The Green New Deal: Why the Fossil Fuel Civilization Will Collapse by 2028, and the Bold New Economic Plan to Save Life on Earth

Jeremy Rifkin. St. Martin’s, $27.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-250-25320-0
America’s transition to clean energy is unstoppable—well, almost—according to this boosterish treatise that, contrary to the name, isn’t about the stimulus policy promoted by left-leaning Democrats. Sustainability consultant Rifkin (The Third Industrial Revolution) contends that plummeting prices for wind power, solar power, and batteries; a shift to electric vehicles; and “smart” electrical grids will render fossil-fueled energy too expensive to compete, leading to its “inevitable” failure in the marketplace. He embeds this forecast within a primer on “the Third Industrial Revolution” that he predicts will bring households and businesses trading home-brewed solar and wind power online, a vision of energy populism that he touts in ringing but nebulous verbiage. (“The distributed and laterally scaled infrastructure of the Third Industrial Revolution is... fluid and open, allowing literally billions of players around the world to assemble and reassemble, and disaggregate and reaggregate, their own component parts of it... in continuously evolving blockchained platforms.”) In the fine print, Rifkin grants that this collapse isn’t quite inevitable: he allows that market forces will need help from trillions in government subsidies for renewables to displace carbon and says little about the difficulty of knitting wind and solar into a reliable energy supply. Readers will find more jargon and hype than serious analysis. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 07/12/2019
Release date: 09/10/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
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