Wow, this is a fantastic interview with Jeremy Rifkin. I was only peripherally aware of the guy, but damn, he’s mirroring my entire worldview (no wonder I like it!). He’s got the exact right idea, about sequestration and clean coal, about nuclear, about distributed generation, smart grids, you name it. I kept highlighting parts to excerpt, but I ended up highlighting the whole thing. Here’s a bit:
These technologies — uranium-based nuclear, coal, gas, fossil fuels — they’re old, centralized, elite 20th-century technology. They do not fit the kind of open source, flat distributive world that a younger generation is moving into in the 21st century.
The big point of contention will be his commitment to hydrogen as an energy-storage mechanism. As I wrote here, storage is the missing piece of the puzzle, in terms of getting away from those "old, centralized, elite" technologies to distributed renewable power.
We need some way of storing the surplus energy — a way that’s flexible, reliable, and scaleable. I don’t really know enough to have a strong opinion about what that should be. Lithium-ion batteries? Hydrogen? Something?
Above all , Rifkin is right about this:
[C]an we do it? I think it depends on whether all of civilization can be centered around one mission in the next 30 years and only one mission, and that is the Third Industrial Revolution, with a convergence of distributive communication and energy and renewables and hydrogen storage. If we don’t do it, and we waste time on marginal issues, we’re lost.
More than anything, the entire world needs to focus on this.