Not Just a Museum
In the United States, however, these bold ideas have not translated smoothly into policy. Rifkin notes that the nation was ahead of the curve in both the green energy movement of the 1970s and the invention of the Internet, but a combination of special interests and lack of political willpower prevented green energy from gaining traction in the U.S. However, while the quest to transition away from fossil fuels largely fizzled here, it continues to gather speed across the Atlantic. Germany, for example, has converted one million buildings to harvest solar or wind power, and has committed to getting 35% of its power from renewable energy by 2020. Rifkin says measures like these are largely responsible for Germany's robust economy- and that America should take note. "Europe is usually dismissed as a beautiful place to visit, but a museum," Rifkin says. "Wake up call: the EU has a larger GDP for its 27 member states than the GDP of our 50 states.”
Want to hear more about Jeremy Rifkin's plans to revolutionize the energy industry? Tune in to our full interview above, and check out this exclusive web extra for Rifkin's account of how the Third Industrial Revolution is beginning to take shape in Europe, China, and India.
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