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Who Owns the Land? Who makes the Rules?

We are born on this planet the same way we where born a thousand years ago. With less casualties amongst mothers and babies but otherwise the process has not changed. You may think that’s a wierd thing to accentuate, but other things have definitely changed. One of them is that the freedom of a newborn has been drastically reduced. The freedom of the parent in an EU country is also highly limited, maybe most so in the most wealthy member states. For one, when you are born, you are landless.

Even a farmer that welcomes a new son or daughter, is highly unlikely to be owner of his land. He is paying a bank for all kinds of equipement and the bank took the land as asset to loan against. Rich people can really own stuff, but barely ever permanently. The vast majority of people are allowed to own some land, sometimes in an organized way. Rural countries like France do allow you to own land, but the use of it is stricktly managed. The point I try to make here is that most people do not own the means to survive.

Wealth is a result of combining skills, energy and raw materials. In its most atomic form these conditions are met by a farmer that works the land. Banks worked to intermediate this process, and both the ‘farmer’ and the ‘land’ suffer.

That is a significant difference with 1000 years ago. Then all life hinged on hard work, and there where a lot of ways to earn your keep. The daily energy expense of people was 3000 Calories, what they needed to live. Now it is much more than that, because of all the modern support systems like this, the internet and much more stuff going on to keep society working. It is a luxury, but it has a downside. You can become homeless and starve to death if you don’t have your entry ticket to the theme park : Money.

The theme park is called the economy, and it makes all the trappings of modern life, what you need and what you like. Condition is that you participate in a usefull way, and as you do that you earn reserves that will get you through your later years. This all seems very sensible and sounds like a solid system you have to rejoyce of finding yourself born in. This would be 100% true, and great gratitude would be due, if it where not for the specific direction the system had, with a specific set of preferred industries and activities, which as we all know are depleting our planet of the life that supports our lives.

A basic income guarantee is something similar to granting land to each individual as a birthright. But it only works when all energy sources are renewable, or those fighting over fossil credit will try to abolish the UBI to have more fossil energy left for themselves.

I am dutch and I consider Holland a very wealthy country with a social society and lots of freedom. Yet we find that we are not moving away from destructive practices at any significant speed. Ok, if you believe wildly optimistic predictions of our remaining climate budget as well as allow for the fossil industry to keep itself alive at least until 2050, then we’re moving along fine. But this is of course NOT the case. And it is odd that our highly developed nation does not have the true agility to take exactly the most effective actions. There is a simple reason for that : We are not free and we own almost nothing.

If we listen to a citizen speak we want him/her to be neatly dressed, live in a nice house, have a bookshelve as a background, speak accent free dutch, conform to all the current hypes and memes (so wear a mask today), in short the majority of us wants to listen to one of us. A lot of the talking heads are people that seem like 99% normal, with maybe one or two elements that are a bit more inspired. This means all live in the system that is causing the problems. All are more or less afraid to insult someone and face being pushed out of the wealthy life.

On the other end of society, the poor, the consideration for climate action is on the backburner, because the lives of these people is just made too hard, either because of lack of talent or circumstances created by banks (homes in Holland are in rediculously short supply). As in the US influence starts with some kind of economic security, some kind of status. The reason for this is that land is not free, access to it is highly restricted. You can use parks etc. for free no problem, but you wil never escape the financial system that ties all the factors of life together, the system created by banks.

What can you do? You can plead like Greta Thunberg, to the highest level. The problem is because of this system, this economic system, people barely have time to develop an accurate idea about what would be an alternative. They are invested in it, they fight for it. They get very angry if you would build cheap homes, because that would reduce the value of their homes. Banks made everyone believe home prices would go up, but this is just inflation, caused by economic expansion. Its a bubble because the real value of a house is negative. It has a cost. You have to go out and have income of some kind to live in one. We all know how the rules of this system work, but if you consider the complete system a vehicle with a direction, then how do you change the direction, or how do you get off the vehicle?

Of course you can. You can go to some commune, to live alternatively. But this is never presented as a nice option. You can go into a gated community, within the system. You can rent or buy a place in a foreign country. But you can not take land and say “This is land where the financial system has a different objective. One that is not destructive. This is our coin, we pay with this so we don’t help the outside blind economistic system. We run a roboeconomic system here!”. You can not create a zone with different economic rules as a mere ‘consumer’.

Large companies can do that. Logistics companies can do it. They can run zones around harbours and airports where different rules apply. But nobody can live there. How come we where once a planet with vast open spaces, where banking and trading where thing, where money was created by the people who protected you from marauding armies, to a world where your “leaders” are constantly debating how to undermine your bargaining position versus companies resulting in an increasing amount of people ending up destitute and on the street? One in which a constant deterioration seems to have become the trend, and for no other reason it seems than that people fighting over money have become better at it, lying has become more accepted and thus confusion of the poor is near complete.

You can call for a revolution, but until now those have mostly been managed by members of the same system, to result in nothing. We’ve seen “Occupy Wallstreet” which should have been “Occupy Wallstreet Bank Offices” but was quickly turned into a hippie camp for people to freeze and juggle. You would expect there to be more neat people wanting change, but rest assured, those are all to exhausted and scared to do anything. They have been fighting for the life of their fathers and mothers, or something better, and giving that up is not a plan.

“Use politics!” Some will say. That is a common trap. It doesn’t work if all the politicians earn 120.000 Euro and insist on wealth or hang on to it by never leaving. On the right you can clearly see a servant attitude towards banks and their biggest customers. You can be a socialist and make people angry about rich people (which serves the banks) or you can be a liberal and pretend entrepeneurs will save the day. Or you can be a labour party for workers that want to work work work, flocking into the factories like hypontized moths to a lamp (a kind of Stockholm syndrom). The only party that stands out a bit is the Party for the Animals.

It is not that I propose to do something stupid and idealistic, but simply that I want to be able to focus on my craft, say software development, while there is not some dreadfull murderous and destructive activity being financed by the same neat people of my bank, or while the world is eating itself because neat economists tell us there is room for economic growth. Don’t finance the trade of firewood (biomass) when it destroys ancient forests that provide oxygen and store CO2. There must be limits to the profit seeking, a direction set by human related considerations.

A true revolution would come if people, cities and provinices layed out investment rules, rules for trade, that excluded the harmfull activities. A specific mechanism to boycot the general disinterest for the future of economic players. Banks want everything to be traded, so they can provide credit for every activity and control it. This is how they started, and they have frankly met with to little resistance. We would love to see a vegetarian city or state, a state without biomass burning, without plastic bottles. This is becoming harder due to trade agreements. There are to much limits to the power of small regions. These need to be simply asserted. Laws that restrict these choices need to be broken.

An important role of bank credit is to allow energy to be supplied to communities. Therefore it is necessary to replace those energy sources to become independent of banks.

The best way to depower banks is to go bankrupt. Nobody wants that, but if you all agree it is no big deal. Banks have to constantly be pushed back because they want people to be personally tied to their debt, and bankruptcy to be impossible, but they are in a bind because they need bankruptcies to work for big companies to get rid of responsibility after some distructive act. A good example is Tepco of Fukushima. They went bankrupt quickly. All the cost where for Japan, and it deliverd the country to gas dependence, hurting its solar PV development.

There must be other ways to conquer land from debt and rent seeking owners. This is not the time for the attitude of permanence that rentseeking banks try to maintain or establish. We need a different spirit, and this must be codified into rules that control money flow. Or we have to suffer a real war and restart the system under government authority, centralized, basically returning the land to its proper owner.


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Making Carbon from CO2

We wondered if it was possible to simply reverse the reaction of burning oxygen against carbon (coal). We knew it would not be easy and require energy, as the energy released by turning O2 and C into CO2 is considerable.

To get to CO from CO2 seemd the first step, we have not come across a way to directly tear the O2 of CO2. One option is to split CO2 using a cathalyst in an electrochemical cell. Another option is a reaction that turns CO2+H2O into CO and H2. This process can be done at high temperatures, but there are other ways as well.

So after some process that requires either electric or thermal energy we end up with a lot of CO, this was where our search based on our knowledge ended. Now we find there is a reaction that is the considered in a lot of CO2 generating installations, that shows how you can make CO2 and C from CO, a reaction named after Octave Leopold Boudouard, The Boudouard reaction. It is quite simple:

2CO ⇌ CO2 + C

So starting with two CO molecules you can one CO rip the O of the other leaving it as C (black carbon soot). It is a reversible reaction, where the temperature determines the side that “wins”. The lower the temperature the more likely carbon is formed.

The reaction balance of CO2/CO,cooling a hot mix of CO generates CO2 and C

Many coal or gas burning installations produce CO, and this CO can turn into C and CO2, and because C (Carbon) can clog up any cleaning processes (cathalysts) downstream, it is normal to keep the temperature of these gasses high, so it remains mostly CO. Industry is expending energy to prevent the production of Carbon. We could ask them to filter out the C instead, and they would need less input or could help test carbon sequestration processes.

So there is an option to turn CO2 into pure carbon C. The process would generate CO gas out of CO2 and H2 and then lead this gas into a space with the right temperatures to generate the Carbon. If you wanted to sequester the Carbon for good, you could make it so it can precipitate down in the space filled with CO to form a layer on the ground. If you could constantly extract the CO2 and replace it with CO you could have a continuous process to draw down carbon.

Lignin molecule

The worlds coal reserves where formed in a time when trees just entered the scene, the bacteria in those days could not digest an important constituent that gave the trees their strength, lignin. It took a long time before they managed to do it, and all the trees in the mean time took CO2 and H2O out of the atmosphere, cooling down our planet. All this lignin became the coal we burned for the last two centuries. We need to put at least the carbon back into the ground.

We would like to see reactors for the above process. Ones that you put CO2 and H2O in on one side, and get C and CO2 (and H2 by the way) out on the other. once you have such a reactor you can scale up power plants to generate layers of carbon soot in the ground. You could sink it to the ocean floor, powering the process with wave energy or burry it in mines. This would be a process able to stand high temperatures, which will dominate large part of the planet soon. Land not being used by living things because it is too hot would be available to build the necessary installations.


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Cooling Against the Night Sky

The world is buying airconditioners (also called HVAC), because the climate heat is being turned up by the use of fossil fuels (and airconditioners). We attended a congress on solar cooling a couple of years back and learned that european power plants are build expeciting the load of airconditioning. This is of course a large cashflow generator for banks. If that is the case you always need to wonder if the energy efficiency is optimal.

Efficiency of airconditioners is dimensioned in COP, or Coefficient of Performance. Airco’s are pumps, they move heat from one side (the hot one) of the system to the other (the cooler one) thereby cooling the hot side. They can also do the opposite, so take heat from a cold side, move it to the hot side, these are the new heatpumps used to heat homes. The COP can be 2 to 4. If its 2 you spend 1 kWh to get 2 kWh wordth (heat or cold) out, or if its 4 you spend 1 kWh to get 4 kWh (heat or cold) out.

Airco’s in the sun..

If you run an airco in 54 Celsius heat in Quatar you are really pushing the envelope, its COP will be very low or negative, simply because you are asking it to take heat from inside (cooling it) and moving it to the hot outside. To do that your radiator outside must be hotter than the outside, say 60 degrees, so that the heat can flow from 60 Celsius metal to 54 Celsius air. It never flows the other way.

How can you improve this situation? Its not difficult to imagine, it is just not selling fossil fuels (it makes no economic sense). Airco’s are sold to generate cashflow, to sell energy. That is the reason why we focus on the COP, not on the overal energy efficiency of the system. This is true for heatpumps as well as for airconditioners (if you choose different names for heating and cooling heatpumps). How is that? The answer is : Because of the possibililty to gain cooling or heating from the environment and thus start pumping from a much better heat.

In the case of the airco, they run during the day, they are usually exposed to the sun. Providing shading and the ability to radiate to a clear sky to your airco alone drops the temperature of the radiator 5 degrees, which means it can now drop the heat from inside in a cooler environement, this raises the COP instantly. Now what would happen if you run your airco at night? Not much use because you are not in the office then, but what if you cool water at night. Then the COP would be much better, because the airco cools against the night sky and air, which is much cooler than that of the sunny day. Then if you use that reservoir of cool water during the day to cool against, your COP will again be higher. We think this could save a lot of energy because in dry desert regions the nights can be stone cold.

Storing night cold in a water reservoir to help your airco cool during the day. Maybe you don’t need an airco at all!

When looking at heat pumps you can say the same. For the sake of ease of istallation they are used simply to heat ground water temperature water to whatever heat is needed, this is a bit moronic. I asked once what the max temp would be (and this varies from system to system) but it was 25 Celsius. So if you start on the ‘cold’ side of the heatpump with 25 Celsius, your heatpump has to do way less work to get to the temperature you need. Now it may seem futile but again a reservoir of water could help out, if during winter you have some solar collectors on your roof you can collect heat all day, and then use it to bump up the performance of your heat pump. No installer will talk about it, in general they hate solar thermal panels because they reduce energy consumption. No surprise there.


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Covid Recovery and Climate Action

Covid19 has destroyed businesses all across the world. Banks have not let up and required governments to borrow and spend to keep people paying them, as if banks should somehow be invulnerable to the crisis. Even Shell is now saying it may not be able to come back as it had. What is bad for the economy is good for climate action however, and we have explained why this is the case in this blog many times : Money is carbon credit.

Our money still derives much of its value from its ability to buy fossil fuels. Especially in a globalized economy where logistics is a large part of serving consumers, fossil fuels have played a major part. This is the reason why the economy went global. To sell more fossil fuel, to increase cashflow for banks.

Now that we are going to allocate carboncredit, Euro’s Dollars to businesses, to groups of people working to make certain products or deliver services, we should look at the fossil efficiency of those operations. In some cases, like banks, you can hand them a billion Dollar or Euro and nothing really happens. It neutralizes a debt and poof! its gone! No climate damage there. In other cases the money funds logistics, to get stuff that can be made locally from China, for instance electronics. The resource fuel, which may be cheap now, but harms our climate future, is wasted for the largest part. If you had to choose between two companies, one local one in China when supplying financial aid it makes much more sense to support the local company, because it delivers more real world value per barrel of oil burned.

With current prices of renewables, and renewable factories, it would make a lot of sense to allocate part of the funds to building either solar panels or solar panel and wind turbine plants close to where production takes place. That way you multiply your fossil input (for solar panels by a factor of 6) and you drive down the price of those devices further. You may even go so far as to mandate ‘recovery’ panels, solar panels without glass or aluminum, both once a requirement to make them more expensive. 100% plastic panels are much lighter, les vulnerable and less energy intensive to make!

In general there is a dualistic attitude to businesses, on the one side they keep people happy and fed, and the logic is that they should therefore be supported. On the other hand there are essential businesses, big bakeries, farm related infrastructure, medical infrastructure, sometimes private (worst case) sometimes public, and their suppliers. We feel that each of them should report on their climate efficiency, say their CO2 emissions per true value delivered. True value should then be measured against the best in class benchmark for an average lifestyle.

It would make sense if we all did something for one another, this seems to be the original idea behind an economy, to have equitable exchanges between hard working participants. Fossil fuels and automation kind of screwed this up, and we got a lot of fossil fuel peddlers (airlines, shipping companies, bottled water companies etc.) and jobs that did not really produce much (BS jobs) as a result. To get back to the original idea we should make sure fossil fuels don’t play much of a role in the creation of products, or make sure they don’t by primarily funding companies that have a plan to remove fossil fuels from the equation.


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Sanity Checking the Blue Economy Principles

We were made aware of the Blue Economy website by a supporter of Extinction Rebellion. We are not a fact check website per se, but we would like to hold the “principles” of this website to the light to see if they make sense. We will list the principles below and comment on each point. There are a lot of them. Our motto is to maximize life. If you do that you’re probably going to survive climate change, way easier to wrap your head around. So here goes..

  • The Blue Economy respond to basic needs of all with what you have, introducing innovations inspired by nature, generating multiple benefits, including jobs and social capital, offering more with less. to vague, an abstraction can’t do nothing
  • Solutions are first and foremost based on physics. Deciding factors are Pressure and Temperature as found on site. Not sure what this refers to.
  • Substitute something with Nothing – Question any resource regarding its necessity for production. Trust can be based on experience, no need to question everything, not sure what is meant here
  • Natural systems cascade nutrients, matter and energy – waste does not exist. Any by-product is the source for a new product. Can be true
  • Nature evolved from a few species to a rich biodiversity. Wealth means diversity. Industrial standardization is the contrary. A random comparison
  • Nature provides room for entrepreneurs who do more with less. Nature is contrary to monopolization. Not always, pests monopolize
  • Gravity is main source of energy, solar energy is the second renewable fuel. False, water evaporates due to solar energy, without the sun we’d be at ~63 degrees Kelvin
  • Water is the primary solvent (no complex, chemical, toxic catalysts). Solvent of water soluable materials.
  • In nature the constant is change. Innovations take place in every moment. Not intentionally except in conscious minds
  • Nature only works with what is locally available. Sustainable business evolves with respect not only for local resources, but also for culture and tradition. Ok
  • Nature responds to basic needs and then evolves from sufficiency to abundance. The present economic model relies on scarcity as a basis for production and consumption. Nature doesn’t do anything on purpose. The economy assumes abundance, not sarcity, that is the problem.
  • Natural systems are non-linear. What does that mean?
  • In Nature everything is biodegradable – it is just a matter of time. Practically true
  • In natural systems everything is connected and evolving towards symbiosis. Nope, it tries to eat whatever it can.
  • In Nature water, air, and soil are the commons, free and abundant. Duh
  • In Nature one process generates multiple benefits. Not necessarily
  • Natural systems share risks. Any risk is a motivator for innovations. No innovations in nature, evolution yes
  • Nature is efficient. So sustainable business maximizes use of available material and energy, which reduces the unit price for the consumer. Nope it is not efficient, it tries to survive. Plants are 5% solar efficient.
  • Nature searches for the optimum for all involucrated elements. Nope, nothing searches in nature except conscious minds.
  • In Nature negatives are converted into positives. Problems are opportunities. There is no judgement except in conscious minds.
  • Nature searches for economies of scope. One natural innovation carries various benefits for all. Nope, they may get eaten less readily

Ok, having done the check it seems the blue economy principles are a lot of claims about nature and what it wants and does. Including that it would somehow search for an optimum for all “elements captured in a membrane”. Nature doesn’t search. Nature is mostly dead except for life which is opportunistic and can’t create the conditions it needs most of the time. Nature runs on solar and nuclear (geothermal) energy. Without those two sources we’d be on a frozen iceball.

One Roboeconomic principle is : Maximize Life

Its important not to rely on nature to much in our current situation, because according to natural processes we are headed for a massive extinction that includes humanity and then at least a million years of dead silence from the oceans and on land, due to toxic gasses like H2S released from rotting organic material. Worst case would be a hothouse earth, which will happen if so much water evaporates that our atmosphere can not cool itself down (water is a greenhouse gas) resulting in a positive feedback loading more water capturing more heat. We need human intervention in this warming process and we need technology and industry to achieve it.

If you have principles, make them instructive, don’t expect people to guess your thoughts.

There is plenty of energy to fix our predicament, it just needs to be directed towards the right mechanisms of change and manipulation. This is what the roboeconomy is about, we need AI, robots and automation running on renewables to steer us away from runaway warming, and we can. Just conserving or waiting for things to fix itself will not work.


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The World Model

It is easy to say that we should fight climate change. Most people that do don’t actually fight. Fighting is uncomfortable, it is dangerous, you have to adapt constantly because you are facing constant resistance. Almost nobody is doing that, for a large part because political positions are occupied by people preselected for their acceptance of the destruction of our planet, partly because the media (and add industry) are biased to where the money comes from, and climateactivists don’t have a bank yet.

It is clear politicians make promises and break them, their game is to lie to ensure their power and find new lies to distract people when their earlier lies are being called out. The memory span of the average voter is limited, and if you’re not into politics you can’t link events logically further back than about 2 weeks. Trump is a hardcore example of that, he goes by the adagium that “people only know what you tell them” and so he flatly denies he did things in the past, counting on the fact that the majority that see his denial are not exposed to the debunking of that denial. Its high precision lying, and very effective in keeping people behaving predictably.

Now, due to the coronacrisis, a lot of people are demanding recovery funds are spend in an environmentally sound way. These are almost promises. We don’t know what the power of these people is, sometimes none, sometimes they are in a bank or some other institution. We don’t know what they vote when push comes to shove. We have plenty of fake political parties that always vote anti-social right wing but talk social-left wing, and look slippery and clean the rest of the time.

We need a world model, a simulation of what happens if we do things. What happens if we build a dam, what happens if we give USD to this company or that company. What happens if we mine here or dig there. It’s no longer beyond our abilities to do so. We can model the money and resource streams, simply from satelite data. We know what prices are, we know what is offered in the market, we know what skills people aquire (when their brains are not shut down by their smartphone). We can model human behaviour, aging, we can model everything. Many lives are similar, that’s been the goal of industry to create consumer ‘flavours’ that feel unique enough to join massive groups. But really a person without any sense of electronics or physics, what is he going to do? The only option such a person has is hold and use tools made available to him/her, and the result of that is highly predictable.

Most new industrial designs are cat drawings, so when the end products are in the field they can be understood completely. If they are not you can send drones to scan them, to listen to them, to measure radiation and make a profile. We are very close to thinking AI that has no problem intergating such knowledge in to a model. AI is already used to create and tune models of all kinds. We need to start working on a model of our world, so that we can run accurate simulations of policy decisions.

The political realm is incredibly dated. You as a voter think you have influence over some options that are presented to you, but you don’t control vast parts of your world you depend on. Fossil fuel emissions dropped 8% during this corona crisis, and where dit the other 92% keep going? Industry. Did you notice from your locked down home? Nope. Do you notice the hunger in Sudan, Egypt, Syria, India? Nope, so much pain you are shielded from, not only by yourself but also by the media. This crisis is not over yet. As banks free up money to hand out and try to restart this monster economy promises are made about the climate sanity of it all. How can we be sure any of those promises are kept? What do they entail? We must go through with the “Green Deal”! But what does that actually mean? Can’t we do better? Is it going to save us?

We have climate models, like smoke detectors, but we need to see the actual fire, and know what actions yield what results. There should be a scientific field optimizing a world model created from a combination of the weather, climate, air pollution, logistics, gaming and many other models that are already being created. Al the users can then tap into this model and optimize it. Then we can at least see the actual situation, we can control divices to take action where needed or possible, we can extrapolate based on best knowledge. This should be a global effort, to finally know what the fuck we are doing to it and how we can do better.


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How to deal with Coronadebt, or lessens from Easter Island

The world economy is contracting in a way not seen since the dawn of the industrial age. It was a descision to unburden the intensive care units (as far as it was taken timely) and protect the lives of the elderly. There are variants in each country, as there should be. In some the thought was to “Take it on the chin”, in others the virus was kept out with extreme prejudice. Money stopped flowing, and as we have written here many times, as a result oil stopped flowing. Oil wells can’t just be shut down (they may not restart), so prices dropped until all reserves where full and now we wait for news that oil producers started dumping oil in ponds.

This event poses a serious challenge for the economic system. Governments told a part of the population to stop producing. Money stopped flowing. Export and import stopped. This also meant no cost, for the 2/3ths of monthy turnover. However banks did not stop asking mortgages and rent. Loans had to be payed off. Technically if everything stops it makes no sense and it is unwise to demand these payments. They serve a function that is to drive people to work. Of course banks never demanded the measures, in fact banks have been behind the call for “Herd Immunity” and letting the old wood die. See the quote below.

To anyone that has seen a violent rainstorm ruin a garden party or who has seen the devestation after a tsunami or hurricane understands that you can’t blame anyone for such an event. Nobody is responsible for the existence of the coronavirus. Some are certainly responsible for how to deal with this calamity, and heads should roll if it is clear mistakes where made. But there is no justification of financial bondage resulting from this crisis.

If you want something, like live in a house, you are forced to go into debt, because banks have organized society such that everyone thinks that even a small piece of land is worth a fortune. Because it isn’t banks have made it so that there’s enough money to allow enough people to part with money to pay the “mortgage” and still have a happy life. There is no real friction, no real effort. Mortages are gifts of banks to themselves, and it allows them to judge who will buy a house and possibly deny them. So it’s a tool of discrimination and bondage. Money talks now, before people talked.

Economics tells you to “invest” ahead of income, to produce even if there is no demand. Of course, this puts you in a strange relation with possible finaciers, they wait for you to want to do something, then they lend you the money, and you will be paying them and be forced to work to pay them. It does not matter whether what you want is a morally sound idea, as long as money flows. So banks profit from prostitution, arms trade, drug trade and all kinds of inflationary schemes. Their goal is to increase cashflow, and a side effect of that is that they increase fossil fuel use (but I digress).

Now all the above is just a game banks play. It could be handled differently, for instance with total democracy on loans or institutional quality approval of products and non-profit banks. No flash trading on the stockexchange, only slow transactions. All that would increase quality of life, solidity of our endeavours, but it would reduce cashflow. The world economy is a creation of banks, in all its harm and inefficiencies. It’s a materialization of “Power corrupts, Absolute power corrupts absolutely” and we gave this power to them.

If you want to “restart” the economy you have to act as if nothing happend. Like we where all anesthetized and woke up a year later. No time had passed we where aware of. All the cost where born by our resource reserves. No debt remains. This is possible and this should be the way it is. Of course the turnover of one business will return slower than another, and I for sure am a fan of the idea of prioritizing climate responsible businesses over ones that have a CO2 debt to the world or are still creating one.

No bank really lifted a finger to protect anyone except themselves and some super turnover generators. Those (like the airlines) where massive fossil fuel consumers, and these are always the banks favourite : Create credit, buy fuel, burn fuel, receive cashflow, rinse and repeat. No attention was and is payed to the needs of people. So meat is not distributed, vegetables are rotting in the fields. Some authority needs to worry about that.

Banks really only enjoy the game and don’t like to get involved unless it is to protect themselves. They may have “bought” oil reserves and wells, which is a massive mindfuck because they create the money to buy against the asset they buy, meaning they pull themselves up by their bootstrap and the wool over our eyes (we should be more alert). They have nothing, only title to and a bunch of tokens (dollars, euros) we believe have value. Right now that game is halted. The question is : Why would banks gain control over our lives during this time of crisis. Why would we aknowledge debts to them when the cost of lending money in the EU is negative?

But better still : Why are we playing the game they invented, even as we are all suffering ? A halted economy is a time out, banks can not incur debt even if they supply credit. Debt is an illusion created to bond people to the economy. You may think this is a rediculous statement, but it is not, because we NEVER pay our debt. Simply said we do this :

  1. Banks lend money into circulation
  2. We ‘earn’ that money
  3. We buy products made with fossil fuel
  4. That fossil fuel is burned
  5. We ‘earn’ more money

Can it work without step 4. ? NOPE! Can we make fossil fuels ? NOPE!

The exchange we make with our economy is not equitable. We do not do for it what it does for us. The reason is the availability of fossil fuels (I include all types of gas in this catergory for semanticists). We can not make them in our kitchen or factory (of course there’s power to gas now but that’s barely a thing). “But oil companies make oil”. Yes, they get it out of the ground. Why would they give it to us? This is the big lie of our economy, we feel and believe we are the creators of our lifestyle, but we are given a tremendous gift to use : fossil energy. This not praise for this polluting energy source, it’s just that we overlook how essential it (still) is.

The funny thing about oil is that it really is something. A barrel or tank full of gasoline, you can smell it, it keeps you warm. Money on the other hand, is nothing. It’s a number or paper. Banks can create it (we all know that) just like that. So this trade of oil for money could be considered a mystery. In fact it is not a mystery, it is the system called the economy. That trade of energy for numbers is the basis of our economic system, and it puts all power in the hands of the banks. The game banks play is how to keep us happy and distracted, yet retain enough control over our lives to steer away from threats to this system. There’s also a gentrifying element to bank policy, of course they like to support neat people over unpredictable types. They fund wars that (to be frank) always kill more aggressive people than cowards (unless nuclear bombs are used).

There are two points I like to make with this post. The first is that banks should not gain power from stopping the game. This is like moving chess pieces whil your opponent is taking a toilet break. It is cheating. The second is that we need to find a way to remove the incentive to maximize cashflow for banks, and this means we need to replace fossil fuels or simply limit the wealth banks can gain from it. Banks should become non profit.

A great way to achieve this is to require renewable energy as the source of productiviy growth, and replace recurrent buying of fossil fuel with recurrent use of renewables. Banks are against this, because these renewable sources can be owned by you and me, cities, states and countries, not by them. There is no strategy by which banks can promote renewables and retain control over their francise. Renewables kill the banking system as we know it.

You could see this reflex to push the world into debt from this coronacrisis as the ultimate powergrab by the banks. They need to dominate because renewables will make them obsolete. If we allow that to happen we will be toiling under this load for decades using fossil fuels, in increasing heat, without flexbility to make changes. Industry will be set loose to destroy what is left, cut down all trees, poison every well, this is the process we witness and trend facilitated by sock puppet Donald Trump. Weaker EPA restrictions, licens to drill everywhere etc.

We can often wonder what happend to the people of Easter Island, why they disappeared. It may not be that they ran out of resources, but that they frantically tried to compete with each other to use them because they had a currency that gave them the illusion it was valuable. The last fishermen with the last fish sold them for a hefty price. Then all died of famine. This is the economy of banks, and we should learn this lesson, and start cooperating using renewables, not competing using exhaustables.


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AI and Agression

AI is on the brink of becoming real. Many are still distracted by machine learning, which does not provide a good bridge to machine thinking, but this bridge will be crossed, and the quality of thought will approach that of animals and humans soon. I am convinced because I can see what this would take. There have been warnings about the risk of AI, the movie War games, Terminator, many science fiction novels have fantasized about alternative intelligences and what it would do. It is scary.

I would make a distinction between intelligent recognition and targeting systems, which can be hard wired, meaning their behaviour is fixed, and free roaming AI driven robots, who’s behaviour is truely dynamic. Elsewhere I wrote about ARGO, which stands for Autonomous, Robust, Goal Orienting systems. This defines intelligence for me. This post is about another aspect of free roaming AI, which is its aggression.

We understand aggression to be some determined act to destroy something by a person. It’s a primitive behaviour that simply ignores the integrity of whatever it is directed towards, takes it apart until it doesn’t exist anymore. Robocop could be a basic example of machine aggression, but this is not what I mean. The role of aggression is more specific in our brain then we think. We usually only call the extremes aggression, but we have to be ‘aggressive’ with every move we make. We have to destroy our will to do what we are doing, and want to do something else.

There are two directions in this, one is fear driven and one is driven by assertion, which is a result of concluding we will surive whatever the move is intact. When we are scared we can run but we will not be left with any new skills afterwards. When we are assertive and we do something -even though- it scares us we learn something new, we conquer new behaviour. These examples are also extremes. Most times this dynamic remains within known limits. We make ‘safe’ choices all the time, choices that create no risk to us in any way. That behavour is also mediated by a balance between fear and agression.

Now the problem with AI is that it will have these dynamics if it is to be truely intelligent. The reason is that you can not navigate an inperfectly known environment without having moving around, and you can’t move around without commiting to a movement, and you can not commit without ‘asserting’ that it is safe. Like humans an AI robot will have to decide itself what is safe behaviour and what not.

So this means that if you let a robot like Boston Dynamics Atlas move around outside, you will have to accept it does things that it thinks are safe. The more freedom you give such an AI to perform its tasks the more risk you take that it will decide that it can do something that is not safe, especially around humans. Say you have an ‘intelligent’ robot and you ask it to solve a problem that requires a stiff rod. It might decide to use one of your bones, grab it, extract it and finish the task, while you’re attempting to stay alive through this. It may not have sensed there was something to be ‘afraid’ of in this proces. Say an AI ‘assistant’ works with you on Mars and some accident happens the AI thinks it can solve by taking part of your spacesuit and stuffing it in a hole. Its could be like a dog that rips apart a pillow and then looks at you with eyes saying “why was that important to you?”.

Once you let behaviour truely be a balance between fear and agression based on the world model of the AI that can never be informed 100% (just like that of humans) you gain true intelligence, but you risk danger. The only solution to this risk is to have the AI demonstrate a thorough understanding of what humans are, why they should be integrated in every plan, every move, so that there is no risk to them. The AI should ‘love’ humans more then it loves itself, and this ‘love’ starts with knowing what they are, recogizing them etc. The short term solution is to make sure robots are weak. Even then they can still decide to replace citchen salt with a toxic salt, because it never learned not all salts are the same. “It says salt in the menu, why is zinc bromide not ok?”.

While AI will destroy our online experience, making it increasingly fantastic and at the same time attractive, undermining our own sense of reality and what is true and what is possible, while AI will be weaponized by every party that wants to get hold or control of stuff, we can expect true AI to be a risk as wel. There is a lot to say for not going that route, to stick with the soft tissue humans combined with dumb machines. Our innate desire to procreate however will probably manifest itself by driving us to ignore these risks just to see true AI roam free.


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Detached Power

Humans can be viewed as manipulators, meaning they can change their environment and themselves. They can cut down trees, build houses etc. When their basic needs are met they can go on to build beautifull cities Pyramids and Taj Mahals.

The source of all this power lies in our ability to imagine and then try to achieve that think we imagine. That can be a sandwitch in our stomach or our index finger touching our nose or going to Mars. Without imagination there is no choice between imagined futures and we could not demonstrate the first principle of intelligence, which is to choose the best future for ourselves at every step.

Humans have evolved for a world that would not change much over a lifetime. There is no way to evolutionarily select for adaption to cataclysmic events and environmental upheavals. A human will be prepared for everthing humans can do to each other and the environment, to the extent that there’s also now way to breed a notion of total environmental destruction into a human. The natural response is to move towards greener pastures, and this is always the response.

This simple environment can be artifical. In our modern society industry has created regions where people live more or less abstract lives. They hunt in the supermarket and forage in the shopping mall, their behaviour is curtailed in all kinds of ways into pressing a button or pulling a lever. Without judging this process of incarceration was driven by the desire of industry, people that fed on dependence of others on them to harness skills and manipulative power as well as energy from humans that would have otherwise be farmers and hunters. To create a product can have many motives, to gain power is one of them, to gain security another, to gain sexual favour as well, and there’s a part that wants to procreate through products as well. In all these cases a human that is so inspired has a desire to do more than it can. It will want tools and servants.

It is not hard to gain tools and servants though, as long as the human inolved is strong. The other humans will quickly give up any desire to resist for existential reasons and because they are not used to imagining a completely different world. The powerfull humans will have to deal with other powerfull humans, and the servants can focus on doing their job, usually with a considerably less troubled life than the ‘masters’. Both can see advantages in thier predicament, and the master will always say things that reinfoce his/her position, and force the servant to say things that reinforces the servants position. Quite often the servant will actually cheer the master on. This makes a lot of sense when it is a general returning from defeating a raping and pillaging enemy. Humanity has been organized with masters and servants for millenia, simply because otherwise it would not be organized at all.

In our highly abstract society, where symbolic acts are taken very seriously (and we don’t mean religion, but for instance the feeling I get when writing this post, where I have not actually checked if anyone read it or how they respond), it is not common the basis of power is effectively taught to the next generation. Those that do will not do it for anyone but their own. The power to change your environment, to master others, to get what you want and not want what you are being offered is an illusive thing. You have to hate not being the creator of your fate, while your fate is made very comfortable and there are all kinds of way to have symbolic power (for instance in video games). Kids grow up looking at those in power and may learn to manipulate others into serving them, but still they may not get it.

The thing these people don’t get is what they are actually doing. They may understand there’s all kinds of comfort in power, but the servants also recognize their own comfort. There may be guilt when you spend the money earned by your father wastefully but you may not feel this deep motivation to protect and build your father did. When running a company you have to know that you are getting payed for what you deliver, not for prancing around and looking bussy. “Fake it untill you make it” is interpreted “Pretend until you’ve got wads of cash” but of course it means “Model until you actually build”.

It is not surprising to see politicans fail and suck and lie and cheat and be pirates all the time. This is the struggle for power. A requirement to do that right is empathy with others. Not because you will be loved and voted for, but if you empthize with others you have a deeper understanding of what they do. If you empathize with firefighters you understand they run into burning buildings which is super scary. If you empathize with young jobless mothers you understand they can be pretty desperate and the fathers should not be allowed to leave them like that. If you empathize with soldiers you don’t want war and you want them to be protected. Treat others like you’d treat yourself and do onto others what you’d have done onto you. These are not directives, they are talents. They require courage.

Today leaders are voted into office by people who’s opinion is deliberately shaped, who are kept from having an effective vote through all kinds of tricks. Those that gain power may do so based on 70% lies, 20% hubris, and 10% arrogance. If you dress up like a busdriver and you sit in the busdriver’s seat, you will have people get into your bus. The problem is you may not know how to handle it, have no experience at all, may be suicidal or a maniac wanting to drive it off a cliff. The people living in their industrially designed comfortable live don’t really expect or get a chance to know enough to judge the candidate. And of course a candidate can explictly look for support amongst people that are prejudiced and limited in their judgement.

Those that gain power must know what behaviour it takes to produce his environment, which in case of a country means he has to have courage of a soldier and constructive desire of a builder, empathy of a mother and protective instinct of a parent. And even then things can go wrong, because the individual can feel special or different or better than a certain category of people he/she will wield power over. After all, we are all both superior and inferior to others and this can evolve into both an inferiority complex and a superiority complex. The more true power you take from people the sooner they will choose the comfort of servitude, simply because they have lost their grasp of what could give them the upper hand.

When in the past a leader had to gather a bigger army and teach it to be effective, today leaders gather the largest possible group of citizen and try to make them feel as ineffective as possible. Its simply the negative. You don’t have to achieve anything if you promise the world to people, then fail, because those people have felt that failure and empathize with you, while you don’t have to empthize with them (which you are also discouraged from by your desire to feel superior).

Now if you have grown up feeling your power, if you have lived in a place where all the sources of your comfort where people and actions you understood and empthized with, you don’t want to be “led” by airguitair players or symbolists or prancers. You don’t want to vote for one lie jukebox over the other. You don’t want the ego of the most ignorant in your society boosted in order for them to make the vote of active, empathic citizen irrelevant. You don’t want the fight for leadership to be a battle that has no benefit to you, has nothing to do with you, and actually harms you. You want that shit to stop.

The easy way to fight this detachement of power is to detach from it. To not feed into it. To not be a servant. This is how humanity works all the time, people don’t “like” others they can’t empathize with and whom they don’t feel empathy from. Cooperation should be withdrawn, one should strike, object, obstruct. At the same time whoever does get it should be supported. In the US one can easily imagine states leaving the union. The main reason that doesn’t happen is that poor states are dependent upon richer states. They are like children that have not learned what is needed to wield power.

The world in which renewables are cheap can enable almost any territory to become sovereign, even if it remains in the cooperation of larger unions. Even the dryest and hottest places can power cooling systems and irrigate and desalinate with solar energy. They do need to understand it is up to them to organize this, and this requires people that have skills and that cooperate. You can overlay this view on todays society and the distortions financial dependence and economic division of labour (euphenism for divide and conquer) become glaringly obvious. You will know you are fixing it when you meet resistance. But that is the only way to not the life of a neglected and abused servant.


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Michael Moores “Planet of the Humans” Greenwashing Movie Review

Michael Moore produced a movie about developments in renewable energy driven by the need to reduce emissions. Its a series of recordings narrated by a desillusioned activist. Below we have listed claims made in the movie checked against our understanding of the facts.

In general our review is positive, Moore exposes the scam of biomass and of well financed enviromentalists. His criticism on solar and wind is not true or fair, the fact is that coal and gas plants are being shut down left and right because of wind and solar projects. The bottleneck is storage, and the fossil industry has worked very hard to avoid the development of batteries. So this documentary makes a “No Solution” argument. It’s message is “We are stuck, the methods we saw are not working” this bears out in the unreasonable dismissal of Ivanpah. Then the narrator wants us to accept mortality, so basically emrace death as a solution to the population problem. This is in line with a “No Solution” argument. It is an ideology we have written about. Many people, especially those that feel financially protected agree with this : People need to die.

The complete argument is however flawed. You can not fault environmentalists for more powerfull organizations to do the wrong thing in an environment where profit is king and banks like fossil fuel cashflow. Hence you can not dismiss technologies that are made to fail or look bad on purpose. This blame and distortion tell us that Moore is on the “let people die” side which is actually a pro-fossil position. The truth is that climate change will hit so hard that many people will actually die all over the world. There is no need to choose or accept, it will happen to these people and maby you will be amongst them.

This does not mean that we can’t dismantle the incentive structure of the fossil based system by force. This will happen, because no matter how much money you have you are not going to be safe, and soon you realize that building as much renewables as possible close to where you live increases your likelyhood of survival. Energy can do work we need done, clean energy can do it with very little overhead. Don’t believe this documentary when you get the feeling there is no way out. It does require you to do something though, which is get rid of the shills and dismiss the help of banks.

What is fundamentally needed is a forced escape from the economy, which can only be achieved by conquering terrirory independently. This could also mean conquer fossil resources to power renewable manufacturing. A close second is to become truely principled political alliance spanning all countries, but this is slow and a big ask of human’s feeble will. It is totally out of the happy go lucky environmentalists scope of behaviour, and of course apart from Moore’s criticism, this is the problem. You can’t fight for climate change without feeling like you are fighting.

Claims/statements and our fact check

Early events by environmentalists used fossil fuels as backup. True

Hydrogen for cars is usually produced from hydrocarbons. True

Solar panel manufacturing involves the use of coal. True

There is a gas transition driven by gas producers that draw attention to coal plants closures while expanding gas use. True

Battery storage is still at low capacity. True

Some solar panels live just 10 years. False, build for 30 years

Solar tower power plants use some natural gas. Can, don’t need to.

Fossil fuels are used to build, concrete pouring emits CO2. True

The energy return on energy invested of Ivanpah solar tower plant is negative (more CO2 emitted than it avoids). False

Germany is still a large coal user. True

Rare Earth mining exposes radioactivity on the surface. As does oil, gas and coal mining

Graphite use is somehow bad. False

Apple is still grid connected even if it produces solar electricity. Batteries needed.

No entity could be find that runs on exclusively on 100% solar and wind. Now some can be found, but its not a bad thing.

The Koch Brothers produce solar panels, glass and other products. As did Shell, to delay development.

Ivanpah relies on the most toxic and industrial processes we have ever created. False (the guide has an agenda)

There is a montage of industrial processes of mining, melting, slavery etc. which seems intended to link these activities to clean energy technologies. A bit frenzied. This is industry, it does not care about human lives.

Plants where cut down to build the Ivanpah solar power plant. True

The Joshua tree will be sacrificed in the name of progress. False

There are derelict houses in Dagett (supposedly around the SEGS solar power plants). True

The construction jobs for SEGS went when construction was done. As they do.

The solar arrays of SEGS have been raised to the ground. This is a link to the plant they visited. SEGS is located close to Kramer Junction, not Dagett, the plants still stand.

Ivanpah started falling apart. False

There may “not be enough planet left” to start over building renewable power plants. False

“Clean renewable energy and industrial civilization are one and the same”. Industry is machines to make stuff. You can make products that are good and that are bad, in ways that are good and ways that are bad.

We have reached peak production from our planetary resources (using fossil fuel). Duh, even the narrator started out realizing this.

The “people in charge” are not taking the limits of our resources serious enough. True they are driven by profit.

“There are too many humans using to much too fast”. Not too many.

Human population grows like that of any species in the wild. False, educated populations can shrink.

Fossil fuels caused a population explosion. True.

The impact of human consumption is terrifying. True

Are banks and industry interested in green energy for profit? Duh, they are interested in anything for profit, that is the problem.

The right has religion (a monopoly). Really?

The left has fear of death. No idea, sounds simplistic.

Cultures are local systems of solutions to common fears and problems. True

You can come across people with different solutions which can undermine your trust in your own ideas. True

Both people that think green energy is a solution and those that think fossil fuels will keep working are delusional. False. If you do green solutions right they are green and they are solutions. Plenty of examples of that.

The green community makes decisions because it is unwilling to accept death. This is tragic. Nonsense.

Intermission

It appears the narrator wants environmentalists to commit suicide or accept the demise of earths life support systems. However that would run against basic human instincts. It is usually the rich that want the poor to die, and because you can’t really hang with banks as a true environmentalist, you are going to be poor if you have no army.

This is where the part against biomass begins. We have written about how it is a scam, how tree burning is something that is falsely sold as green, like “green gas”. It is true, we agree with the narrator 100%.

-end of intermission-

Biomass (as it turns out today) means burning trees. Yes it is a scam.

Biomass is not going to work. Yes, environmentalists HATE biomass. Climate changes is killing billions of trees in Canada who get sold off as biomass to powerplants. They should be dumped in the deep sea to sequester CO2

Biomass and waste burning is polluting. Duh

There is money put towards dirty energy projects by the rules made in large part by the dirty energy lobby. Duh

Michael Moore makes it seem that proponents of green energy support biomas and waste burning and shows an environmentalists lamenting the fate lf Lake Superior. This is some ju jitsu shit. NO ENVIRONMENTALIST IS FOR BIOMASS/WASTE BURNING!

Universities ignore wind and solar. Duh

Bill McKibben is a proponent of wood buring. Auch.

Waste and biomass burning is sold as “green”. Yes, that’s called Greenwashing

There is a movement that wants to burn all wood and biomass in the US. Duh

Environmentalists and climate activists are against burning trees. Duh

Language of well funded environmental groups around biomass is weak. Yes we noticed.

Green organization (Sierra Club) leaders allow biomass to be burned. Ok

Van Jones claims not to be aware of biomass burning. Ok

Bill McKibben tries to avoid saying anything about biomass. Ok

Environmentalist against biomass remains unnamed. Dr. Vandana Shiva. Why?

Have some environmentalist made a deal and become shills? Clearly

Green marketing has been driven by the desire for profit. Duh

Destruction capitalism is hiding under a “green” cover. Duh

It is suggested Sierra Club takes money from biomass loggers. Could be

Bloomberg organized to finance more biomass projects. Not surprising

Tree cellulose can be turned into fuel by several processes. True

Wallstreet banks are into the biomass trade. Duh

Green investment portfolios of banks are not green at al. No surprise

Banks pick a piece of green investments for themselves. No surprise

All Gore is in on the biomass burning scheme. We knew he is not kosher

Brazil is expanding sugar cane plantations without regard for nature. True, also Soj, its the law of the jungle.

Animal fat is used for fuel production. Disgusting, but yes.

Algae can be used to make biofuels. True, is a returning promise that never materializes.

Environmentalists are shills. Many not all. Easy to spot : They are doing financially well.

Creating markets for electric cars is bad. False

Selling solar panels is bad. False

The New York Times carries Exxon marketing for algae biofuels. Yes that is a promise that’s more than 2 decades old.

Earth Day is a distraction. True

The solar array could not power the speaker system. It actulally could as is’s 60 x 300 Wp = 18 KWp. That is plenty!

There is a lot of dirty money for “Greenwashing” events like Earth Day. Duh

The shills and greenwashing is something we don’t normally try to think about. False we do that all the time.

Awareness is needed for transformation. True

We are beyond sustainable already. Maybe. Humans will survive even if we have to live in domed habitats.

We need to take control back from money. This is hard without starting an army or a bank, the last we suggest in a previous post.

People are the problem. Nope, it is banks maximizing fossil fuel consumption calling it “economic growth” and the fact banks control our lives.

We will be like uran utangs stuck in a tree in an otherwise barren landscape. True. If you do nothing effective, you won’t survive.