Monthly Archives: November 2013

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Comfortable Capturing Mythology : Economics

One can check many news sources, some with clear political agendas like the BBC, some with counterintelligence agendas like Alex Jones, some with asset pumping agendas, like Max Keiser to name a tiny few. The pervasive philosophy that is transmitted is based on economic free market theory, with concepts like debt, GDP, investment. A few will talk about other systems, like Bitcoin, a virtual digital currency that has recently exploded on the scene, or talk or be part of an intentional community, a cashless society (not meaning that all money is 100% virtual).

All these opinions are cute. They may not get along at times, but one really is no threat, much sooner a precondition for the other. A country has to have an aggressive oil based military industry to protect all the people that want to have alternative lifestyles. You need a fossil based banking system to make Bitcoin work (not forgetting a fossil fuel based energy infrastructure). It is amazing what diversity can be achieved without changing the fundamental dependence on a fossil fuel based banking system. The reason for this is simple : Economics.

Economics as most people understand it (and it is intentionally complex and intrinsically counterintuitive) is about finding valuable investments. It is about book keeping on a country by country, continental and global scale. It is about equitable exchange of goods and services between people, to their mutual benefit. It is a pretty myth, in fact only a salespitch for fossil fuels.

So if kids in India glue your shoes together and can scrape a rupee as they damage their nervous system that is fair to you who pays 80 Euros for them? Can’t you glue shoes? Would it not make more sense to give your local shoe maker a job than kids locked in basements, or girls saved from prostitution? Even then, what happens between the 4 Euro your shoe costs and the 80 Euro you pay? Why should all these intermediaries make so much money? Still worse is that cheaper shoes can also be bought, but they are painfull to wear, so someone has been glueing their butts off in some toxic sweatshop and the result is hated.

Of course the resulting product is sold not at it’s price but at what the average consumer can spare in his/her budget. Its price conforms to the perception of value because profit is a major goal in economics. Profit means the extraction of money over and above the amount needed to run the business, making money more scarce and driving people into debt. More profit means more people need banks. Its a power thing see. 

Although the result of fossil fuel based economics in the short termis positive, the long term effects are devestating, ones we are now faced with around the world. It is no surprise that the denial or deminishment of global warming reality runs across all things financial, bar perhaps marginal green investment initiatives that allow the generation of a lot of credit (used to sell oil) or turn out to be devestating to the environment and habitat of endangered species, like soy and palm oil plantations. Can Europe feed its cattle? Sure! But let’s get it in Brazil, so it makes the GM, shipping, farming fertilizing, clear cutting etc people good clients of the oil companies. Even the massive protests against deforistation mean massive sales of feul to airlines and what not. If everything runs on fossil fuels, every movement will mean better business.

The problem is that our mythology, what we believe about economics, is wrong. How is it wrong? Why doesn’t it work? What is not true about an investment cycle that is part of a network of supplying companies all adding to the ‘economy’? Of course the answer can’t feel like a real answer, or we would already feel like our economies are hairtriggerable death traps. The answer is dead simple : The fuel supply. It is almost never an issue. It is never adressed as such. Economics is not about the fuel supply, it is soley about the rate of fuel consumption. That is because economics is about selling fuel (but we already stated that).

How can you speak of a viable strategy to run billions of lives if you know for a fact two things : The fundamental resource needed (fossil fuels) to run it is running out, and the use of fossil fuels is causing the dissapearance of almost everything you need to keep going, at a growing rate and ever more fundamental level. We are losing the chemical conditions for life in our oceans for instance.

Attacking mainstram mythology is a cardinal sin. If you choose to do so you will interfere with the trust of so many that it could lead to a revolt. The highest figures in society, carefully groomed to spout specific nonsense most convincingly are of course wrong. But we would not even have such central figures if it wasn’t for fossil fuels. We would have no media and consumer culture  if it wasn’t for fossil fuels. Even with thousands of wind turbines and solar panels all around we still think about them in economic terms. How much do I make with them. Money is the key, because money is our only way to access those things produced on the other side of the globe.

The series The Dome show our reality. We have cars, but not for long if we exhausted the local fuel station and could not reach any other. This seems such a practical and insignificant problem, perhaps because even when it happens, or a region is cut of off fossil fuels for a while, you won’t hear from these people except perhaps see shots of rescue choppers bringing in supplies. True fuel cuttoffs are usually reported as economic downturns, the eggs dissapear, what happened to the chicken is ignored. Also, usually when a country has to make due with less fossil fuels, it descends in to chaos and war. We have seen this in Egypt and Lybia recently, the Lybian situation being a oil grab, the Egyptian something similar. Poverty in Egypt was driven up because the US inflated the value of the dollar, pushing the country off the the international oil market for which it is a supplier!

We are just seeing the total surrender of Venezuela, selling its oil and gold to the US now that Chavez is dead. We are seeing the surrender of Iran, abandoning its plans for nuclear energy making it impossible for it to protect it’s reserves, which it was already selling to China anyway. Great news for all those young Iranians that can now enjoy the (expected legal) revenues of Irans oil and gas to buy products from around the globe! Due to millions of years of carefull photosysthesis and decay economics remains sound as long as you can pop the lid of ever more fossil fuel deposits, or last long enough to pressure others in making reserves available to you (the function of the canadian tar sands). 

There is so much at stake for the people keeping this economic mechanism alive, and so many do so without seeing they are mere salesmen and women for fossil fuel companies, that almost nobody thinks about whether it is the most we can get out of our planet. Whether we are not suffering in many ways without reason, because  the energy we threaten lives for and make our lives depend upon is but a fraction of the energy we could exploit if we choose to enable ourselves to do so at the cost of economic principles. We can eliminate energy cost and as a result of that all cost from society by adopting renewable energy as the only source of energy. We don’t have to stop at 100% of our current energy use, we can easily go on to harvesting 15000% of what we use today. In doing that we will eliminate the need for much cashflow and therefore eliminate the need for a large part of our ‘economy’. 

People rather live in their myths, suffering and competing over the use of a dwindling reserve of totally unnecessary fossil fuels than abandon them to taste the wealth and abundance of renewables, solar, wind, wave and geothermal under a non economic model, one that does divide resources on markets, but one that doesn’t maximize the utility of fossil fuels like our present one. For that to happen we need to purpose fossil fuels primarily to achieving replacing renewables, and renewables to replace renewables.

Using the mechanism of economics as we understand it now will never work, and will surely not work fast enough. If you expect all renewables to be made with fossil fuels you are introducing a limiting factor as well as suggesting we make a choice between renewable sources, because obviously one of them is has the best multiplier (relative to fossil invested). Anything else would mean a loss of future wealth. Look for renewables to make your renewables and you remove the limit of fossil fuels, you no longer have to ask for the use of fossil fuels, and you are free to produce the renewable energy sources of your choice. Economics will never suggest this option. There’s no money in it. 

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Trust Systems

The highest cost on our societies is that of distrust. Distrust is economic to a point, namely to where it leads to war. War can be economic, but also to a point, namely where the fighting parties become unbalanced, where people get serious about winning. But back to distrust. If we trusted our neigbour with all our tools we could share them, and we would not buy them each individually. This goes for many things we could share. However there is a clear reason for distrust in some cases, namely where it concerns things we have been doing egoistically before we had societies with all its complex dependencies. Clearly there are places in our lives where trust could be increased to drive down cost, and places where we will never trust everyone or even our closest friends to have influence.

NSA 

Because a large part of our economy depends on distrust we are exposed to reasons to distrust on a daily basis. Crime is everywhere, fraud is everywhere, relationships are not reliable, the economy is a sickly child. All this leads people to buy more stuff and be anxious inbetween. You want to build a fence around your house, a gate at the end of your street. Of course the politics of the right is all about creating demons and foes and a societal risk that creates reasons to justify investment in more gates, prisons etc. Also because these investments create a rightless underclass that can certainly perform usefull services.

Trust systems are systems that increase trust. They are not systems of reckless trust. We see an explosion in those systems due to right wing politics, which is about keeping the fossil fuel valorisation cycle going (between banks and fossil fuel companies). The idea is that anything that diverts us from fossil fuel dependence is terrorism. Primarily countries that want to sell their oil on their own terms are terrorist nations, if not then maybe some people in those countries get together and form an Al Quaida cell to try to achieve the same, and are branded terrorists.

At home people that do not want to participate in the carboncredit economy, organic farmers, communities etc. are targeted by goverments that are populated by politicians that know their carreer will be set when they serve the interests of fossil fuel. The model we are tranding towards was described by Max Keiser as the casino gulag society, which means you either consume but have to gamble at every step, or you produce, and work in a dead end job in a captive environment. Your life is no more than tool to serve the lives of more fortunate and less empathic people. This all gets real creepy real fast, no surprise if you create two classes of people. It is a simple rule that people only love their own tribe, and don’t really care about the lives of individuals outside it, that’s the way it has been for as long as  humans exist. Humaism, human rights is not an identity promoted by the right, so they are not a member of that ‘universal tribe’ that could make everyone on earth love each other enough to not want to exploit or destroy their existence. 

Like with all systems we see today trust systems are top down while they should be created bottom up. The should help hand over trust to people without the aid of computers, not work to make people dependent on computers. Once you trust computers you have become an extention of them, and you will follow orders from whoever controls the computer, or even worse, from nobody but the person making the rules. If those rules are made by an oxigen deprived right wing fossil fuel lakey the world will eventually look like a nightmare.

The alternative is not to join hands and circle the world singing kumbaya, it is not living in a communist community (or intentional) although those things don’t do any harm in itself. The communist philosophy led to a totalitarian state, very similar to the casino/gulag model mentioned above. The similarity that is the cause in both cases is lack of ownership. In the communist model the state owns everything, in our present economy the banks own everything. Even if they own 80% or 60%, that gives them leverage to influence any transaction that occurs if they have to. Of course their intent is to have power but make people think they do not, the best defence is preventing/not evoking an attack.  

From the above one can deduce that we think ownership is the road to bottom up trust. It makes sense, because who do you trust primarily? Yourself. Secondarily the people you interact with, the things you use to do stuff. Of course also the law, the police? But trust in the ability of others grows as you observe them handling themselves well. Real trust is only local, and it trust has to exist on a wider scale the impression of being neat is one of the first requirements, neat, boring, well behaved. Like a banker.

Instead of building trust systems in the digital realm, in voice and visual recognition, tracking and attempts to predict behaviour we should reintroduce it to the physical realm, the personal space of people. This requires them to be owners, to be productive in a sense that others depend on it. This is against the trend of centralizing production, which makes economic sense (it increases the fossil fuel burden of bread production chain). Of course as we make this move we also introduce renewable energy so we can have our local ownership and production independently of centralized distribution of energy.

The top down trust systems could be watching a small team that plans to blow u a bus, or a similar team intending to sink a container ship in the Strait of Hormuz. There’s a difference. One affects consumer confidence, tourism and a few hundred lives (depending also on the coverage). The other can throttle the world economy on a massive scale. The latter is the reason for the gigantic investment in trust systems. Keeping American (banker)s Safe. Homeland security and the NSA/PRISM are both a profitable enterprise and the guardians of the top down carbon credit system. It keeps making sense only if you assume that the driver is to continuously sell fossil fuels. Suppose the US powered itself (as it could) from solar power plants on unused federal land then who cares what happens in the Middle East, blow it up if you want! 

EU deal would give companies the same rights as nation states 

Today governments are realizing more and more how these top down trust systems themselves become tools to achieve financial gain. Tools for industrial espionage. This is not fiction but fact, as a study of the University of Bath showed most multinationals employ semi legal intelligence services from the likes of Blackwater/Xe/Academia. This includes Shell, Exxon, Starbucks etc. The NSA is rumoured to sell info to the highest bidder. The attack on private encryption services is a fact. Nobody should be able to communicate in private except the US and its industry? It’s no surprise if you realise that most governors are very rich and can legally speculate on Wallstreet with insider information. Its not a government, but an legal buffet.

That is another reason to localize trust by localizing ownership. It makes the fuckups less dangerous. As scientist advised the russians to weld the ICBM silos shut to introduce a delay of about 10 minutes in their lauch sequence, to cover immense risk of false alarms and accidental lauches, so the localization of trust is a failsafe against people unable to be humbled by their power. The Cheneys of this world may be succesfull using the principe ‘You ain’t got power unless you use it’, they don’t belong in their positions. There should not have been an atom bomb, or a military industrial complex. The fear of centralized power is old, even Bismark worked for a long time to prevent the armies of the german states to unite, fearing war would be the inevitable result (what is such an army going to do but feel superior and start a war?).

If you don’t want people to do something, take away the instruments, the opportunity. If you want them to change change reality. If you want to trust them ask yourself ‘with what?’. A gun? Don’t make guns. A bomb? Don’t give them the chance to contemplate it. Relax them, give them ownership of their environment, create abundance using renewable energy, remove the fossil fuel drive from their economies. Top Down Trust Systems are not a solution to a problem, instead they are a safeguard the problems persist, because they secure an economic system that creates the problems. The price of acting on that insight is loss of (carbon credit) economic opportunity, and that is why we need renewable energy to dominate to get rid of it.

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Understanding the New Game

One of the great methods of stifling discussion about solutions in terms of our fossil industrialized economies is to suggest that the end game means the end. Usually someone defending the position that there are not solutions will try to make the imagination stall at the point where we see a desert of cars jamming in front of exhausted gas stations, starving population due to no logistics, the pain of economic interdependence decending on the helpless people with all the wrath it was designed to have by economists.

But such a strategy is like arguing for suicide as the sun goes down. It will be a dark place soon, give up, can’t you see? The sun goes down!! It is an insult to the most basic intelligence, and it is a testament to the intellectual capture capacity of economics and it’s wardens that such bullshit flies even in the highest places. But then again, those places are high : on fossil fuels..

Today most people on earth do not really participate in an economy, not one expressed in the GDPs of our planet. That is because those people live purely of renewable resources, the land, the sun, the rain, the plants, animals, like living soul did for millenia until coal, gas and oil where discovered. It is the hight of arrogance that anyone could improve on the abundance of natural agriculture. But it seems that the salespeople of the fossil fuel industrialization had the power to seduce people, first with real improvements in products and life quality, but later with (admittedly enjoyable) ubiquitous nonsense, weakness and wrong guidance. Wrong if you want to be secure, right if you want to sell fossil fuels.

The new game is about the same wealth, actually thousands of times that wealth, to be achieved by using the technology we had the ability to develop thanks to fossil fuels. Consider the 20th century as the stepping stone to eternal health, wealth and prosperity for those around to ejoy it. Whether such Utopia will actually come to pass depends on the ability of people to grasp the new game. It seems a reasonable number of people have that ability.

We can all see parts of the new game advocated and advertised, demonstrated and offered in many ways, but not in the key way necessary for it to commence. Yes, we have solar panels, but the reward we get for it levels the value of solar electricity with that of gas generated electricity. The gas price is arbitrary. Regarding our electricity, we don’t know the value of it. We don’t know how our solar panels add to wealth, ours of other peoples. Even if it is less we are not made aware of this, we rarely think clearly about the production that provides us our wealth. Yes, we can eat organically grown food, but we all lean on a basis of highly fossil fuel intensive food production chain. Who owns land? Next to nobody. Even in your small garden you can experience that owning land means having to pay less for food. Your own vegetables are your labor plus the sun’s energy, the wind carrying the rain from the ocean or lake, the organism in the earth storing the nitrogen and many other selfish and competing participants. Where do you think the metaphors of economics come from? It is after all only a fossil fuel marketing strategy.

The new game will maximize the utility of renewable energy resouces, just like our present economy maximizes the utility of fossil fuel resources. The big difference is that we will own the renewable energy resources, or they will be owned by our communities, so we get to make credit and distribute it in a much more local economy to those that use it to produce products and services or simply consume it. We will run the bank, because we own the credit sources : the energy sources. 

Will we compete globally or even as citizens of a country for these renewable energy sources? Not really, because not everyone can use them. Electricity travels only at it’s own cost. So naturally a wind turbine can best serve its direct neighborhood. In Holland one powerplant of the total of about 40 runs continuously only to cover the losses of pretending there’s no cost to transporting electricity. 

Will we worry about the abundance of renewable energy? No. there is not real limit, not if you use renewable energy to produce the energy sources. You can have exponential growth of the number of solar panels, if you create a production chain driven by solar electricity. This is growth at NO cost. You can have no such growth an NO cost with the use of fossil fuels, in fact, you will have a constant battle for credit and the ongoing spectacle of creative destruction screwing the chances of ever feeling convinced solar is the way to go. We have had a demonstration of exactly that for the past 30 years. Don’t think Spain wasn’t ready for solar towers in 2001 or 1986, but it was playing its card in the old game. It is the same game that still threatens them : there’s a plan to shut down pefectly productive solar power plants so more gas is sold to  gas powered powerplants so the owners of recently build gas pipelines can meet their loan payments!! 

The new game will be the last game we play. Ever. It will be the ultimate game, and it will last for recorded time. When the last sentient being on earth expires, then the new game will have ended. Perhaps you need some time to let that ideas sink in. If not our generation, the next, if not the next generation, the one after that, and if not the one after the next generation one that comes later. But eventually, perhaps on a barren nearly dead planet, the people will start tapping the sun, wind and waves outside a fossil fuel economy, meaning their path to complete restoration towards a healthy prosperous and abundandly alive planet will be chosen, and some hunderds of years later nobody will know how close to extinction humanity came. It does not matter, because with the abundance of renewables you can live under a glass dome together with millions, even if it sounds rediculous there’s is enough power to do that. 

So if you hear some smart person claiming renewables are to expensive, you know the deal. Yes, if you have to ask the distributors of fossil fuel whether you can use their resouces to create a competitior, diminishing their power (because you don’t need either money or fossil fuels), don’ t be surprised they will say ‘no’. But that does not mean the new game isn’t real, or that the 6500 times more wealth one can achieve based on renewables is not achievable, it’s just that the cooperation of either fossil fuel suppliers or banks will be close to zero. The best initiative is to make renewables self sustaining, and one step of the way towards such a reality is to make sure there is enough renewable energy to start with.  Germany leads the way, but if one considers geothermal energy is almost everywhere (ignore the price), we can all follow. We can change the game. 

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The End Game of Fossil Fuel Industrialization

What do you expect if you start to automate and mechanize any and every activity your population employs to achieve their wealth? Do you expect people to be necessary for long in order to maintain their standard of living? It makes a lot of sense to expect that less and less people are needed.

But if your myth is that of individual productivity and achievement, because you want people to be ambitious because that makes them both buy stuff to realize those ambitions and work dead end jobs in order to achieve their dreams, what do you do if you don’t need so many hard workers anymore?

Add to that a environment of volatile fossil fuel supply, which requires strict control of liquidity, in order to avoid fossil fuel price signals and even collapse of supply when you circulate to much cash and allow to much consumption. When the oil flows you want to accelerate consumption, when it wanes you want to cut it.

If you want to keep the myth of productivity alive, and the myth of economic theory you can only do what is happening now. Money is created in tune with the fossil fuel supply and handed down from the central banks to specific groups that will use it to enable the producers to buy the means of production, mainly fossil fuels.

It matters not how big the debt gets in this situation, or any situation, because it is the banks themselves who designed this strategy so they could continue to exist in such a volatile peak oil peak order environment. There may be banks failing, but banking is not compromized, the franchise of control of the fossil fuel consumption will remain in their hands until it is sold in some currency that does not originate with banks.

What about workers? They don’t matter. They are consumers if they have money to allocate to wear out and destroy products of the industry. One could say ‘enjoy’ and see industry as a force behind our wealth and happiness, but sadly even though there is a lot of wealth and happiness, the driver of industry forces it to be amindless machine only yielding CO2 and a devestated planet. How do you know? Cut the oil, see what you are left with. If the sale or fossil fuels was not the principle requirement for the survival and control of banks, our world would have abandoned its dependence a long time ago.

So young people, old people, any people are screwed if their environemnt is dominated by economic rule. Who can make a barrel of oil? Who deserves the productivity of a barrel of oil? So how do you divide that productivity of one barrel of oil? As long as peace is possible you do it by telling people suffering yields future reward, or you create the illusion there’s no way to predict the result of your efforts. You make sure almost nobody has anything of real value, you popularize the virtual over the real and you divide the attention or groups towards their navels, not anybody elses.

In this situation, if fossil fuels become impossible to obtain, the whole system collapses, and there’s no means other than manual labour to fix things, that and war. That is the reason the game is continued as long as possible and by any means possible. To optimize the productivity so the system can run as long as possible, you ditch as much people. In order to passify those that might understand their situation you put them iin debt, they don’t earn what they spend, they get it directly from the source, the banks.

Bypassing individual qualities and skills in order to maximize and optimize the cycle of production and destruction, so as to allow those that are still lucky enough to be part of that to enjoy a portion of that productivity, with a realization it stems from personal performance (thereby stabilizing the required cruel and arrogant mentality), is the endgame of fossil fuel driven industrialization. Those forced to get by on something else (like most of our planets population right how) will not count as the machine continues to destroy and deplete every resource like an out of control lawnmower.

Only if the people managing the weapons for the fossil fuel sector start seeing their deciding influence will the game changes. Until now there has been little room as the military industrian complex has seemed to be on the front row of the direct (fossil fuel credit) line between banks and industy. Is there hope? Yes, areas without fossil fuel resources are the place where the renewable based economies will thrive first. No reason other than pure desire to dominate would motivate action against these economies. These blank spots in the patchwork are becoming more numerous, even in fracking hides it momentarily. If renewables can ever fund a lobby to drive the fossil fuel interest out, that would greatly accellerate the process. Until then more renewables is the best way to build the wealth base to drive a lobby. This lobby and the popular desire to move forward will do what is necessary to move forward and regain control : change the game.