The climate crisis will force a historic shift to a new global power network of small alternative sources. This network will then feed a smart electric grid. Welcome to the future.Dec. 18, 2006 issue - Over the past 200 years, the industrial revolution has created vast wealth and huge improvements in the human condition—in a few dozen highly industrialized countries. The engine of that revolution was fueled by coal and then supercharged with oil—multiplying the productivity of human labor many, many times over. Although we have reaped many benefits from this intensive use of energy, we are now faced with an urgent crisis—a crisis that is altering the very nature of the Earth's climate.