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THE OLD AND THE NEW April 16, 2012

Posted by wmmbb in Australian Politics, Modern History, Natural Environment.

Bob Browns resignation as Greens leader surprised me. His replacement, fellow Tasmanian, Christine Milne, who similarly is an alumni of  the State Legislative Assembly anticipates a tipping point between the old and the new economy.

So she is either going to prove to be a visionary or over-optimistic. Her political acumen by the circumstances of the minority government, the condition that favors independents and minority parties like the Greens.It is the context for the passage of the carbon pollution tax legislation, which might just tip the odds in favor of the new economy that turns on the sun and other non-fossil fuel energy sources.And there are emergent businesses.

Phillip Coorey in The Sydney Morning Herald is inclined to cynicism in the face of hope. He writes:

Milne’s opening statement as leader included attacking the mining industry as rapacious and the ”old economy”.
Milne believes the economy is approaching a tipping point between old and new, and wants to work with what she calls ”progressive business”. But to do one at the complete exclusion of the other, especially when the other is not yet ready to carry the economy, is obviously risky.
The last time the miners were written off as the ”old economy” was at the start of last decade when all and sundry slammed Peter Costello for not pinning the economy to information technology by climbing aboard the dotcom boom.
As Costello noted in his memoirs, if Labor and others had had their way, ”we would have got out of mining just when it was about to take off and invested in technology just when it was about to collapse”.

It is possible that Christine Milne has been reading Jeremy Rifkin‘s The Third Industrial Revolution. He argues for a new economic paradigm, via an excerpt in The Huffington Post:

In the 19th century, steam-powered print technology became the communication medium to manage the coal-fired rail infrastructure and the incipient national markets of the First Industrial Revolution. In the 20th century, electronic communications–the telephone and later, radio and television–became the communication medium to manage and market the oil-powered auto age and the mass consumer culture of the Second Industrial Revolution.

In the mid-1990s, it dawned on me that a new convergence of communication and energy was in the offing. Internet technology and renewable energies were about to merge to create a powerful new infrastructure for a Third Industrial Revolution (TIR) that would change the world. In the coming era, hundreds of millions of people will produce their own green energy in their homes, offices, and factories and share it with each other in an “energy Internet,” just like we now create and share information online. The democratization of energy will bring with it a fundamental reordering of human relationships, impacting the very way we conduct business, govern society, educate our children, and engage in civic life.

In January, Jeremy Rifkin spoke at The Booksmith in San Francisco. More recently, he simply said This is Lateral Power:

Perhaps realism about the real problems that lie ahead as climate change increases and the population grows to over 9 billion people in a global political order dominated by violence and structural inequality is needed. This revolution should it happen had better be quick and nonviolent. And political and economic change had better run ahead of climate change. We will know something is afoot, that the impediments to change have fallen away, when the green support, here and elsewhere climbs beyond 30%, which for the moment is unimaginable.


This presentation by Jeremy Rifkin might not be cut off:



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