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Food and Fuel: Solutions for the Future by Andrew Heintzman, Evan Solomon, Eric Schlosser
agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, big-box store, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate social responsibility, David Brooks, deindustrialization, distributed generation, energy security, Exxon Valdez, flex fuel, full employment, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, hydrogen economy, land reform, microcredit, Negawatt, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment
Toward a Third Industrial Revolution The harnessing of hydrogen will alter our way of life as fundamentally as did the introduction of coal and steam power in the nineteenth century and the shift to oil and the internal combustion engine in the twentieth century. Championing a fifty-year plan to build a hydrogen economy is a grand economic vision on the scale of the first and second industrial revolutions in North America. By taking a commanding lead in building a hydrogen infrastructure for Canada and by developing renewable resources and hydrogen technologies and related products and services, the Canadian economy can help to set the twenty-first-century economic agenda for the rest of the world. Investing in a hydrogen economy will reinvigorate capital markets, spur productivity, create new export markets, and increase the GDP of Canada. According to a recent study by Price Waterhouse Coopers, the hydrogen economy could generate US$1.7 trillion in new business by the year 2020. It should be emphasized that no other single economic development will have as great an effect on the global economy over the course of the next several decades.
In other words, the White House would like to head into a hydrogen future without ever leaving an old-fashioned fossil fuel and nuclear energy regime. Its failure to imagine a new energy era and to take the steps to get there could put the United States significantly behind Europe as a world power by mid-century. Laying the Groundwork for the Hydrogen Economy in Canada In order to jump-start the hydrogen economy in Canada, the federal government should consider adopting a number of high-visibility initiatives. First, create a high-level working group to draft a blueprint for Canada to become an integrated hydrogen economy by the year 2050. Second, assemble a consortium of universities, technical institutes, and government laboratories to help facilitate research and development of hydrogen technology and related products and services. Third, create a working group of software, chemical, automotive, energy, and power companies to co-ordinate joint efforts to produce and market hydrogen technologies.
And because the installation of renewable technologies and the establishment of a hydrogen infrastructure as well as the reconfiguration and decentralization of the nation’s power grid are geographically tied, the employment generated will all be within Canada. If both the technologies and technical know-how that comprise the hydrogen economy are also produced by research institutes and Canadian-based companies, additional domestic employment will be generated. Making the transition to the hydrogen era provides a unifying vision for the environmental movement and offers the first real hope of creating a truly sustainable global economy for future generations. By eliminating carbon dioxide altogether from the economic equation, the hydrogen economy leaps ahead of the current paltry and piecemeal efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The shift to hydrogen is a bold plan to confront, head-on, global warming, the single most dangerous problem facing humanity and the Earth in the coming century.
3D printing, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, borderless world, carbon footprint, centre right, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, decarbonisation, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, global supply chain, hydrogen economy, income inequality, industrial cluster, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, knowledge economy, manufacturing employment, marginal employment, Martin Wolf, Masdar, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open borders, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, purchasing power parity, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, supply-chain management, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, urban planning, urban renewal, Yom Kippur War, Zipcar
Within weeks of our meeting, I provided Romano with a strategic memorandum on the possibilities of using hydrogen as a storage carrier for renewable energies. President Prodi wasted no time. In June of 2003, at a Brussels conference, he announced a €2 billion hydrogen research initiative by the Commission to ready Europe for a hydrogen economy. In his opening remarks he explained the historic significance of employing hydrogen as a storage medium for a Third Industrial Revolution infrastructure: “But let us be clear about what makes the European hydrogen program truly visionary. It is our declared goal of achieving a step-by-step shift towards a fully integrated hydrogen economy, based on renewable energy sources, by the middle of the century.”37 Pillar 3 was now in place. In 2006, I prepared a second memo on the subject for Chancellor Merkel, suggesting that Germany launch its own hydrogen research and development initiative.
The senators were clearly preoccupied as they filed into the room and I wondered how I was going to keep their attention long enough to talk about a future hydrogen economy and how it related to the other pillars that make up the infrastructure of a new commercial era. Here we were in another war in the Middle East with the prospect of mass casualties and years of occupation. The media in other parts of the world, if not America, were already calling it an “oil war.” Iraq has the fourth-largest oil reserves in the world, a fact not lost on political pundits who questioned whether we would have invaded the country if it had not been an oil treasure trove. To my surprise, the discussion was lively. A number of senators seemed genuinely interested in the prospects of a hydrogen economy. I noticed Senator Hillary Clinton in the back of the room listening intently to the conversation and taking down an occasional note.
, Fritjof Capra’s The Turning Point, John Kenneth Galbraith’s The Economics of Innocent Fraud, and Jeremy Rifkin’s The Hydrogen Economy. I did a double take. I’d never met Mr. Chavez nor even corresponded with him. I glanced over to the article itself to see if I could glean any information on why Chavez was so taken by my book—after all, it was all about the sunset of the oil era, the lifeblood of his Venezuelan economy. Chavez remarked in the article that Fidel Castro, the president of Cuba, had been pushing him to read the book, and he did. (I had never met Fidel Castro either.) The press reported that in July of 2006, on a state visit to Iran, Chavez had made a speech warning his Iranian audience to prepare themselves for a very different energy future after oil. Chavez referenced The Hydrogen Economy and informed his audience that “the book is based on something which is no longer a hypothesis—it is a thesis . . . oil will run out one day.”28 Most old hands in the Middle East didn’t need an American citing global peak oil studies to tell them something they already knew in their very marrow.
The Oil Factor: Protect Yourself-and Profit-from the Coming Energy Crisis by Stephen Leeb, Donna Leeb
Buckminster Fuller, diversified portfolio, fixed income, hydrogen economy, income per capita, index fund, mortgage debt, North Sea oil, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, profit motive, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Vanguard fund, Yom Kippur War, zero-coupon bond
The materials that absorb sunlight more efficiently aren’t constituted in such a way as to be able to split water. This is one roadblock to achieving a true hydrogen economy. There is a second problem: we need to make giant strides in our ability to store and transport hydrogen safely and efficiently. Hydrogen is a relatively unstable element, and you can’t just put it into, say, a canister and carry it around. Research is being done on creating lightweight but safe composite materials more suitable for hydrogen storage than anything we have now. And that’s still not all. If and when such materials are developed, the next issue would be building the large amount of infrastructure needed to have hydrogen available for widespread use. In sum, it seems to us that a real solar-based hydrogen economy is a long way off, many decades away at best. We’re not dismissing it as an ultimate possibility and think it’s an area that merits significant funding for research, but we certainly don’t think there is any possibility that it will be up and running in time to help us deal with the oil shortages and rising oil prices that lie in our more immediate future.
Hydrogen Car Hoopla If over the past few years you’ve paid any attention to developments on the renewable energy front, you may dimly recall that in 2003 there was some hoopla over hydrogen cars. In fact, the front page of the March 5 business section of the New York Times had the headline, “Hydrogen Vans and Pumps Head for Washington.” And President Bush in his 2004 budget proposal included a $1.7 billion subsidy for research into cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Maybe we’re being unduly pessimistic, and a hydrogen economy is closer at hand than we think? Not exactly. First, the touted General Motors hydrogen cars cost around $5 million each. GM’s vice president for research, Larry Burns, said he was optimistic that the company could produce an affordable car running on a hydrogen fuel cell by 2010, though he admitted it would be a challenge. And maybe it will happen—but it would be an amazing feat. To bring down the price from $5 million to the tens of thousands in such a short period of time would require economies of scale that would dwarf anything ever accomplished even by the electronics industry.
Moreover, even those who have questioned wind’s cost-competitiveness agree that if instead of looking just at coal’s market price you factor in the very real costs of coal’s environmental damage, wind is clearly competitive. Wind and Coal: Our Proposal Wind theoretically can supply the lion’s share of our electricity—but it can’t run our cars and trains and planes, so it can’t directly solve all the problems of diminishing oil and natural gas. Given this reality, and the fact that neither fusion nor a hydrogen economy based on advanced solar technology is anywhere in the immediate offing, how can we best get through the next decade and beyond? Is there any hope? We think there is. You may have wondered why in this chapter devoted to “new” energy alternatives, we dared in the above subhead to mention coal, a dirty old energy, in conjunction with wind. And we admit that it is a bit incongruous, reminiscent of those questions on intelligence tests given to four-year-olds where they have to spot what item doesn’t belong (pizza, hamburger, baseball bat, french fries).
Bernie Madoff, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, cleantech, collateralized debt obligation, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, flex fuel, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, hydraulic fracturing, hydrogen economy, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Menlo Park, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, Stewart Brand, Thomas L Friedman, uranium enrichment, Whole Earth Catalog
The decarbonization trend is closely connected to another megatrend as well: the increasing use and availability of gaseous fuels. The hydrogen economy remains decades away. But the increasing use of natural gas confirms the projections made by analysts who have predicted that the world’s consumers will increasingly replace solid and liquid fuels with gaseous ones. Of course, the world will continue using coal, and lots of it, and oil, and lots of it, for many decades to come. But the trend toward gaseous fuels appears to be gathering speed. As Roberto F. Aguilera of the Vienna-based International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis put it in a March 2009 analysis, “we are on our way towards a methane economy that could pave the way to a hydrogen economy.”21 The trend toward gaseous fuels and the decarbonization trend are companions. About 95 percent of the hydrogen now being produced is derived from natural gas.22 Thus, the long-anticipated and much-hyped “hydrogen economy,” if it ever arrives, must begin with a methane economy.
About 95 percent of the hydrogen now being produced is derived from natural gas.22 Thus, the long-anticipated and much-hyped “hydrogen economy,” if it ever arrives, must begin with a methane economy. And over the past few years, thanks to improvements in drilling and recovery technologies, the estimated volumes of the world’s recoverable natural gas resources have skyrocketed. It’s worth noting that, although the megatrend toward increased use and availability of gaseous fuels is now apparent, just a few years ago, some of the energy industry’s top people were convinced that we were running out of gas. In 2005, Lee Raymond, the famously combative CEO of Exxon Mobil, declared that “gas production has peaked in North America.”23 Raymond, who retired from the oil giant in 2006, said that his company was intent on building a new pipeline that would bring Arctic gas from Canada and Alaska south, and that more natural gas supplies would be needed “unless there’s some huge find that nobody has any idea where it would be.”24 Raymond wasn’t alone.
And the process of burning the waste also produces significant quantities of energy that can be captured to produce electricity. There are several methods for producing the fast neutrons needed for transmutation, but one promising technology appears to be a hybrid reactor that combines both fusion and fission. Fusion’s reputation has been tarnished by an excess of hype. Just like fuel cell–powered cars and the hydrogen economy, producing electricity from fusion has been touted as the Next Big Thing for decades. But the hybrid fusion reactors now being discussed are not designed for electricity production. Instead, their main purpose would be the production of fast neutrons, a process that is far less technically demanding. Those fast neutrons would be used to bombard the most problematic wastes, including plutonium, americium, curium, and neptunium, which have very long half-lives.
The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future by Laurence C. Smith
Bretton Woods, BRICs, clean water, Climategate, colonial rule, deglobalization, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, energy security, flex fuel, global supply chain, Google Earth, guest worker program, Hans Island, hydrogen economy, ice-free Arctic, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invisible hand, land tenure, Martin Wolf, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, purchasing power parity, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, side project, Silicon Valley, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, urban planning, Washington Consensus, Y2K
One way is to use highly pressurized hydrogen, but the collision safety of ten-thousand-psi tanks remains unproven. Early hydrogen supplies are all but certain to be made from fossil fuels, and thus will help little with reducing carbon emissions. In light of these challenges, most experts agree that a hydrogen economy lies at least thirty to forty years in the future, at which point hydrogen fuel-cell cars might possibly be the new “next-generation” technology that plug-in hybrids are today. Under the conservative ground rules of our thought experiment, we will assume the world will not convert to a hydrogen economy by the year 2050. Running on Moonshine and Wood Unlike hydrogen, biofuels offer a quicker solution to the liquid-fuels problem. Like gasoline, they are refined hydrocarbons that are burned in an internal combustion engine. They use the same filling stations and, with only slight modifications, the same car and truck engines of today.122 The only real difference between biofuels and current fuels is that they are made from contemporary organic matter rather than ancient organic matter, and are somewhat cleaner.
By examining these trends collectively, and identifying convergences and parallels between them, it becomes possible to imagine, with reasonable scientific credibility, what our world might look like in forty years’ time, should things continue on as they are now. This is a thought experiment about our world in 2050. It can be fun imagining what our world might look like by then. Robots and flying cars? Custom-grown body parts? A hydrogen economy? As any disappointed sci-fi buff will tell you, the pace of reality is usually slower than human imagination. Fans of George Orwell’s book 1984, the television series Lost in Space and Space 1999, the films 2001: A Space Odyssey, and (it’s looking like) Blade Runner—set in a perpetually raining 2019 Los Angeles—see their landmark years come and go. But outside of the ongoing technical explosions in information and biotechnologies, our lives are considerably less different than the writers of these fictional works imagined they would be.
However, they are released at the hydrogen plant, unless fossil fuels or biomass can be avoided as sources of energy or feedstocks. In principle, solar, wind, or hydroelectric power could be used to split hydrogen from a water feedstock, making the entire process quite pollution-free from beginning to end. Sounds wonderful, and many energy experts and futurists believe that one day we will have a full-blown hydrogen economy. The ultimate dream is to use solar energy to split hydrogen from seawater, thus providing the world with an infinite supply of clean hydrogen fuel—and even some freshwater as a bonus—with no air pollution or greenhouse gases. But nothing like that will be in place by 2050. Years of research are needed to resolve a rat’s nest of challenges concealed within the previous two paragraphs, with major technology advances and cost reductions necessary in all areas.121 Basic research in hydrogen manufacture, transport, and fuel cells is still lacking.
Albert Einstein, clean water, energy security, hydrogen economy, illegal immigration, invisible hand, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, post-oil, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, Rosa Parks, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Y2K
He stated that fuel-cell vehicles would never amount to a significant market share. Hydrogen was ruled out as a solution because of intensive costs of production, inherent energy inefficiencies, lack of infrastructure, and practical difficulties such as the extreme cost and difficulty of storage.80 You may be wondering, "But didn't Bush say in the 2003 State of the Union speech that he was giving billions to develop the hydrogen economy?" Yes, he did say that, but he didn't mention that the money was going to fund using nuclear power to get the hydrogen. The limitations of nuclear power are discussed next. 36. What about Nuclear Power? If we're desperate, we won't have any choice but to use it. Nuclear power accounts for 8% of US energy production.81 As a replacement for oil, it is unsuitable for the following reasons: 1.
The government and news media wouldn't be lying to me, would they? I believe that the renewable energy charade is being kept up for two reasons: 47 The Oil Age is Over 1. Pacify the public, so they don't become alarmed at the obvious signs that fossil fuels are dwindling. 2. Keep the transportation industries insulated from the stock collapse that would ensue if the public knew the truth about things such as the “Hydrogen Economy.” 48 Part IV Issues of Economy, Technology, and the Ability to Adapt "Facts do not cease to be facts simply because they are ignored." -Aldous Huxley "Anybody who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist." -Kenneth Boulding "If you think a magic bullet solution is going to solve your problems, you may as well shoot yourself." -Unknown "Hummers are not the problem and Hybrids are not the solution" -Matt Savinar 49 The Oil Age is Over 45.
agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, Asilomar, augmented reality, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, blue-collar work, British Empire, Brownian motion, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, DARPA: Urban Challenge, delayed gratification, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, friendly AI, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hydrogen economy, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of movable type, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, John von Neumann, life extension, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mars Rover, mass immigration, megacity, Murray Gell-Mann, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Turing machine, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, Wall-E, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Review, X Prize
Pollution is similar: given enough energy, pollutants can be transformed into manageable products; if need be, disassembled into their constituent products.” We also face another issue: the rise of a middle class in China and India, one of the great demographic changes of the postwar era, which has created enormous pressure on oil and commodity prices. Seeing McDonald’s hamburgers and two-car garages in Hollywood movies, they also want to live the American dream of wasteful energy consumption. SOLAR/HYDROGEN ECONOMY In this regard, history seems to be repeating itself. Back in the 1900s, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, two longtime friends, made a bet as to which form of energy could fuel the future. Henry Ford bet on oil replacing coal, with the internal combustion engine replacing steam engines. Thomas Edison bet on the electric car. It was a fateful bet, whose outcome would have a profound effect on world history.
The critical period will be the next few decades. By midcentury, we should be in the hydrogen age, where a combination of fusion, solar power, and renewables should give us an economy that is much less dependent on fossil fuel consumption. A combination of market forces and advances in hydrogen technology should give us a long-term solution to global warming. The danger period is now, before a hydrogen economy is in place. In the short term, fossil fuels are still the cheapest way to generate power, and hence global warming will pose a danger for decades to come. FUSION POWER By midcentury, a new option arises that is a game changer: fusion. By that time, it should be the most viable of all technical fixes, perhaps giving us a permanent solution to the problem. While fission power relies on splitting the uranium atom, thereby creating energy (and a large amount of nuclear waste), fusion power relies on fusing hydrogen atoms with great heat, thereby releasing vastly more energy (with very little waste).
Dyson, Freeman, 5.1, 6.1, 6.2, 7.1, 8.1 Dyson sphere Ebola virus Economics bubbles and crashes entertainment industry, 7.1, 7.2 far future (2070) four stages of technology and fundamental forces of the universe and job market, 7.1, 7.2 midcentury (2030) near future (present to 2030) science and technology as engines of prosperity Type I civilization and See also Intellectual capitalism Edison, Thomas, 5.1, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 Education, itr.1, itr.2, 1.1, 7.1, 7.2, 8.1 EEG (electroencephalogram), 1.1, 1.2 Einstein, Albert, itr.1, itr.2, 4.1, 5.1, 6.1, 8.1 Eisenhower, Dwight Ekenstam, Robin Elbon, John Electric cars Electricity as utility Electromagnetic force, itr.1, 7.1, 7.2 Emergent phenomena Emotional robots Energy carbon nanotubes and electric cars far future (2070) life’s origins and magnetic energy, 5.1, 9.1 midcentury (2030) for molecular machines near future (present to 2030) nuclear fission nuclear weapons, dangers of oil Planck energy solar/hydrogen economy solar power space solar power volcano vents as source of wind power See also Global warming; Nuclear fusion English as lingua franca Entertainment, human need for, itr.1, itr.2, itr.3 Entertainment industry, 7.1, 7.2 Entropy civilizations and longevity and Environmental threats, 8.1. See also Global warming Environmental understanding Epic of Gilgamesh, The Estrogen Europa exploration European civilization, rise of, 7.1, 7.2 Expert systems Extinct life-forms, resurrection of Fantastic Voyage (movie) Faraday, Michael Farnsworth, Philo Farokhzad, Omid Fashion industry Feudalism Feynman, Richard, 3.1, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4 Flash Gordon series Fleischmann, Martin Flu virus, 3.1, 3.2, 8.1 Food production, 3.1, 3.2 Forbidden Planet (movie), itr.1, 1.1 Ford, Henry, 5.1, 7.1, 8.1 Fossil fuels Fountains of Paradise, The (Clarke) Franklin, Benjamin, 8.1, 8.2 Freedman, Joshua Freitas, Robert A., Jr.
agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, British Empire, carbon footprint, collaborative economy, death of newspapers, delayed gratification, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, feminist movement, global village, hydrogen economy, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, labour mobility, Mahatma Gandhi, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, off grid, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, supply-chain management, surplus humans, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, working poor, World Values Survey
NINE - IDEOLOGICAL THINKING IN A MODERN MARKET ECONOMY TEN - PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSCIOUSNESS IN A POSTMODERN EXISTENTIAL WORLD PART III - THE AGE OF EMPATHY ELEVEN - THE CLIMB TO GLOBAL PEAK EMPATHY TWELVE - THE PLANETARY ENTROPIC ABYSS THIRTEEN - THE EMERGING ERA OF DISTRIBUTED CAPITALISM FOURTEEN - THE THEATRICAL SELF IN AN IMPROVISATIONAL SOCIETY FIFTEEN - BIOSPHERE CONSCIOUSNESS IN A CLIMAX ECONOMY NOTES BIBLIOGRAPHY INDEX ABOUT THE AUTHOR ALSO BY JEREMY RIFKIN Common Sense II Own Your Own Job Who Should Play God? (WITH TED HOWARD) The Emerging Order The North Will Rise Again (WITH RANDY BARBER) Entropy (WITH TED HOWARD) Algeny Declaration of a Heretic Time Wars Biosphere Politics Beyond Beef Voting Green (WITH CAROL GRUNEWALD) The End of Work The Biotech Century The Age of Access The Hydrogen Economy The European Dream JEREMY P. TARCHER/PENGUIN Published by the Penguin Group Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi-110 017, India Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd) Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England Copyright © 2009 by Jeremy Rifkin All rights reserved.
But if some of the electricity being generated when renewable energy is abundant can be used to extract hydrogen from water, which can then be stored for later conversion back to electricity, society will have a continuous supply of power. In 2008, the European Commission announced a Joint Technology Initiative ( JTI), an ambitious public/private partnership to speed the commercial introduction of a hydrogen economy in the twenty-seven member states of the EU, with the primary focus on producing hydrogen from renewable sources of energy. By benchmarking a shift to renewable energy, advancing the notion of buildings as power plants, and funding an aggressive hydrogen fuel-cell technology R&D program, the EU has erected the first three pillars of the Third Industrial Revolution. The fourth pillar, the reconfiguration of the power grid along the lines of the Internet, allowing businesses and homeowners to produce their own energy and share it with each other, is just now being tested by power companies in Europe, the United States, Japan, China, and other countries.
Rifkin, Jeremy. The Age of Access. New York: Tarcher/Putnam, 2000. ———. Biosphere Politics. New York: Crown Publishers, 1991. ———. The Biotech Century: Harnessing the Gene and Remaking the World. New York: Tarcher/Putnam, 1998. ———. The End of Work. New York: Tarcher/Putnam, 1995. ———. Entropy. New York: Bantam Books, 1981. ———. The European Dream. New York: Tarcher/Penguin, 2004. ———. The Hydrogen Economy. New York: Tarcher/Putnam, 2002. ———. Time Wars: The Primary Confl ict in Human History. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1987. Roszak, Theodore. The Voice of the Earth: An Exploration of Ecopsychology. Grand Rapids, MI: Phanes Press, 2001. ———. The Making of a Counter Culture: Refl ections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995.
50 Future Ideas You Really Need to Know by Richard Watson
23andMe, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, digital Maoism, digital map, Elon Musk, energy security, failed state, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, germ theory of disease, happiness index / gross national happiness, hive mind, hydrogen economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, life extension, Mark Shuttleworth, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peak oil, personalized medicine, phenotype, precision agriculture, profit maximization, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Florida, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, semantic web, Skype, smart cities, smart meter, smart transportation, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, supervolcano, telepresence, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Turing test, urban decay, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, women in the workforce, working-age population, young professional
Haptic technology The use of human touch or sensation to control machines or devices or the use of artificially created tactile sensations via joysticks, gloves or clothing to give the impression that something exists or is happening when it’s not. Links with gesture-based computing, virtual reality and immersive gaming. Holographic telepresence Full-motion 3D videoconferencing or other projections of fully realistic physical presence for business or entertainment purposes. Hydrogen economy The widescale generation and adoption of hydrogen as an alternative source of energy, especially for motive power. Inductive charging Wireless recharging. Links to the broadcasting of electricity. In vitro meat Meat that is grown or cultured in a laboratory or factory without the need for a living animal. Molecular assembly or manufacturing The human movement, or assembly, of individual molecules to produce anything you want.
air freight, banking crisis, big-box store, BRICs, carbon footprint, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, energy security, food miles, hydrogen economy, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Just-in-time delivery, market clearing, megacity, North Sea oil, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, profit maximization, reserve currency, South Sea Bubble, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, zero-sum game
We will need to see prices for carbon emissions at least in the $60-to $70-per-ton range before anyone is going to even look commercially at carbon capture and sequestration. That’s $60 to $70 dollars more than carbon emissions currently cost in the US economy, the Canadian economy or the Australian economy. In short, without putting a very substantial price on carbon emissions in our economy, CCS is nothing more than a pipe dream. And speaking of monumental challenges, there is always the distant dream of tomorrow’s hydrogen economy. But if a fleet of electric cars is difficult to imagine, consider the obstacles to switching to one powered by hydrogen. For one thing, hydrogen is a lot like electricity in that it is not an energy source—it is an energy carrier. Hydrogen does not come gushing out of the ground: you have to produce it, and that takes fuel. Producing sufficient hydrogen to run the US vehicle fleet—about enough to fill 13,000 Hindenburg dirigibles every day—would require doubling electrical generating capacity.
Living in a Material World: The Commodity Connection by Kevin Morrison
barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, clean water, commoditize, commodity trading advisor, computerized trading, diversified portfolio, Doha Development Round, Elon Musk, energy security, European colonialism, flex fuel, food miles, Hernando de Soto, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Long Term Capital Management, new economy, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, price mechanism, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, young professional
But the US has to import 95% of its platinum needs; hardly a strategy for resource independence (US Geological Survey, 2007). To date there has been scant tangible evidence of a technological breakthrough, despite the launch of the first fuel cell car in 1993 by METALS | 193 Ballard, the Canadian fuel cell development company. Estimates back in the 1990s of a fuel cell car market worth billions by the middle of this decade, as part of the new ‘hydrogen economy’, have so far fallen well short of the mark. This may be due to fuel cells getting caught up in the technology hype of the 1990s. The availability of platinum has meant that fuel cells remain a key part of research for the car industry, though other fuel cells have also been introduced this decade to replace batteries in mobile devices such as laptops and lawnmowers. Companies have been very guarded about their research programmes.
A Pattern Language, active transport: walking or cycling, big-box store, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, delayed gratification, distributed generation, drive until you qualify, East Village, food miles, garden city movement, hydrogen economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, linear programming, McMansion, Murano, Venice glass, Negawatt, New Urbanism, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, placebo effect, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, unemployed young men, urban planning, urban sprawl, walkable city, zero-sum game
Alternative Fuel Council under the first President Bush, has written: “If annual production increases by three billion gallons in 2012—a plausibly modest number when the EPA made its own calculations—we estimate that the costs will exceed the benefits by about $1 billion a year. If domestic production reaches the more ‘optimistic’ Energy Department projection for that year, net economic costs would likely top $2 billion annually.” Hahn’s essay “Ethanol’s Bottom Line” appeared in The Wall Street Journal, November 24, 2007. 27 For a concise introduction to the extreme difficulty of economically powering cars with hydrogen, see Matthew L. Wald, “Questions About a Hydrogen Economy,” Scientific American, May 2004. 28 Romm quoted in Robert S. Boyd, “Hydrogen Cars May Be a Long Time Coming,” McClatchy Newspapers, May 15, 2007. Joseph J. Romm, The Hype about Hydrogen: Fact and Fiction in the Race to Save the Climate (Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 2005). 29 Thomas L. Friedman, “The Democratic Recession,” The New York Times, May 7, 2008. 30 World Commission on Environment and Development, Our Common Future (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), p. 45. 31 Russell Gold, “As Prices Surge, Oil Giants Turn Sludge into Gold,” The Wall Street Journal, March 27, 2006. 32 The survey was conducted online, and the sample was small—just 501 respondents—and the project was partly sponsored by Archer Daniels Midland, which is not only involved in the manufacture of bioplastics but also bears a major responsibility for the economic distortions built into the U.S. corn market and for the absurd federal subsidies for the production of ethanol, but the results are consistent with my own informal sampling.
Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of Energy Independence by Robert Bryce
Berlin Wall, Colonization of Mars, decarbonisation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, financial independence, flex fuel, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), John Markoff, Just-in-time delivery, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, price stability, Project for a New American Century, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stewart Brand, Thomas L Friedman, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize, Yom Kippur War
See any number of presentations by Lovins on energy independence. One sample: his presentation before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on March 7, 2006. Available: http://energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm ?FuseAction=Hearings.Testimony&Hearing_ID=1534&Witness_ID=4345. Or see Winning the Energy Endgame, by Lovins et al., 228, discussing the final push toward “total energy independence” and the move to the hydrogen economy. 6. National Apollo Alliance Steering Committee statement. Available: http:// www.apolloalliance.org/about_the_alliance/who_we_are/steeringcommittee.cfm. 7. At approximately 1:32 into the movie, in a section that discusses what individuals can do to counter global warming, a text message comes onto the screen: “Reduce our dependence on foreign oil, help farmers grow alcohol fuels.” 8. AMPAS data.
The Future of Technology by Tom Standage
air freight, barriers to entry, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Clayton Christensen, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, creative destruction, disintermediation, distributed generation, double helix, experimental economics, full employment, hydrogen economy, industrial robot, informal economy, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, job satisfaction, labour market flexibility, Marc Andreessen, market design, Menlo Park, millennium bug, moral hazard, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, railway mania, rent-seeking, RFID, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart grid, software as a service, spectrum auction, speech recognition, stem cell, Steve Ballmer, technology bubble, telemarketer, transcontinental railway, Y2K
The car of the future, today Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles promise to be the cleanest mode of transportation, eliminating harmful tailpipe emissions altogether. But despite much publicity, and the fact that most carmakers are working on the technology, fuel-cell cars will not appear in significant quantities any time soon. America’s National Academy of Sciences, which advises the government on new technologies, recently estimated that the transition to a “hydrogen economy” will probably take decades, since many challenges remain – in particular, how to produce, store and distribute hydrogen in sufficient quantities. Hybrid cars, however, offer many of the benefits of fuel-cell vehicles, with the huge advantage that they are available now. Moreover, as the success of the Prius shows, people will actually buy them. The beauty of petrol-electric hybrids is that they do not require any changes in driver behaviour or the fuel-delivery infrastructure. 297 THE FUTURE OF TECHNOLOGY Rather than being mere stepping-stones on the way to the hydrogen cars of the future, petrol-electric hybrids are likely to be around for years, if not decades, to come.