Last updated on: 1/6/2009 | Author: ProCon.org

Jeremy Rifkin Biography

Title:
President of the Foundation on Economic Trends
Position:
Pro to the question "Can Alternative Energy Effectively Replace Fossil Fuels?"
Reasoning:

“Can a combination of technological innovation, global cooperation and strategic thinking take oil off the international chessboard of power politics and replace it with the ultimate energy carrier, lighter-than-air, and potentially non-polluting hydrogen?…

While the fossil-fuel era is entering its sunset years, a new energy regime is being born that has the potential to remake civilization along radical new lines…

The hydrogen economy makes possible a vast redistribution of electricity, with far-reaching consequences for society. Today’s centralized, top-down flow of energy, controlled by global oil companies and utilities, can become obsolete. In the new era, every human being with access to renewable energy sources could become a producer as well as a consumer—using so-called ‘distributed generation.’ When millions of end-users connect their fuel cells powered by renewables into local, regional and national publicly owned hydrogen energy webs (HEWs), they can begin to share energy—peer-to-peer—creating a new decentralized form of energy generation and use…

The hydrogen economy is within sight. How fast we get there will depend on how committed we are to weaning ourselves off of oil and the other fossil fuels.”

“The Hydrogen Economy: After Oil, Clean Energy From a Fuel-Cell-Driven Global Hydrogen Web,” E magazine, Jan. – Feb. 2003

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • President and Founder, Foundation on Economic Trends
  • Fellow, Wharton School’s Executive Education Program, 1994-present
  • Advisor, Government of France
  • Advisor, European Commission
  • Advisor, European Parliament
  • Former National Council Member, Farm Animal Reform Movement
  • Former Advisory Board Member, EarthSave International
  • Former advisor, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany
  • Former advisor, Prime Minister Jose Socrates of Portugal
  • Former advisor, Prime Minister Janez Janša of Slovenia
Education:
  • Degree in International Affairs, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
  • BA, Economics, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, 1967
Other:
  • Rifkin has been a frequent guest on numerous television programs, including Face the Nation, The Lehrer News Hour, 20/20, Larry King Live, Today, and Good Morning America
Quoted in:
  1. Should Hydrogen Be the Dominant Energy in the US?
  2. Should Hydrogen Be the Dominant Energy in the US?