In 2050, as the World Economic Forum publication suggests, some regions of the world will see 60 Celsius temperatures for more than 30 days per year. In a bad year it may be 50 in a good year it may be 20. These must be the regions already hot. Venture outside and you die, just like when you venture outside in Alaska (-28 at night) you die.
I call the zones to hot for humans (or any life) ‘Thermal Zones’
By 2050 the world population will have shrunk considerably. The growth estimations of economists are nonsense but optimism is good for economic growth so. We will not be 10 billion on this planet ever (and that is ignoring climate risks). We will be struggling petty soon. On the upside, we have brains and hands and computers, we will figure this out.
As I have written before the main challenge is to avoid the economy. Its relentless attempt to generate cashflow from anything. Its overlords the banks just finance anything that generates cashflow and profit, but are always accentuating risks of ideas that reduce cashflow even if they could generate profits. Humans have to constantly remind profit seeking industry that being lethal and super destructive is just not cool.
An extra economy or extraeconomic enclave is an installation or system or process in the economy that does not yield anything that is preowned (endebted) or sold to the market. It can produce highly valuable goods but will just accumulate them or use them itself.
The regions where we succesfully banned banks and profit seeking enterprises would be extraeconomic zones. Banks absolutely hate them, but they can be as small as a solar array on your garage charging your home battery and your car. No need for money to do that. No need for any bank. You reduce emissions and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. On a larger scale you could have water pumping with solar or wind (see other post on the extraeconomy), but the scale can be much larger.
We should be talking about territories the size of Australia where nothing that is produced is sold. We can also point out regions that are good candidates for extraeconomic activity : The thermal zones. the regions where people are not able to survive. In those zones it will be possible to build shelters for humans and robots that can work in the heat year round. What they do can reduce atmospheric CO2 or cool the earth or secure life for the future. Governments should agree to these zones and allow anyone that wants to reduce atmospheric CO2 do operate in them.
We are close to a revolution in the use of robots. Amazon can make them walk, Tesla can make them drive around (on all terrains). Space technology will yield methods of generating Methane from CO (already exists but will be optimized), design and robotic control is getting a boost from AI and advanced simulation. On the cusp of the climate disaster humanity is inventing new brains to think and do the things we need done. I call this the Roboeconomy.com where fossil cashflow is no longer important. It would be interesting to see a first example of the use of land given up for normal life, handed to science and technologists to fix the problem.
There is a real conundrum showing up in our economy as renewables become cheaper to deploy and capacity grows : the cost of renewable energy drops. In Holland wind energy can have negative prices at times where there is strong wind but no demand (and there’s still a bunch of fossil power plants online). -200 Euro per Megawatt. Like negative interest rates you get payed to use the energy.
Wealth = energy x skills x raw materials (notice money is not in this formula)
Economists, analysts and right wing politicians view this as a problem. Banks say “how can we invest in Wind if we don’t know if its going to be able to pay its interest!” and for this reason some say that the number of new renewable energy projects will go down. This seems to be a mistake, but you won’t find any attempt to puncture the appearance of ‘worthless’ renewable energy anywhere in a world still dominated by fossil energy.
The problem comes from the fact that fossil energy is its own storage medium, while renewable electricity from wind or solar is not. Renewable energy will have to be used when it is generated. Therefore an overproduction of fossil energy only leads to a tanker full of fuel, while overproduction of renewables means the energy is lost forever.
It isn’t even the price that is low it is the fact a price is made at all, this makes it clear what demand is, and at some times the demand is so low that it seems you will have to pay to get rid of your renewable energy. Of course a wind turbine can be shut off and a solar park shut down. But the energy hits the market because there is another motive to produce it : To replace fossil energy. Part of the surplus and negative prices is a result of stubborn self interest of owners of fossil energy generation (gas or coal fired power plants) who should make way for clean energy.
Nobody seems to care about this motive however. What is puzzling to me is why manufactureres and so many other industrial businesses don’t protest the waste of wealth potential caused by the resistence of the fossil owned financial system to renewables. Always calling them intermittent and wasting the surplus energy by not adapting or including storage in the system. This is pure power politics. Once renewable energy is treated like energy to use with priority the game of fossil and of the fossil economy is over.
Economists can not be expected to think about this and produce a clear strategy to maximize wealth creation from renewables (a goal I think should be on everybodies mind) because they have always been lakeys and marketeers of the fossil credit system. Economists will always disagree with this charactetrization because it blows their cover and exposes their racket. They know they are full of BS, but they want to keep talking to learn how to hide it from you! The fossil economy is unsustainable. Growth is just a borrowed word from our farming heritage, what they mean is fossil credit cashflow expansion. This in turns means banks have more power over your life.
What we need, now and in the future, is the stuff we need. We need bread, shelter, shows, clothes etc. Those have to be made and that production requires energy. There is no difference between bread from an gas heated oven or one from a solar electricity heated oven. Therefore when it comes to bread the price of solar energy should be at least the same as gas energy to the baker. Maybe you feel where I am going? If the market prices energy negatively while the energy in use is equivalent to its competitors than maybe the market is the problem, not the energy type.
The challenge is to store renewables for those that produce wealth. The system pretends to know too little of what happens to the energy that is bought to fix the waste of renewable surpluss. As a result investment in renewables could drop while in fact it is near free wealth potentialIf you redefine your economists calling from being a fossil credit economy advocate to being a societal wealth maximization engineer, what would you advise? It seems to require real physical investment and action to maximize utilization of renewable energy for wealth. It is clear simple low cost storage of energy so that it remains useable is certainly a way to break apparent decline in value. What are your ideas?
Heat gravel in rail trains and transport the heat to where it is usefull
Cool water in rail trains and transport the cold to where it is usefull
Deliver the energy to homes to heat a heat store underground, or cool a cold store
Store it as compressed air
Run a cable down shipping lanes so ships can use the electricity to help their ships cooling or heating or propulsion (based on hydrogen or ammonia)
Crypto is booming right now. Largely because of the purchase of more than a billion USD in Bitcoin by Tesla CEO Elon Musk. He is making the Winklevoss brothers rich who famously bought 200 mln wordth of BTC when it was below $4000 per BTC or less. But crypto is confusing to many because contrary to ordinary USD BTC seems to be in deflation, one of the main reasons to own it.
Inflation and deflation are words often used and its necessary to define them a bit more precisely to be able to answer the question above. In theory inflation is the situation in which more money is trying to buy the same amount of product, leading to higher prices, and deflation is when there is less money for the same amount of product, leading to lower prices. So lets look at a situation when a couple of people have to share a finite amount of money and buy a finite amount of product.
10 People each having 10 Euro to buy 10 breads => Price of bread is 10 Euro!
10 People each having 100 Euro to buy 10 breads => Price of bread is 100 Euro!
From the above you can see that the value of the Euro is not fixed, it really depends on the amount of bread that is available, as well as how much Euro are made available. We often ignore this in real life, maybe coins being so tangible make it harder to believe they can vary in value. The Euro is just a means of exchange, and it even has next to zero intrinsic value. The above also shows you that banks that can create money can mess things up.
Now the above picture is not complete because we have to make money to spend it, and of course we also spend money to produce, so the bread in the example does not fall out of the heavens. This complicates things because it immediately shows the strange nature of our current economy, in the sense that we can always buy something nobody can make : fossil fuels. Let’s close the loop and say the people in the example are all bakers baking 1 bread. This way the cycle is closed..
The baker bakes one bread, sells it for 10 Euro, then goes out to buy bread for himself for 10 Euro. Next day the cycle repeats.
Our imaginary baker will earn the money to buy bread each day by baking bread. Now this can’t work. Because to bake bread the baker needs to pay for the flour and energy and labour He will earn less than 10 Euro baking one bread! If he pays the energy company how does that money ever return to the economy? The energy company is not spending any money in society except perhaps wages of its workers. We know the energy company has to pay for the gas and oil or coal it uses (in the fossil economy). So who ends up with a large part of the money? The oil and gas companies! Do they spend it? No! What’s going on??
We need a complete picture of a working ‘economy’ first in order to talk about what currencies do in such a system. The above image shows the situation as it was until we discovered fossil energy (and nuclear energy). The sun and the weather combined with a rather constant number of people. The economy consisted of those that ensured people could survive, those that supported that effort and those that did other things but where not essential (ignoring governing structures such as kings and religions).
In that era gold could be money, because the amount of gold was about as constant as the amount of labour. Prices would not fluctuate too much except when nature or war struck the population. Governments and banks tried to print money and this always resulted in a crisis as the glue of cooperation was being destroyed. I consider one of the primary functions of money that it makes people cooperate. Still in that era many people where happy and poor, they took care of themselves owned their homes and did not need an economy at all.
So in those times inflation and deflation where absolutely real, but could only happen if the currency used was so called ‘fiat’, easy to make with no significant intrinsic value. The way things could go wrong with gold and silver was that a lot of it was suddenly discovered or a government taxed to much so the economic web desintegrated.
Fast forward to today, around 1900 oil was discovered in Iran and Saudi Arabia, also in the US, the internal combustion engine was invented and industrialization happened with many significant inventions. The role of banks changed, not even because paper money was accepted but because oil or its derivatives was beginning to be used in every activity. This was an active process. The oil and gas people wanted to sell oil and gas. The banks liked the cashflow. Slowely they realized the enormous difference in the way the ‘economy’ could work with fossil fuels. Modern ‘free market capitalism’ was invented and sold to the masses as the best way to achieve wealth for all.
But the first oil economy picture was incomplete, and so I made the implied money flow explicit in the above image. As you can see money flows to the oil supplier. And it stays there. The oil supplier has way more income than it needs. If it “spends” it on say a car, the car maker will use oil to make another car. So the money ends up back with the oil producer!
In an oil based economy money is constantly removed from circulation, there is constant “deflationary pressure”. Banks –have– to manage this somehow.
This oil based money system has no room for gold or silver, clearly all gold and silver will end up with the oil producers! So Nixon went off the gold standard, which was an enormous victory for the banks, but also for the people because now every drop of oil could be used to improve lives, most of which sucked (not even looking at Europe or elsewhere) at the time.
Nixon gave banks the power to strategically use their ability to distribute fuel (by lending currency) in the economy to consolidate and increase their grip on all cashflow. They had in their arsenal ‘economic thinking’, the Federal Reserve Bank, no gold standard, fractional banking. The deal was “a bank gets a small cut of any business” but banks soon decided they wanted to have it all, and the unrelenting oil supply (and Wallstreet’s ability to defend control over it for instance by stealing the money back from Saudi Arabia) meant banks could conquer our planet. Imagine, people with no other usefull occupation than keeping track of a currency without any intrinsic value maximize the oil supply to the world in order to control more of it.
With oil supply as a factor inflation and deflation now had more levers and the risk for it was higher. Also because there was no anchor for the value of a Dollar you could have inflation without real problems or with (for instance if the oil supply stopped). The Dollar became a floating currency. Rules had changed:
One barrel of oil 100 USD => Makes 50 sneakers =>2 USD per boot
One barrel of oil 200 USD => Makes 50 sneakers => 4 USD per sneaker
Now if wages follow the above change, so you suddenly make 400 a week instead of 200 before, the above price change has no effect. So it is inflation of the currency, but there is no real downside. Banks however don’t like it. They want constant prices because changing prices make people reconsider deals. Houses bought with a mortgage suddenly become easy to pay off. Inflation would hand a lot of power to the people, especially the essential ones.
(For banks) Prices need to remain constant to avoid renegotiations and loss of control through their applied debt load
But a stark difference with the old economic system is that NOBODY can make oil or gas. Also EVERYBODY consumes oil and gas. Getting oil out of the ground is not “making oil”. Oil is being destroyed at a constant rate and it can NOT be recovered except in hypothetical synthesis processes that no normal participant in the economy has on hand. NOBODY can make what EVERYBODY needs. And banks made it so you can only get your hands on it if you borrow their money.
Soo to sum things up : Inflation and deflation can not happen in the current money system because banks guard price changes by –and this is the key– making sure the amount of currency in circulation tracks the amount of oil available for production (or the amount of products).
Banks manage this by both influencing the expectations of people and by printing money or becoming more strict lenders. It is very easy for the banks to say “We think the economy will shrink” and then just stop lending, causing the economy to shrink!
Now there are two factors that are a problem to the above management (and resulting ownership) of our economy : Renewables and Crypto. They are not related but they both mess with the system. First Crypto :
If you add cryto currencies to this system you are increasing the money supply but not increasing the oil supply. You are also reducing the control of banks over prices because the crypto never leaves circulation while fiat money is constantly created and destroyed (payment for debt). The litmus test of this truth is that oil companies do not accept crypto. If anything oil companies are cashing in fiat from people that buy energy to mine crypto coins. If they would accept crypto coins they would be mining themselves!
So crypto can circulate besides fiat (fossil energy buying) currency but it is hard for products to be sold in crypto because they are not produced using crypto (their fossil input directly or indirectly). There is a group of products and services that is not created using fossil energy, like organic food, solar energy, wind energy, and some jobs (but most require the provider to live in a home and eat so indirectly still require fossil buying currencies). So crypto can only circulate in parts of the economy that do not require fossil energy.
One scenario though is that oil companies unite and create their own cryto coin, which you could think would become dominant immediately, but no, because fossil energy is not everywhere (even though we are made to think that). Prices and supply vary wildly. It is important that local banks manage local prices. This is an argument against a shared currency (the Euro/Dollar) even though you can take measures to make them work better.
The above picture shows the ‘Three tier economy’ as I may call it. In it fiat currencies like the USD and EUR function for fossil driven activities and the people that perform them. For the fiat currencies inflation and deflation will remain at the whim of banks.
Then there can be controlled crypto that can be used to by specific assets or goods or services, probably not oil unless it is an oil industry coin (say AramcoCoin). Because confusion makes people think banks will try to avoid this at all cost. The more bank fiat is used the more control they retain. Oil companies are placated to agree.
Then the third tier consists of groups, communities, perhaps cities, provinces and even countries that decide they will use their own crypto coin instead of fiat. This is imaginable in small african countries on the largest scale. The condition is that the currency circulates amongst the members and never ends up at a bank or a fossil energy supplier. It can end up (and be created) by a renewable energy supplier, as that supplier delivers the energy to make products and allow services to be rendered.
A ‘climate coin’ could be sold by energy producers (or handed out by the government as basic income) so that people can buy energy to make products and render services. This coin would not see inflation or deflation if the quantity is manage vis a vis the energy production capacity.
So if your city owns a huge solar power plant it can pay people with electricity tokens and these can circulate to make people do all kinds of usefull things for each other. But they can also be used to pay for products like purified water (if that process is 100% electric). Farmers can use such coin to buy fertilizer made with electricity, or use the currency to power their farm equipment. In essence it functions just like the fossil economy with fiat, the only difference is that the amount of energy is finite (in the beginnning). The good thing about that is that there will be no inflation or deflation as long as energy production keeps pace with its consumption. This requires planning, but you can basically “size the battery to the device” so to say.
The answer to the question “Is Crypto Inflationary of Deflationary” can thus only be answered if we know what rules the crypto will follow. As long as crypto can function at the margin of a fiat system it will lead to inflation, because you can buy a thing with more types of money. The value of the USD will drop because there’s also Bitcoin and Ethereum and Tron to buy stuff. But it is not likely sellers will except these crypto currencies if they can not buy the energy they need to produce the products! As a result the value of these coins can inflate while the USD value deflates after a period in which producers who accept cryto learn this truth.
If a group of people decides to only accept a specific crypto coin as payment for their services, that coin can experience serious deflation. Just like you see with Bitcoin, if people think they need it its value explodes. If you want a PHP developer you need to pay in PHPcoin. Suddenly anyone owning PHPcoin is a rich man! Again this only works if the PHP developers can pay for their own way in PHPcoin. This is imaginable because they could sell their coin for practically any other currency. In essence what happens is that all the worlds PHP developers take the world that needs them hostage through demanding use of their coin. This could happen to many professions, it is happening (somewhat) with Dentacoin, a currency to pay for dental care.
For most coins that have no system that requires them their value remains free floating, based on mythology. There are more factors at play but belief in a coin, its marketing hype and its use are all important factors. The desire to own them however seems to remain speculative (I accept Tron because I think it will become more valuable). Only when you connect a coin to a real world activity or asset (like energy) can you expect it to develop a stabile value.
I am an AI graduate of the year 2000. Computers then where not capable of doing interesting things, although I worked on the prediction of stock prices in the US and even visited Reuters at the World Trade Center. This knowledge however informed me that robots will eventually be able to do everything, including desiging better robots. The combination with renewables creates a world in which technology can exist on the same basis as all life, solar energy, raw materials. Humans are tool users so we will use technology that can run ‘forever’ on solar energy (and other sorts of renewables) to make our lives easier, allow us to enjoy our days under the sun.
Two things need to happen though, the local minium of fossil fuels needs to be escaped hopefully before the damage is unrepairable, which also requires a sizeable renewable capacity, because damage to the coherence of society is the biggest risk, and without energy you can’t stabilize a society or secure it. The other thing is that banks need to let go of their power, because they maximize an suboptimal indicator : cashflow. It is what got us 100 years of progress without any real security from a fossil fuel calamity. The dependency on fossil fuels generates massive amounts of cashflow. Banks clinging on to control are the major reason for the shift to the right in our societies. Banks pay for the measures that cause unrest, banks pay for the media bias to show right wing attitudes, bansk cause all problems because they profit of them!
Now OpenIA researcher Sam Altman puts a number on it. He says :
Its really not necessary to say 13,500 or any other number. If anything such a number means you are trying to occupy a niche in the existing economy, but that existing economy will 1. go away 2. does not like such niches or it would have created them already.
As the pace of development accelerates, AI “will create phenomenal wealth” but at the same time the price of labor “will fall towards zero,” Altman said.
The above combined with renewables have been a concept we have written about for more than 10 years now, and its the basis of the Roboeconomy, the question how to deal with it as Altman wonders. The question we asked as a basis for our thinking about the Roboeconomy was this:
If you had a machine that made everything everyone needed, running on renewables (so without cost to anyone, we call it the makeeverythingmachine), would :
Option 1. Everyone be out of a job, not earning any cash and not be able to aford anything the machine made and die from hunger
Option 2. Would everything be free and would people have a basic income to signal their preference for certain products over others (without ever going needy).
The current banking system tells us it has to be option. 1 mainly because they live of of credit and debt, but also because most machines use fossil energy (directly or indirectly) and this energy has owners and those owners want to a share of whatever you make (in the form of payment). It is a share of the produce because no matter what you make, you can never pay them back the oil, coal or gas they gave you, and money is just a means of exchange, not an actual valuable resource.
Altman argues for a shift in the way taxes are payed..
In this future, where wealth will come from companies and land, governments should tax capital, not labor, and those taxes should be distributed to citizens, Altman said.
How about no taxes mr. Altman. Why would a government tax? To pay its bills and public services. Will those bills exist? Not if we do things right. Of course today our government is in debt and pays to private banks. This entanglement is artifical and needs to be ended, as you can read above and as I maintain in this blog, fossil credit debt can =NOT= be repayed. When we replace fossil with renewables we now have to make an effort to keep those energy sources going, we need plants to recycle and create new panels based on renewables.
The cost of that process can be reduced by automation and use of robots, and by paying the labour with renewable energy credit which flows from the sources. This is identical as a farmer working his land for the community but also living off its produce. Renewables make land mean the same thing to machines as it means to people.
Altman proposes to tax big companies with a big societal impact shares to be distributed amongst the citizen. This is every republicans nightmare and there’s a word for it “Socialization”. They hate it because republicans feel they have worked hard for what they have, while they in fact only fought hard for it with other republicans (even when starting and growing a company) in a scarcity context created by banks.
The mistake many will make is to think in the current (fossil credit) economic context. Banks do nothing for our economy, it is just the dependency on fossil fuels of all parties that forces them to part with goods and services for our currencies. This will stop as soon as renewables make everything cheaper and allow production to be local and owned by the consumers. Banks will simply go away, including their insane military support system. That or chaos from a world war caused by an attempt of the economic system to remain relevant.
Paying the shares to the citizen will not do any good, because the fundamental scarcity is not releaved. The shares need to be permanently tied to a citizen’s identity. But this still won’t work because banks will push and pull on companies to drive them further into debt. This is because banks want to ultimately own anything of value in society.
If the money people earn from the shares they own is divident it would mean money would circulate back to the companies, but not all. There could be no fossil fuel companies in the mix because those would absorb the majority of the money. Some companies would earn more than others. It seems to do anything with the current system you’d have to really think it though, all the while fighting accusations of socialism which just won’t fly in the USA. “You won’t take my company” I can see the US flags and marches already.
We have noticed it a couple of years back, when the Nintendo Wii was introduced, that it is now a matter of time before algorithms will control much of our industry. The fact you can sense the posture of a person means you can record how long and when a person is in a specific posture. This means you can see if someone is stacking boxes or not, if someone is next to someone else talking or not etc. Build a simple feedback loop with some audio commands “Get back to work!” and you have an autonomous slavedriver.
The trap our economy creates is that we lack empathy for other people because we don’t see their suffering or effort. We see products, and the product just appears in our reality out of nowhere (or we like to think it does). Anything that happened before the product arrived we don’t know about, we can’t care about and we are not invited to care much about. On the other side a person looks at our wallet, thinks “ah, there’s money in there I could have” and tries to take it as if we have no other plans with it. From that side too there is blindness created by the economic risk taken (running a business). This means in terms of protection of humanity our society is infested with a dangerous visitor : economics. Economics itself is an AI that mesmerizes us and uses our brains and senses as its substrate.
Economics and the mental islands it creates inspires blind exploitation of the opportunity to make profit, even if it means using AI and robots. Of course we all know we use methods to measure and optimize performance in every part of industry. Even we ourselves constantly look for ways to make it easier to do chores. This can be an improvement, because humans are easily distracted and skills vary, but it can also create risks if we hand our lives over to algorithms.
“The big caveat here is we need ethical oversight of this,” she says. “If you have AI being the boss, a piece of software with decision-making ability, that for me is extremely worrying, and I think it could lead to quite a dystopian future (Shivvy Jervis).
The question is not what would happen if we do this, its happening. Your purchasing is guided by marketing, Netflix programs your imagination, banks restrict your movements and you throw all your social info (your motivators) online for everyone to mine and analyse. The question is how do we get out of this? Because there is no real reason to be super efficient robots or worker drones in offices other than to support cashflow in an economy that exists only for banks and fossil fuel companies (you should read our stuff about carboncredit).
Our economy is so damaging to the planet because it’s a bonfire of fossil fuel facilitated by banks getting rich of making it happen. Economics is the philosophy that has been tweaked for maximum fossil credit cashflow and Roboeconomics is nothing like it! In short, if we automate our every day existence including what we focus on at work and how we go about doing our job, then we will do that forced by banks and the fossil industry. All the while we could take an easier route towards offloading tedious tasks if our economy was based on renewables, because then there would be no forcing factor from first owners (of fossil fuels) to sell their product (oil).
In the fossil credit economy people compete with machines for the same resource : fossil energy. People are waay less productive, so the economy does not desire too much of them.
It is clear from almost every big country’s energy policy that the energy sources are what controls states. With renewables this control will shift more locally, and this means the need for optimization of use of humans is no longer there. Only if you have to manage with dwindling fossil resources and want to cling on to power you promote AI control of people, this is because people are useless compared to industrial machines, yet they consume an exorbitant amount of fossil energy you’d rather put in making more stuff. In short the economy doesn’t like people, it likes consumers and it will optimize the nr of consumers to maximize profit.
The answer is not to hate the rich or automation, but to start detaching from the fossil credit economy. They way to do that is to start by generating energy on your own, with your own home, city, region. This will mean production of goods and services will become cheaper for local producers, take for instance a pizza place that generates its own energy to bake pizza’s, that will cut the cost.
The secret weapon of companies like Starbucks and Uber is endless credit. They can lose money for decades because the banks financing them are big enough and their control over investors large enough. They in fact create a little ecosystem for desired consumers to exist in, checking iphone messages in Starbucks with your branded clothes etc. etc. Its not that its bad, its just an island of comfort specially created as if the rest of the world doesn’t exist. By doing stuff more locally you drain cashflow from the economic system and gain experience and control over your life and local society.
The mistake often made, or forced upon independent initatives is to make it cumbersome, ugly, disgusting. Who does that? Those that like the system and will infiltrate your organization to sabotage it. So make things beautifull and attractive, promote it with beauty and style, make it cool and easy to use. There is no monopoly of Silicon Valley on anything, not even Silicon. There is no reason why industry should be the only ones automating to fortify their dominant position over humanity. You and the people in your region can band together and grow the local economy, with local energy and locally developed robots and automation (of you can’t source them elsewhere or banks don’t help out). That future is better than the one designed for you by Wall Street and fossil credit banks.
Roadbots will be an integral part of the Roboeconomy.com. What are roadbots? They are road wothy robotic platforms. The current Tesla cars are coming close, although their only function is to transport people, navigate and provide gaming apps. But if you take the base of a Tesla (they are similar for the Model S/3/X/Y) and view it as a platform to put robots or any automatic system on, a world op possibilities opens up. Any service now provide in vans can be offered autonomously. It is only a matter of time before the first applications show up.
If you can rely on autopilot you can get roadbots anywhere there are roads, and if you heighten the suspension and add remote control you can even go offroad. One great application would be to fix potholes in roads.. The only thing needed is the base frame plus some tar/concrete pooring system. A robot arm that can possibly drill out some asfalt. Another arm that can scoop up the debris. One with inspection cameras or to put the pilons on the road.
Another application could be ambulances or emergency evacuation vehicles. How about medical cabins showing up in some disaster zone able to onboard victims, cooling them, sedating them and rushing them to a hospital without having to stop (or catching Corona).
Robots can take all shapes and sizes. Its amazing how long we stick with the below image of a robot. This is probably because designers are minimizing complexity to achieve functionality instead of exploring the complex challenges and finding a way to make an attractive product.
The other end of the spectrum is still reviled (although booming). Silicon sexbots are not real robots yet, even though AI is creaping into the heads. But what is wrong with attractive robots that are not meant for sex? The roboeconomy will not only see functional and really cheap but able robots, but also social bots and ones that do stuff while looking attractive. Male abuse of humanoid robots is likely to become a thing (but that’s another matter).
The Boston Dynamics humanoid robot can navigate uneven terrain autonomously. Soon it will be recreated from cheaper lighter parts and someone will reduce the size of the generator which is now gas powered if we’re correct. The image of a large battery or power unit in the back of a robot may come true.
Experts are advising to forgo the goal of economic growth to save humanity from the ravages of fossil fuel use. You’ve heard it all before, but have you ever connected the dots? Ravages of fossil fuel use? Why would we tolerate that? Because someone sells it to us. Why do we need to buy it, its found in deep under ground, nobody made it or owns it really. Why don’t we simply distribute it? The answer is we ‘simply’ do and the mechanism by which we do it is called the ‘Economy’. The economy is a system to ‘optimally’ allocate fossil resources.
You can ask “Optimally for whom?”. Good question. Not for you if you means the average non-oil well owner or banker. You may be ignoring those having a hard life in your country, which is a higher percentage than you if you live an easy life (more so in the more economically advanced countries!). The economy is optimizing for one group only : The banks. Because the banks created it and the banks need to remain all powerfull in it to sustain it. There’s only one catch : It only works with fossil fuels. This is why we need to let go of economic goals to save ourselves from the ravages of fossil fuel use.
So is there an alternative. The answer is YES. Its called the Roboeconomy. Many because it uses Robots because it is Ecologically compatible with the existence of life on Earth and because it does strife to maintain an economy, which is simply a structure who’s goal is to use resources optimally but this time to the benefit of mankind.
The main elements of a ‘roboeconomic’ society is that all energy is from renewable sources. This has the effect of distributing productive capacity more widely and reducing the need to produce or source products from places along an important fossil fuel supply chain or in a way so that transactions make banks rich. Do you think we produce in China because it’s cheaper? Nope. Production in China is not cheaper but the coal there is dumped, and the bunker fuel for the container ships is subsidized and banks get damn rich from all the financial traffic.
There is a lot of ‘economic activity’ related to all the steps needed to make something in China for consumption on the US market. What that means is that the benefits of fossil fuels are distributed all along that production and logistic chain and because banks fight so hard against any alternative to fossil fuels, we need to participate in this process in order to live a decent life.
In the Roboeconomy this global network, the reason for a global bankingsystem, will shrink and all but disappear. Instead production will move closer to consumers and closer to renewable energy sources. This will also happen because there is no reason to market widely anymore. If you have a subsidized dirt cheap global logistic system global brands make sense. If you decide to abandon that you have no reason. There is no profit in selling shoes from Africa in Norway, local shoes will be cheaper!
The first key property of the Roboeconomy, to only use renewable energy will on its own bring all the changes we need, by depowering the banking system. Of course the banks will try to own -All- renewable energy sources. They will also try to slow down the growth of RE in now poor sunny countries as well as the shift to electic production systems and logistics. This is also done by making you a follower. This is a fundamental marketing oriented manipulation to the benefit of the economy. If you still like Coca Cola you need to reflect on that, its a sign you are indoctrinated. Instead of worshipping brands your role is to help with the transition.
The second key property is that technology is used to create wealth and to restore the ecology. The latter will be easy once cheap versatile robots drop in prices. We have the Ford and Boston Dynamic robots and Tesla Roadbots so soon we will have autonomous access to every part of the globe. Innovation in motors stalled for nearly 60 years because it was about selling fossil fuels. Now innovation can free itself, mostly with private money, to truely improve the fate of humans. Robots, AI, new types of logistics. Thin film solar panels (a blocked technology that needs to be freed by an Elon type entrepeneur). As it gets hotter on Earth we will find our means to produce an answer will become less and less encumbered by fossil and banking opposition.
The Roboeconmoy is what this blog is about, and renewable technology and other ideas and concepts. I hope you share our ideas. If so let us know on Twitter at @climatebabes
Land on Earth is not used optimally when dealing with climate change. Forest is cleared and the land full of stumps is ignored for years, because it is no longer valuable to the owner. Deserts are huges swaths of land that nobody is interested in, yet with the freedom to do anything you can bring them back to life. Land speculation locks up enormous amounts of land.
The housing market does the same thing. Empty houses occupy unused land. Nobody has any advantage from it, except perhaps the owner who hopes its price will appreciate. As banks constantly work to increase home prices its a no brainer to own property even if you don’t use it. This actually helps increase the price of property so there is a positive feedback, the less free land/property, the more worthwhile it becomes to hoard it.
Climate change needs to be fought, and those willing to put in the effort should not be obstructed by speculative ownership serving banks (the hope for more money serves the power of banks in the future) or economic ‘monculture’ single purpose ownership of land. Banks now own all the land, they raise a land tax on almost everybody (called ‘mortgage’). This is unjust because humans evolved on Earth, and have a right to its use, while banks are an artifact and have no need for it. You can run a bank from a computer suspended under a baloon. No Earth needed!
I think we should have a basic law which is akin to that of ancient times, the oldest written law known to man. I would make a new destinction. The old law was about productive use of land. If a land owner does not work his/her land and it lies fallow, anyone who does work it becomes the owner after a while. This was a rule to maximize wealth creation and possibly avoid people denying each other land like banks are doing today.
Such ownership law will be hard to push thru in a world where verybody believes and serves bank rule so desperately, it may require private funds, and groups may start buying land to prevent it from becoming speculative material (which may however trigger speculation).
The second law would be that if land can be used for alternative purposes, and it does not hinder the plans of the land owner, that use must be allowed. The use must be defined to avoid idiotic ‘uses’ like turning a desert into a sand scuplture museum. Another way to put it is that if 20 people come together and register for using a piece of land they don’t own for a wealth creating or climate combatting purpose, this must be allowed. That makes it more democratic.
The Roboeconomy, which is the next economy that is 100% renewables powered and that uses AI and robots a lot, will be different in the sense that activities can happen at next to no cost. A solar electric self sharpening lawn mower can run for months without any cost. If it is designed right and no accidents happen you maybe need to replace the blades but that is a completely different story from a gasoline powered one (where you also have to do that).
A roboeconmic tree planting system could be fully automatic, solar powered, using drones that drop pellets, remote controlled, self repairing etc. The roboeconomic economy is now developing with 100% battery recycling and other important elements. The control infrastructure is also being put into orbit (Starlink ao) so that even the remotest place can have autonomous machines doing important work to combat the rising CO2 and methane concentrations. Solar PV is dropping in cost. TinyML, micro AI is being developed. The tools are there to make much more and much better use of land, but the obstacle is BANK ownership and speculation.
A law that allows use of land owned by others should be part of emergency rules across the planet. There should be criteria set so that this does not open up the world to rogue mining operations. Maybe a rule should be that the result is either CO2 capture (through biomass or otherwise), food production (where the owner recieves a cut of the produce, not money) or fossil free habitation. That way humans can spread out which is better if we use renewables. Cities where both social but also a convienient point of sale for energy.
I once cycled where those flames are in the picture. Quite a ride of 8 hours on a rented mountain bike to Muir beach. I was in San Fransisco for a conference on Neuroscience. That is the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in flames..
Californians are moving to Texas, but Texas has as much to fear in terms of heatwaves and drought. It was predicted a long time ago (~57), mentioned in Congress. Around 1957 predictions of climate change where accurate. Republicans (not being democratic but fossil energy servants) pushed on, out of greed, not out of compassion or a desire to advance society. We see proof they don’t give a fuck about that every day. Personal gain is their only motive.
“I quite literally have no patience for climate change deniers,” Gov. Gavin Newsom
So where does it leave Californians? With a lot of smoking treestumps, soot filled lungs and a new awareness of reality. A clear reference point to motivate action is developing. If you are a normal human being you think “This never again!”. Sadly in CA most people are econobots. They are moving and acting along the sugar trails of profit and bank approval. Banks don’t care about anything but cashflow and control. They will see CA turn into a barren desert as long as they keep making profit. The profit comes from loaning out fossil credit. Banks are fossil fuel distributers. This is why you can not expect them to do anything to improve the situation.
Money in the US is carboncredit
To survive as Californians the regiment of debt and banking has to be broken. This is a giant stretch for most and so its likely many will leave the region and/or nature will not be restored. This is the losing battle that ends in only a few humans living in the mountains under a pink sky (because of H2S evolution from the oceans) this is the ultimate doom scenario I discovered was in the script if we kept ourselves from a true proper response to warming. You can’t win the climate fight by moving to a safer place. You have to fight it where you are.
There is a significant difference between today and one hunderd years ago, and that is our technological advancement. It has barely been applied to the climate problem, and where it has it has had to battle economism constantly. California should become an extraeconomic zone, a Roboeconomic laboratory where there is a structural and rapid move to only use renewables. Then on the back of dropping prices and the developed technological infrastructure it should green itself in spite of the heat and the drought. This should be its mission, not to pay off debts and be economically succesfull.
Some bullet points to get started :
Land can be landscaped using solar electric equipment to retain more rain
Solar electric vehicles can be used to transport water
Ionic solar thermal powered desalination can be used to generate fresh water
Plants can be grown in the shade of solar panels
Trees can be replanted by drones
Homes can be build semi underground
Streets can be covered by arches to cool and keep warm
Airco systems can use night cold stored in water tanks instead of try to cool against the hot air
Low cost robots can be developed to do some of these tasks, robots that will find a wide use around the planet
Structual CO2 to Carbon conversion plants can be developed and build
The condition for all this is that resources are applied to their best use, not their most profitable use (which can mean they are not used at all!). Also CA needs to feed itself, so the population can sustain itself. That should be a major driver. Economically a state just consisting off megafarms all exporting everything would be fine. For humans this is a recipy for disaster. It may be the above development can not be entered into without a fight!
You hope smart people are not all Karens
We have seen Tesla emerge from CA because an electric car can be awesome and someone didn’t understand why it didn’t exist. We say California can be awesome even on a warming planet, and we don’t see why it should not achieve this awesomeness in the near future..
The Roboeconomy.com is about using robots, AI and renewables to fix the ecology and develop and pleasant peacefull world..
Today we know very little about the essentials of our existence. We treat them as an animal treats nature : We use what is there without wondering or worrying much. This is a luxury, to not have to worry about things. There’s actually two levels of worry possible : One is you worry if you can pay for food and comfort (which some people do), the other is that you worry whether there is food or comfort for sale when you can pay (which almost nobody does). It is time to start worrying more.
Wealth = Energy x Materials x Skills
For all the Dick Cheneys stating that nobody will screw with our “Way of life” our way of life is badly protected. A simple strike of fuel trucks or a blockade in the Mediterranean means no gasoline at the pumps. Life would grind to a halt. With the increasing droughts farmers go bankrupt. Many have in Australia but in Holland fruit producers see their apples burned in the sun and then destroyed by a hailstorm. These are the sources of what stocks our supermarket, and if they are not there our supermarket will have nothing.
There is a so called carbon budget, which is supposed to be the amount of CO2 we can emit before we reach 1,5 degrees, that limit has been shot through, because we are still stuck with the fossil credit economy. We can barely identify parameters to watch. One thing we should not watch is the price, because price signals are not an indication of scarcity. For instance if you have four countries wanting to buy grain on the global market, but they don’t have USD currency to do so, the price of grain may drop while demand is high and supply is high. On the other hand if the US pays higher prices for grain and prices go up as a result, poor countries can no longer afford to buy as much or buy at all, and the amount available will never be known.
Whould you not want an indicator of reliability of the supply of goods? With food the reliability is low. With water its also low. How about plastic? The economy is assumed to fix shortages but in reality it is not always possible, the simple test is “Can you do it all with fossil fuels?” then the economy will fix it (as long as the fossil fuels are there). If the answer to the question “Do you rely on external factors you can’t control” then the economy will usually just leave it. Especially when a natural resource is depleted. No more Dodo’s, move on! No more Tuna? (the day will come), tough shit! This could be called basic economism which has a scorched earth mentality. The fraud involved in any system to control it can be surprising, like fishermen first (falsely) reporting more catch to keep quota’s high and not alert anyone and then (falsely) report small catches to pretend to comply.
Especially for the basic needs of people a calculation could be made for the entire population based on age, weight, certainly income to ensure the basic needs are met. This is not happening at all right now because of one big distorting force in the market : Banks need for cashflow. Banks are organizations that want to create credit and handle money for others, and this is their only means to control their utility. Money can exist for a long time in circulation and this is a threat to them. They need a way to “mop up” money from circulation and there are two main ways : interest and fossil fuel cost. We explain this in other posts, but basically fossil fuel companies don’t like to spend their profit, becuase the likelyhood of it being spend on fossil fuels (again) is high. The result of this is that banks restrict our freedom to organize (by minimizing the money supply) or if they are generous, make sure the money goes into fossil fuels or gets absorbed by debts.
The desire to see cashflow (which is expressed in insiting on debt payments and financing) by banks means the proces that generates it can not stop. So when fishermen buy a large ship, the bank expects more cashflow from fish and debt payments on the investment. It does not care if the fish gets depleted in fact it explicitely bows out of this kind of concern, the typical “You figure it out” mentality we always get from the bank lakeys on the right. “We have what we need, not you go do what you need to do!”. This however means that fishermen have to be bought out to protect fish stocks (meaning the banks get what they want at the cost of the community), or they will just continue fishing whatever is alive. At the same time the boats will get bigger because banks want larger cashflow generators.
The big lie of economics is that wealth is created. This is not true if you count all the wealth, which includes oil and gas. Wealth is consumed, and natural resources, trees are consumed with help of oil and gas, mechanically at an incredible speed. If all that wealth was quantified and monitored we’d see the world running out of wealth in a frantic hurry. This however is not what banks are interested in, and as we give them control over our activity (we submit to the need for money) they call the shots! They even tell us to help them more by making “the economy” a topic, where a booming economy means banks see more cashflow and a tanking economy the opposite. Who gives a fuck if we run out of resources we need to survive (which includes a climate fit for food production).
We are facing a world that basically is not fit for humanity anymore. Life is opportunistic, it can’t exist where it is not invited. Consciousness has evolved on Earth and changed the rules a little, meaning that we as humans (and many animals) can model the world, imagine outcomes and choose one that keeps us safe. So amazingly we allowed assholes to put us in major trouble, but we have hands and feet and can build machines, and the energy we need to fight climate change is abundant, so we can work our way out of this scenario. Not by complaining about it, not by brainwashing ourselves what is wrong or what will go wrong, but by doing different things than we are today. One of them should be to start generating wealth without consuming it, so wealth is not defined as its consumption, but its existence. Another is to map the wealth we have today and map routes towards increasing it, which should of course include ways to reduce the CO2 trapping gas accumulation in our “room” the atmosphere.
We should also try to minimize cashflow for banks in ways that also maximize wealth. The most effective way to do it is to build renewable energy sources that are fully owned, so not financed. This is becoming more easy every day. Cities and countries should create zones that are not “Zero emissions” but fully RE powered. The priority should be given to those companies and industry that is not fossil dependent, that increases wealth and wellbeing. As soon as banks can be forced to comply (which they will try to avoid by pretending there are economic problems etc.) they need to be directed to increase wealth, not destroy it.