This web page was produced as an assignment for an undergraduate course at Davidson College.

Biography of Jeremy Rifkin

By William Wood

Permission granted from Jeremy Rifkin Founder of FOET

Jeremy Rifkin is both the founder and president of the Foundation on Economic Trends (FOET), an international organization dealing with the global impacts of new technologies (, 2004). FOET, founded in 1977 is based in Washington, DC and fights it's war on new technologies through litigation, public education and many organizations that have their roots in the environment (, 2004). Mr. Rifkin has written sixteen books, along with holding two degrees; one from the Wharton School of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania in economics and another from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in international affairs. He is also currently an advisor to Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission, along with being a fellow at the Wharton School’s Executive Education Program since 1994. Through successful litigation and testimonies before numerous congressional committies, Rifkin has been extremely influential on public policy throughout the entire world (, 2004).
Along with FOET, Rifkin has many other organizations and campaigns that he takes part in. Rifkin has dealings in both EarthSave International, as a advisory board member and in Farm Animal Reform Movement (FARM), as a national council member. While EarthSave sits in the center of food activists and the more “mainstream” environmentalism, FARM is “on the outer fringes of the animal-rights” groups with its members adhering to strict vegan diets (, 2004). FARM even goes as far to say that meat is an “unnecessary evil” (, 2004). Rifkin who was called “the most hated man in science” by TIME magazine, has lead numerous campaigns against beef consumption, genetically enhanced crops and many other technology based advances.

Rifkin's main focus at this point is on his battle against beef consumption. Mr. Rifkin “calls for humanity to move beyond the beef culture” (Environmental Action, 1992). Many of his complaints about the beef industry include the clearing of the rainforest to enable cattle to graze, the desertification of once rich grazeland and the effects of the cattle on fresh water sources (Environmental Action, 1992). Mr. Rifkin even goes as far to say that cattle are responsible for the global warming trend. Since, methane is one of the gases responsible for global warming and cattle emit methane, Mr. Rifkin calls for a decrease in cattle so to decrease the amount of methane released into the atmosphere. Along with his stand against beef, Mr. Rifkin is opposed to the use of genetically modified organisms, as well as the the rapid growth of biotechnology as a whole.


Jeremy Rifkin Main Page


GMO Main Page

Bernd's Home Page

Biology Main Page



© Copyright 2003 Department of Biology, Davidson College, Davidson, NC 28035
Send comments, questions, and suggestions to William Wood at