We had a business idea : We would rip the windscreens from cars in the street, and then open a big store to sell the windscreens to the car owners that now needed them. Its a guaranteed cash cow because we create the need ourselves, almost like selling drugs like coffee, wine or sigars. Sadly we ran in a problem : It was illegal. Why? Because its not allowed to take windscreens from cars in the street. Even though you can take a coin from the pavement.. Anyway, bummer.
This little episode shows that when someone wants to start a business there are rules. For starters there’s common law. Protection of privatly owned goods from theft (even though that protection is weakening as police are increasingly unable to respond). Now we had another idea, we would make poison, cyanide, and sell it to shops to kill mice. Just a theebox with little sachets of the stuf, we hired an intern to make it (a little like Fukishima Tepco hired temps to clean up the radioactive waste). Made a nice candy colored box to catch the eye of the buyer, with an image of a screaming mouse with red eyes, like MGM’s logo.
We had to burry one intern, and build a fume hood for the next. When we had to attend to the funeral of a couple of kids that thought we sold funny tea (It clearly said “Mouse candy” on the package) the police came to arrest us. We where working so hard and stimulating the economy, getting rid of a nuisance (we don’t mean the kids!). Its a good thing we didn’t make too much money or we would have been stuck with claims forever. That would have been sad!
Ok, this never really happend, but what happend was that kids all over europe played and sucked on toys made of poisonous plastic, drinking from mugs with lead containing paint. Dutch conservatives don’t want to ban sale of greenhouse gas nitrous oxide, that is sold to kids to get high, which they breath in such quantities they get brain damage from anoxia. Guys like us are everywher, all over the world, all the time, selling stupid dangerous products or profiting from stupid dangerous processes.
The point of the above is that rules have to exist to make our lives safe. They are there because the easiest way towards profit for some is not the way that allows all people to have a reasonable life. So all those people that want a reasonable life came together and created a government and laws to be protected, not only from each other but from industry. Because (as we say) industry does not care about human lives.
We decided the cyanide business was too good, we sold a lot, so we tried to sell some to the local environmental protection officer. He didn’t die accidentaly and this made it easier to go back to the shops with or product (the dead shopkeeper we didn’t mention hadn’t slandered us). In the EPO was replaced by a more cautious individual, so we decided to propose a law to make our company exempt from prosecution, calculated the country wide profits, promised 5% of the next 10 years revenue as speaker fees to one of the members of parliament (for speaking jobs he would get after he left politics) and on his advise hired two other members on our board of directors. This did the trick. Then we sold our company to a big pharmaceutical company who wished to branch out.
That company by the way had been looking into new party drugs. They figured it would be a billion dollar market if you can sell pills that made you feel funny or laugh uncontrollably. Because this is also the effect of now legal cannabis and Nitrous oxide, who would object if pink funny pills popped up in grocery stores next to the candy?
Anyway, we digress. It is clear the people that want to make money will try anything and do anything to keep making money and make more money. There should be barriers to the crazy ones, but there is one sector that consistently lobbies and pleads for less barriers. This is the banking sector. They just want to borrow to profitable businesses, they don’t give one flying fuck what the effect is. All the insurance for Soy from Brazil, the leases for the heavy equipment and diesel used for logging, money for the bullets that are used to kill forest protection activsts, it all comes from and is handled by the international banks.
In Holland banks invested in plans for farmers, plans the farmers didn’t think of themselves, but which where highly likely handed to them by the biggest meat trader (there’s more or less a monopoly on meat farming in Holland) who of course developed the plans in cooperation with the same banks. Problem was that the pollution, as was known at the time of the making of the investment, did not allow for farms of the intended size. The Banks did not check this. Now the farmers are halfway to profitability and they are not allowed to expand anymore (because an EU ruling made it so that the rules had to be enforced).
Banks are the ones that should be given more responsibility and should be held more accountable for the investments they make. This is just their duty as part of society, to protect society from harm. If you let someone get murdered you are partially guilty of that murder. Your duty is to prevent harm to your fellow citizen (by allerting the authorities f.i.).
In the financial world there are even people who pride themselves of having no ethical consciousness when it comes to investing. These people sell arms to countries until civil war erupts, at which point they sell even more weapons. We are not even talking about the fraud happening in the financial sector itself, the front running, quantum trading. It is insane. Loans and investments should be vetted for their impact, before banks go ahead and grant them.
Even though some investment banks now say they will divest from fossil projects, coal first, they only do this because they can see that renewables, batteries are exploding and are the future drivers of production. Still all banks expect fossil fuels to be available when they extend credit or create a loan. What would it mean to have 1000 Euro in your hand if there was no way to produce the products (or ship them) you want to buy. This is why we call the bankingsystem the carboncredit system. This tells you that banks are 100% married and dependent on fossil fuels for the way they lend and invest today. Even the climate funds, soon one trillion in the EU, essentialy means 1,000,000,000,000 Euro worth of fossil fuels will be made available towards fighting climate change. This is a lot of extra pollution!
If the money system is fossil fuel dependent, and the people that create the credit don’t take care to think the consequences of their actions through, rules are needed. It will have as much effect to introduce or change rules as it will to build a giant solar park. In Holland the nitrogen rules are now stricktly enforced and this means building activity can only go through if the required impact assesments check out safe. Enforcing these rules causes two things :
1. Acceptance there are rules, all parties including banks will do more due dilligence on any rules.
2. Lobbying starts against any new rules that restrict high cashflow activity like building (high cashflow also means high emissions, and high profits for banks).
The socialist voters have to add a respons nr. 3
3. A new framework for restictions on loans and investments should be introduced that prioritizes climate beneficial activies over harmfull activites, where the welbeing of humans is taken in consideration.
This may include :
- No investment in fossil or biomass power plants
- No investment in fossil exploration
- No investment in long range logistics
- No investment in all but the top 5 most low carbon renewable energy technologies
- No investment in grids when batteries can solve the challenges
- All new factories must have their renewable energy supply included
- How much does the product or service actually add to the wellbeing of people?
Of course there is a huge amounts of grants and subsidies available for anyone who wants to start a business, also in the renewable or climate related industry, so the main purpose of these rules is to give direction to investments against the opportunistic mindset of entrepeneurs with weak ethical sense. These are of course found in abundance in their service industry : The banking system. Sadly the only thing we can really do directly is shame the banks that invest in bad projects, and vote for rational socialists that have not gotten greedy yet (have not been corrupted by economism)