversation with President Xi at the Great Hall of the People in early November, he pinned his hope on this score to the G-20 summit being hosted by China next year. As Xi put it, he wants to “cement” the role of the G-20 as the governing body that can coordinate common policies to foster global growth. Not incidentally, the meeting will be held in Hangzhou, the hometown of Jack Ma and headquarters of Alibaba — the foremost emblems of China’s Third Industrial Revolution.
The recent decision of the European Commission to raise the emission limits for the EURO 6 diesel engines so that the not complying motors can become legal and the Volkswagen (and others) infringment miraculously healed, draws attention on how powerful are the corporate lobbies in Brussels. The Commission was questioned today by journalists in the Berlaymont press room and frankly it got really ugly when, in front of journalists asking direct questions the Commission spokesmen appeared uncapable of offering any sensible answer and kept dodging the questions, sputtering, mumbling and stuttering, repeating unconvincing and unbelieveable explainations that destroy the residual credibility of an already largely discredited institution.
At this link the full press conference can be watched.
In order to understand what is going on in Brussels and how corporate special interests and lobbyists are taking over the European troublesome legislative function, it is necessary to read this contribution by anti corporate expert and activist Federica Morelli.
LOBBIES: HOW CORPORATE POWER SHAPES EU LEGISLATION
Do you ask yourself about the state of democracy in the European Union? Do you like austerity? Does it appears to be unjust and unsustainable to you to pay for private losses with public cuts? What about environmental legislation failing to prevent the Wolkswagen emissions’ scandal? Or the threat of having GMOs massively imported or even produced in Europe? If you are still ignoring the heavy influence of corporate power in EU decision-making process, this article is written for you.
This is a story about the power of lobbies in today’s EU. Have you ever been in Brussels? I live there. I live in the city of beer, chocolate and … lobbies. Private companies operating in virtually any economic sector have their office set up in Brussels. Being operational at a walking distance from EU institutions is a must for big business. Their main goal is to make sure that corporate priorities drive the EU political agenda.
The EU quarter is packed with offices of trade associations and ‘public relations’ firms channelling their financial and political resources into the corporate agenda. Corporations use to organize themselves in interest groups: they merge their efforts to lobby more effectively on European institutions and shape EU legislation. Their work goes far beyond mere marketing and advertising activities. The private sector is omnipresent in the shaping of EU legislation at all levels. Most of the time, this results in a weakening of policies conceived as a safeguard for public interest.
This is how it works. The European Commission [the EC] works in close connection with the so called “stakeholders” to shape legislation that heavily affects our lives. What’s the problem with this? Well, this would not be a problem at all if most of these “stakeholders” weren’t representing private sector interests at the detriment of the public interest. Private interests are not intended to protect human health and environment. Quite the opposite. They merely follow economic goals. A good corporate lobbyist usually works to prevent stricter regulations negatively affecting his/her company’s overall profits. And if thousands of people took to the streets to call upon a new, stricter regulation to protect climate – then that regulation should never come to light in a way that endangers business as usual.
Brussels has the highest concentration of lobbyists in the world after Washington D.C. We don’t know precisely about how many soldiers are fighting in the European capital for the corporate army. Estimates vary between 15,000and30,000lobbyists attempting to influence the Brussels institutions. The daily activities of lobbyists include meeting officials and politicians, organising events inside and outside EU buildings, circulating briefings and securing the right media coverage of their issue.
Following huge pressure from pro-transparency groups such as Corporate Europe Observatory and Alter-EU, the EC made some attempts to regulate this sector and shed some light on lobbying activities. However, this is a quite recent phase and there is still little progress on this issue. For the moment, all we have is a voluntaryTransparencyRegister deeply flawed in that is not legally binding and contains too much missing, inaccurate or misleading information.
Corporate lobbyists sit in the advisory groups as ‘experts’ to influence the earliest stages of decision making. Among the ‘stakeholders’ consulted by the EC, the private sector is largely over-represented.More than two thirds of these advocates represent private sector interests. So it happens that oil and gas majors’ lobbyists or car industry lobbyists sit in the advisory groups as ‘experts’ to help draft new environmental legislation or amend existing one. They have more financial resources, more visibility and a stronger voice compared to public interest groups such as green and human rights organisations.
With the emerging role of the European Parliament as co-legislator, lobbying activities are targeting MEPs in a more aggressive way compared to what happened a few years ago. MEPs are invited to dinner or cocktail parties, asked to join a cross-party group funded by corporations in order to build personal, trustful relationships. The private sector also invites MEPs to paid travels and visits worldwide to help promote their case further. The more lobbies work on thesepolitical networks with key actors in decision making, the more they can boost their chances for bigger profits. And the cash-for-amendment scandal teaches us about the never-ending downward spiral in dubious lobbying activities.
Are you interested in working in the EU environment? Or you came to think that the European Union is just crap because of its activities clashing with your needs and hopes? Remember: there is a battle going on in Brussels for lobbying transparency. Time is ripe to regulate the overwhelming corporate power in Europe. Do you fancy defending the public interest?
On Saturday 17th of October 2015, Jeremy Rifkin’s dream is coming true in Rome at the European Makers Faire.
Professor Livio de Santoli’s research center Citera and CETRI-TIRES have developed a solar 3D printer with the assistance of renewable energy company Enerworks and of the Roman co-working fab lab ROMA MAKERS.
The project will be introduced by a video message from Jeremy Rifkin and represents the first phase towards a final step which is the perfectly stand alone hydrogen powered solar 3D printer.
That will bring the wonders of the digital manufactoring to the remote areas of the world from under developed Africa to the Peruvian Amazon, allowing them to leap frog from under-development to the inclusive, empatic, sharing, sustainable Third Industrial Revolution.
Digital manufactoring (or as Jeremy Rifkin calls it “infofacturing”) is all the more important in the under developped world because it is a factor of fast development at very low marginal cost and delivers consumers goods and items that are not available in those areas because they are too expensive to make under the financial and technical conditions of the very high marginal cost fossil second industrial revolution.
Indeed, if 3D printing for western consumers and producers is just a way to shift from one way to produce to another (less expensive and smaller scale one), for Africans, South-East Asians or Amazonians, it is the only way to make and have those consumer goods.
The first application of the solar 3D printer in the Peruvian Amazon will be the production of the plastic body of the TRI Led Lantern, that will spinn the local economy and bring light and energy to remote rural forestry areas. The TRI LED Lantern allows Amazon kids to study at night when there is no sun light anymore, and allows them to acquire the cultural capacity to become “guardians of our biosphere”.
So the solar 3D printer is much much more than a technological breaktrough. It is the democratization of energy and manufactoring together. According to the vision of Jeremy Rifkin.
If you are attending the Rome Makers Faire in the coming week-end don’t miss the opportunity to participate to the presentation of the Solar 3D printer.
Download and print the following invitation to have free access to the Maker Faire on the Conference day.
The Third Industrial revolution is speeding up. Be an actor of it, not a spectator!
Ever heard how scientists estimate that more than enough solar energy strikes the earth every hour to power our whole society for an entire year?
Yep, that’s right: every hour.
CETRI TIRES is proud to offer you this free ebook, (courtesy of the Climate Reality project) that will help you set the record straight in all the social media about:
How solar power affects our economies
Real causes of climate change
Reliability of solar energy
False solutions to climate change
Yet despite this fact, many people debate – or simply don’t understand – the tremendous benefits of solar power and other renewable energies. That’s why we put together the ebook, Top Solar Energy Myths, where we debunk some of the most common misconceptions around solar power.
DOWNLOAD YOUR DOCUMENT HERE:
Find out how powerful and practical solar energy is, and how it will help lead us toward a sustainable, clean energy future for our planet. Enjoy!
The Editor of the Salentinian TV station Tele Rama, has made a clear choice of freedom of information and has decided to broadcast the report from Athens made by free lance Italian journalist Giorgio Simonetti telling the public the thruth about how the Greek Debt has been formed and its illegal carachter. As the International Monetary Fund has unequivocally stated the Greek debt is unsustainable and the agreement reached on monday the 12th in Brussels is not serious because Greece will never be able to pay it back, therefore a debt massive reduction is strongly reccommended if the EU wants to have a realistic approach to this probelm. The final report of the Commission chaired by professor Toussaint will be issued at the end of the year, while the report presented last June is only the preliminary findings. This report will clearly identufy the proportion of the greek debt that should be cut because it is illegal and immoral, being related to teh bailout of Greek banks involved in losses due to hazardous investments in toxic assests.
The basic assumption of the work performed by the Toussaint Commission (Toussaint also led the Ecuador Commission for the audit of the Ecuador Debt established by President Correa in 2007) is that these losses should not be covered by the Greek State and the Greek people and tax payers because they are private debt, and should be covered by the private financial institutions that provoked them.
The Third Industrial Revolution extended from Nord Pas de Calais to all French regions?
It is in fact what is suggested in the Corinne Lapage Report (you can download it here: http://adnmonde.fr/2015/06/17/econostrum/) presented yesterday in Paris with the presence of Jeremy Rifkin. by the former Minister and MEP, who was required to write a “New World Economy” Report by .Ségolène Royal, Minister for energy and Environment of the French Government
The Nord Pas de Calais has been the first Region in France to elaborate a Third Industrial Revolution master Plan involving the Jeremy Rifkin International TIR team, that foresees the total decarbonization of the Region by 2015 and the creation of 275.000 jobs bay 2050, with a spectacular economic growth.
The Lepage report, L’Économie du nouveau monde, suggests thatthe same methodology can be adapted to all French Region to obtain comparable results and achieve similar objectives. The Principles of the Nord Pas de Calais Master Plan become hencefporth a blue print to be followed by all virtuous local administrations,
« the Nord-Pas de Calais wants to be a New World actor ! This is the deep motivation that moved us to follow Jeremy Rifkin’s team indications, to become a leading Region into theThe Third Industrial Revolution future! Putting stakeholders together, give visibility to good practices, f help them funding them and creating the necessary synergies.
We are happy that our initiative can serve as a blu print for the developement of a wider French creative and profitable sharing circular economy, making more with less and stimulating citizens’ participation and responsibility. We’ll keep putting all energy we have to stimulate the ambition to enter in the future with Hearth and spirit of our fellow citizens. » declared Philippe Vasseur, President of the Regional Chamber of Commerce and very active supporter of the Third Industrial Revolution project in the Nord Pas de Calais Region.
For more detailed information in French please consult: http://www.latroisiemerevolutionindustrielleennordpasdecalais.fr/2015/06/26/la-troisieme-revolution-industrielle-generalisee-a-toutes-les-regions-de-france/
For the Corinne Lepage report you can go to this link: http://adnmonde.fr/2015/06/17/econostrum/