The New Green Economy
About the New Green Economy
Our book, Wild Alberta at the Crossroads, tells of the wonder and diversity of Nature in Alberta, the increasing harm we are doing it, and the need to embrace the new green economy. Jeremy Rifkin, an advisor to the European Union and heads of state around the world, opens his new, best-selling groundbreaker of a book with the words, “our industrial civilization is at a crossroads.”
His Third Industrial Revolution(see below) explains two things: the approaching end of economies based for so long on oil and coal; and how Internet technology and renewable energy are merging to create the third industrial revolution.
The first industrial revolution came into being in England with the emergence of coal as the energy source used to introduce steam power for industry and rail transport. The second industrial revolution sprang to life in the USA with the discovery of abundant oil, which fueled the age of the automobile. But we have now reached the age of peak oil production per capita and peak oil production overall. Similarly for coal. And so we are entering what Rifkin calls the end-game for the use of those and related fossil fuels, as their prices soar and shut down demand, then fall and cause a demand rebound, which drives up energy prices again, round and round in a cycle that leads nowhere but to the end of the fossil-fuel era.
Rifkin then goes on to describe the coming Third Industrial Revolution as a revolution that must, if it is to succeed, be based on five carefully integrated pillars of action:
-transitioning to renewable energy
-turning the world’s buildings into micro-power plants
-using hydrogen and other technologies to store intermittent energies
-transforming the world’s power grids by using Internet capability to create smart, buy/sell connections, and
-developing a replacement transportation fleet comprising electric and fuel-cell vehicles.
Europe is already travelling that road but North America has yet to catch on. So this book is a “must” read if you want to get clued in on where the world’s economies need to go – and the jobs involved.
Green Careers and Jobs
Want to take action to investigate green jobs? A good book on the numerous new fields of work arising in the new green economy is:
Jeremy Rifkin, 2011. The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World. New York; and Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
A good website to visit is Green Jobs Canada.
Here’s an interesting report on the Canadian solar industry, including labour projections. Canada is experiencing a shortage of trained professionals in this industry.
Reduce your carbon footprint: Learn how at the David Suzuki Foundation.
Youth action and empowerment: Here’s an interview with a youth who is taking the US Government to court, saying:
“... you've allowed money and power and convenience and politics to be counted as more valuable and more important than our survival and we're not going to take that.”
Read and listen to more here.