Monthly Archives: August 2015

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Why Christianty Is Less Popular

What this has to do with renewables or sustainability? Perhaps that we need to return to a less globalized way of life, one we need to believe is good for us through a shared narrative..

In a world where marketing and advertisements constantly take liberty with our emotions, where we get exposed to behaviours that are clearly damaging to our mental and physical health, it is logical we try to find something to recenter our minds. Sports, yoga, meditation, new age religions all help to do that. Older religions can also play that role, and it is strange how most of us today reject f.i. the notion of ‘god’, but do believe that we can all become millionairs. The class system is still in place which prevents that with rare exceptions so such convictions are as unfounded as one could have that (a) god exists.

If we need a mental template to ground ourselves, it sounds wierd to choose religion to do that, after all, they are fairly tales. But if you calculate the cost of -really- understanding things, which takes years of education and an keen mind, then religion comes out as a good second option, one that is practically achievable for the masses. We all tell stories, we try to relate our experiences so others can learn and benefit. Let’s infuse that body of narratives with some that create a moral reference, that guides our behaviour if we could be tempted to harm others or reduce security, and lets not to forget economic prosperity of the community. Today we hear the ‘economy is in crisis’, as if our mother is in labour and fighting for her life. We hold our breath, we take the pain, we love our mother/economy. It is those kind of deeper analogies that drive our motivation to behave according to the wishes of those that (in this case) run the economy. It keeps us in a child like state of mind, it treats us as children, tells us stories, it is a mother to us.

A complex story of a man that lived like a guru and died on the cross for our sins, how does that work then, and why doesn’t it work now? What other story would work (except f.i. the economic drivel we read in the financial press)? It seems one aspect of christianity has been overlooked, and that is that it speaks of war. Imagine that you still live in a time where there is no police, no guns, no security for anyone except when they are able to build a castle or create armed militias. In a time where there are many small fights and feuds over resources because agriculture is not yet developed. In a time where there is much poverty. What went wrong in those times (and still goes wrong today) is that the poor where shamed for their position, that they are demotivated to keep them out of sight. Jesus as a guru changed that by telling them to not feel guilty, that they where forgiven by ‘god’. He could have said that  ‘An enlightened mind would forgive you for your poverty and crimes, because it would understand that whatever you have done in the past and whatever situation you are in now, this can change easier if you don’t feel like you need to punish yourself, and that if it improves it is a benefit to all of us’. But people wheren’t enlightened or enlightenable, so therefore : god.

But the other story, the dying at the cross, what was that all about? It was about war. The model of a man dying for your sins can be mapped to the strong men from your small village going out to protect it, fighting and dying so you can live a free and happy life inside it. Christ did not die on the cross for our sins, he died because it would make us feel safe. It would make us feel like somebody died for our security, which is what Jesus claimed to do, because he protected the believers from going to hell. In a way he exemplified Sartes quote “Hell is other people”, because battle was hell, and the ones killing you where the “others”. A story can only work if it maps concepts we already know.

But of course ‘god’ forgives, because all ‘god’ wants is people that go about organizing their lives as if they where newly born. The underlying war analogy of the christian story may be the reason why it has been such a good tool to bring peace. Not always, but one can easily trace back the crusades to abuse of the the stories (hell was really bad and Jerusalem was really important) and the desire of lords etc. to live exciting lives. Today wars like the ones of the US in Iraq can be understood as levers to release extreme amounts of cash, so according to that mechanism war is unavoidable, and you better not offer an opportunity or you’ll get stamped out.

Today we don’t need to hear each week about who died in the local war (it’s always Jesus) while we can be safe in our church, we don’t fight that much, we have so many stories to choose form (soap opera’s, movies, economic news) that this one that quells the fear of having to stand up and protect your territory yourself doesn’t offer much anymore. It is a story of irresponsibility also associated with childhood, of course, the same abandon we see promoted to drive the economy today (go shopping!). Today we don’t rest knowing we sacrificed Jesus to be free of guilt. We sacrifice our income to buy products that allow us to use them (a freedom) but also show we made the sacrifice. The same village analogy still underlies the behaviour, and the more power we can demonstrate the more the community can feel at ease. Thus driving a huge SUV has replaced Jesus dying at the cross. Economics recreated a polytheistic environment for us to worship in but never feel completely at ease.

It seems the best solution to handle human insecurities is to return to the village, to once again make the enviroment our main constaint. But as fearfull consumers in the church of economics we lack the courage to make such a move. If we did create a patchwork of self sufficient villages I would say christianity could work once more, although it would make as much sense to adopt the narrative of a different guru, as long as it freed us from our guilt and fear..

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The Rediscovery of Death

When I was a young kid and about 7 years old I attended a school play, it was a Grimm Bross. story where the princess had somehow fallen asleep and a prince was trying to save her. That’s when I first encountered the concept of death even though I didn’t realize it. The prince had to make a deal with a devil to abdicate his royalty and this deal was ‘onherroepelijk’, a word I had not encountered before. It means ‘irrevocable’. It stuck with me until today, I had to really think about it. If I had understood the word right it meant something that is ‘onherroepelijk’ could never be undone. This was quite a shock to my playfull existence. The moment I was introduced to that word is still a mental picture of me sitting watching that play amongst the other pupils. A loss of innocence and the start of sensing the dreadfull possibility of irrevocable change. Of failure perhaps, of death.

Today I am reminded of that moment when I read about climate change. It is that concept of irrevocability that my mind uses to graps what is written about the current trajectory we are on. I learned enough about human nature to see that local, egocentric interests are likely to defeat communal interest and no that significant action will be initiated in time to withdraw from the treshold to a world of irrevocable climate change, and subsequent extinction of nearly all life on Earth. It seems today many are watching what goes on around them and imagine it to be a fairy tale, inconsequential. It seems most people do not grasp that things can go seriously wrong and that when they do there will be no way back. Something will have died, the soul of our planet will have been destroyed and even though it may take another thousand years, life as we know it will leave its stage forever.

We can read that scientist warn that there is no “technofix”, geoenigneering solution to reduce CO2. Even if CO2 levels where reduced by planting trees and burying the carbon by 2150 (extravagantly late to take action, but ok), the oceans would have absorbed so much CO2 that they would remain acidic = dead for centuries. It is the dead oceans, that become toxic and emit toxic H2S gas that will eventually kill us.

“It turns out that after ‘business as usual’ until 2150, even taking such enormous amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere wouldn’t help the deep ocean that much – after the acidified water has been transported by large-scale ocean circulation to great depths, it is out of reach for many centuries, no matter how much CO2 is removed from the atmosphere,”

We are no techno-optimists such as idiots like Ray Kurzweil and others quoting him. Let’s mention Bjorn Lomborg, just to remind us he’s an asshole that needs to get kicked in the nuts, but he also pleaded to not go all out on reducing emissions and simply trust there will be a solution. We also don’t agree with the scientists above that there is no technofix, there are several, and we have written about them. But we know that making them reality requires an organized society that can allocate resources to creating them. We still have that now, we won’t have that if f.i. the US is starving (as much of its food comes from now three year drought stricken California). Therein lies a serious risk. Tree planting should be a global ongoing activity right now, dedesertification, biomass plants on the oceans to grow seaweed and keep the water and fish stock alive should be build now. Instead the opposite is happening, a race to the bottom of depletable resources. If we reach a point where order collapses because of lack of food (imagine Greece without the bailouts) or water (California in a year or two) then there is no hope for organizing the kind of action we need. Our demise will be irrevocable.

“it won’t blow up and disappear, it’ll just look ugly for a thousand years…” (Zappa) Make that a million..

The last time our planet went to a CO2 global warming convulsion it erased all oxygen breathing life except some burrowing rodents and the reptiles that where to become the dinosaurs. The route through global warming events always leads through a period where the Earth returns to swamp like conditions and most animals die. The ocean and atmosphere turns toxic to oxygen breathing life for a million years or so. This is where we are NOW headed (if you don’t believe us watch the video below).

The death of humanity is at stake

We need to wake up to the possibility of our actions today having no undo option. We need to aquaint ourselves with the concept of the irrevocable consequences of our actions. Small things matter. We say “fuck it, lets fly”, we turn our planet over to a new generation species. If we find we are forced by our economic constraints, work to free yourself (not by making money as you do now, but by making having money unnecessary, even if it upsets some suits and lawmakers). Human history ends somewhere in the next fifty years, even if we won’t think it does. Nobody will care about our historic records until some future descendants of our rats or cats have developed the intelligence and interest to dig them up and reconstruct them.

OR you accept the meaning of the word irrevocable.

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The Basic Income

Disclaimer

Most people view the economy we live in as a viable mechanism to sustain our society for the long term. Let me begin by alerting those that this is not the case. Economics as we know it today has no lifespan beyond that of our fossil fuel reserves.

Dutch basic income activity, colors left to right : almost implemented, planned, interested

An economy that doesn’t want to serve all

What will remain true is that people can share, they can trade or they keep stuff to themselves. This is what we usually see as our economy, the network of people and institutions sharing, trading and keeping stuff to themselves. Today, in that system, there is a slow decline in the willingness to share because of several factors. First the main productive resource, fossil fuels, is increasingly hard to come by (even if it is cheap, it is about who owns them first and about not being dependent on oil from others, so the price is low because of reluctance to buy). Second the manner of production requires less and less human intervention, and because humans have a higher fossil fuel cost to maintain than machines, machines are pusing humans out of a job.

At the bottom of our economy you see the jobless with no income. They should be considered economic anomalies as will be explained below. They are painted as useless eaters because of the greed for said fossil resources amongst those that run companies and are able to drive politics. Some now say that the ones without income should have a basic income so they can live decent lives, a bit like social security in Europe and the US, but permanent and without the shaming. This seems a good idea but it runs in a fundamental political problem : You are suggesting using fossil fuels to sustain economically ‘unproductive’ lives. That fuel could also be used to produce goods for higher earing people, thus the lobbying companies lose income due to such programs. They object! This is in fact a repeat of humans competing with fossil fuel against machines, but this time without them actually trying to do the work of the machine.

Sustaining ourselves requires energy, not jobs necessarily

We think that the above is the correct context to view autonation, joblessness and basic income. You have to look at it in terms of energy/resource efficiency and recognize that people want to attain more neatness, cleanliness and luxury in their lives and sharing resouces with people that don’t supply anything one needs to attain luxury is not desired, in fact it is fought strongly.

This perspective also provides the answer : Energy has to be more abundant and cheap, then people can receive credit to buy stuff made with the abundant and cheap energy and nobody complains, like nobody did when oil was super abundant and we had a luxurious social system in place (in Holland for example). Where do we get cheap and abundand energy? From renewables!

Renewables can sustain much more lives and jobs than can fossil fuels

Renewables are already creating jobs, but jobs are not what we need, we need the resources to take care of the people that make up our society, whether they have jobs or not. Renewables allow us to do that much easier than fossil fuels, because the price of renewables is highly predictable. Renewables can be added far beyond the capacity needed to sustain our present population, in fact, we can sustain many hundreds of times more people with the renewable potential. That is times, a factor compared to oil. We can have more than 2000 Americas with solar energy, exactly as bustling as the one we have today.

The current news and opinion items about robots taking more jobs and people becoming powerless and useless eaters is nothing more than fossil fuel propaganda. If we stay with fossil fuels, then  it becomes hard to sustain people that do not help those that have the most power in the system, namely those that turn over most fossil fuels. If we abandon any ambition to use fossil fuels but instead focus on using renewables (as this is the more permanent solution to the energy need) we suddenly see that automation is not a problem, that sustaining people that do not help produce things we need is not a burden on anyone except the machines.

Can the poor drive the needed transition?

To transition one needs to have some ability to change things, and the people that are out of work and don’t earn and are made to feel ashamed that someone replaced them with machines, or outcompeted them with help of big financiers, is incapable of initiating the growth in renewables. That growth is necessary to make the cheap and reliable energy available that can sustain a basic income. So slows down the transition.

Can the transition succeed in a globalized economy?

Another factor that slows down the transition to renewables is their local nature. So for instance a solar powerplant of reasonable size only serves a small town. It is unlikely that food is being produced in that town because that can come from all over the planet due to  economic forces that always try to increase interdependence and lengthen supply chains. So how is that village going to use the renewables to sustain a basic income locally? The way it should work is that the energy generated locally is allocated through basic income credit to the producers of food and other stuff people need. But if those producers are far way this is not possible.

Can the current economy transition gradually in the renewable one?

We are in an economy in which the dominant (fossil fuel inspired) political view is that the poor are a burden. Simply demanding to make fossil fuel available for the poor is no solution, because it increases fuel scarcity it only strengthens the lobby against it. Also because the current economy still maximizes the use of fossil fuels (because this maximizes cashflows) any intitiative within it can only remain marginal and temporary. The bigger the need for remaining fuels the easier to rally political support against alternatives. This leads us to conclude we can not use the economic system to transition to a renewable based economy. They are fundamentally at odds with each other.

The basic income economy

There are no doubt countries that can introduce basic income under a fossil fuel driven system, but they won’t last long as they will be theathered to the fossil fuel markets and fought by climate restrictions. To introduce a renewables based basic income some principles of economic thought can’t be sustained (without negative consequences for anyone by the way). New rules are :

  • Generate energy resources locally
  • Produce goods and services locally
  • Enable people to allocate (energy) resources proportial to how much can actually be allocated.

To make this work the normal currency system can’t be used. This is because this would require banks or people to make credit available from the fossil fuel economy. The renewable or as we call it Roboeconomy has to use a different currency with one differentiating quality : It is created with the producers of fundamental resources like energy (if the energy source is privatly owned), or in the hands of people as basic income if the energy source is communally owned.

If you create money with those that need it and let it disappear when it is ultimately spend on energy you create a system where there is always exactly the right amount of money (as it is related to actual local renewable energy capacity). You eliminate banks as first owners of the money who can determine to whom they lend it, something that gives them a huge amount of power over what happens in society. We think it should be a task of the tax office to create this type of money, call it the Joule. This has the added advantage that tax can be deducted right away, so nobody has to pay them later. Like governments have done for ages, the tax office simply creates money for itself that can be used to buy renewable energy.

Ultimatly, if enough renewable resources are build this money  created by local tax administrators can become a basic income that nobody has to sacrifice for, one that is born out of the ability of the local area to support people through its solar and wind potential (and geothermal etc.).

Oakland program

Dutch program

Swiss program

Australia considering

Britsh Worker Union supports it 

France is talking about it

 

 

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Food and Psychology

There is a well kept secret in our food industry : Food influences our behaviour. It is easily seen if you consider food that is addictive. Food with a nice ration of fat and sugar (1:1) makes us come back for more. That returning it is behaviour. But fat food does more than that. It causes mild eurofia because it restricts oxygen to the brain, it makes us sedative because it messes with our metabolic system, it also makes us more flexible because the fat is used in the brain to give new pathways a speed advandage (by isolating the axons).

The influence of food on our behaviour becomes even more clear when we look beyond basic calories, fat, sugar, carbohydrates (which we think is the reason these categories where created). Proteins (or their constituents amino acids) are very important in our diet, all the important stuff in our body is protein, the cellular mechanism, the structures of organs, the muscle. You can’t make them out of fat or sugar or carbonhydrates. It is like there’s the fuel and the machine. The fuel is sugar etc. the machine is protein. It is amazing how little protein we need each day, only grams. There are Vitamin category proteins, ones we can’t make ourselves. Then there are non-vitamin proteins we still need plenty of but can be lacking in our food. They can alter our mood, change the way our neural system functions, make us feel energetic, and if they are lacking in our diet we may suffer from all kinds of ailments.

Our diet is not only determined by what we choose to eat, but also by the nutritional value what we can choose from

We are triggered to write about this because we read that Roos Vonk, a professor at the  Radboud Universiteit has been allowed to look into the effects of eating meat on the (male) sense of superiority. It is strange to us that this kind of hypothesis and testing it is such a challenge. If eating meat didn’t have a certain effect on men (and woman, but the idea is that men are especially sensitive) then why would they in some cases insist on eating it? In a tribal setting it makes sense that whoever brings in the meat feels superior, because meat is such powerfull food compared to scrubs etc. in a food poor environment. Also we observe that our psychology has a habit of making us adapt to whatever situation we are in. So if there is meat we must feel like hunting, if we are physically weak we must lay low. My own research into emotions and cognition showed that for complex reasons we psychologically adapt to our real capabilities, so we become less bold if we are weak, more bold if we are strong, yet the strongest individual will be layed back.


“That’s the meat to fat ratio you want!”

This reseach is significant because it can open up a can of worms in terms of the influence of our environment on our behaviour. One example is the bromide fire retardants in computers we wrote about early. They are hormone disruptors. Being very sensitive to them I notice them in every office. Especiall laptops that get very hot produce a lot. They cause neural damage and screw with your manhood/femhood. Why is there so much of that stuff and why is information about it so rarely brought out? Is it because the subtle effects make us behave in a desirable way? Does it produce less manly men, less feminin females? We can all see women have suffered from bad hormones or they would all have a real waist. You can also recognize women coming from outside the western world because they have one!

A diet that makes people egocentric is economically desirable. People will all want stuff for themselves and not share, increasing the number of things sold.

Another example is the rise of autism. Whatever the cause, some say it is disturbance of gut bacteria by Monsanto Roundup/Glyphosate, it is happening. It is not natural that is for sure. Does it change our decision making and behaviour? Of course! What to do if really in 2025 50% of all children is autistic? We can go on and on with examples of how food influences us, and how we are told to enjoy it so that our behaviour changes. Example : Chocolate. It makes us love what we know, so in fact it makes us more egocentric. Coffee : It makes us more focussed and it serves as a mini achievement, status symbol in our otherwise inconsequential office lives. It is the Soma of choice that allows corporations to get to our cognitive capacities. Lots of choices there.

Zinc is low in most foods, but very important for brain function. Breakfast cereals however contain lots of it. So eat cereals or be dumb.

The meat industry is one that drives a lot of economic activity, it sells a lot of fossil fuel and thus it is a pillar of the fossil fuel economy. It also brings forth (by its fat and actine which helps our brain to function) men that are arrogant and unapologetic about eating lots of meat, especially bacon (which if full of carcinogens). These are often depicted as superior and owning everything men want. How convenient! If meat eating makes men feel superior they want to have MORE because they think they deserve more, which is ideal because it makes them economically mobile. They are not content and will spend money on stuff that they feel entitled to. What would our economy look like if we didn’t have all kinds of dudes feeling they should be upwardly mobile? Meat eating may be a significant driver of our wastefull consumer economy.

Of course this has relevance for climate action and climate change. The meat industry is a major factor, almost 30% of emissions are caused by it. Water use is shocking. The abuse in modern US meatfarms is soul destroying. We should get rid of it asa-fucking-p. But if all this industrial activity that largely takes place outside the control of any voting citizen, that is regulated into the system (for instance in school nutrition) over years of lobbying the now 100% corrupt congress (and of course in Europe the EU/EC) it is part of a wider control system. If it sets an important course of society (the impulse to ascent in the meat eater) then fighting it and ‘freeing’ consumers from its influence will be very politically impossible.

The basic question that is ever harder to answer is : What would a normal person do. Because what we eat can change us and we should certainly find out how.

 

 

 

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The Usefull Human

We are back to the pre world war two mental state. Due to climate pressure, automation, fossil fuel scaricty some are once again talking about how people can remain usefull, and even openly if we should have as much people as we have right now. Yuval Noah Harari, who talks about human cooperation as the cause of its rise from the animal kingdom (a weak talk with several flaws), asks the question in his book “What do we need humans for, or what do we need so many humans for”. In his case the premise of his talk is to justify religion and apparently lead to regurgitation of the century old thoughts that inspired fascism.

There is a good reason to think of usefullness in humans. We come from long lines of farmers, hunters and traders, and not doing anything has always meant a quick exit from the population. Usefullness however can be defined in several ways, one can be usefull to ones self, to others, by keeping them healthy and fit, by providing them with what they want (which may be of no importance to their survival at all).

Making money is not necessarily usefull, but economic thought almost defines it as such

Today usefullness is almost exclusively defined by economic factors. This means that if you can make money doing something it becomes usefull. Our lives are organized in such a way that we can not easily produce our own food, we can not provide ourselves with shelter (land prices are adopted to involving builders to build a normal house). The flipside of this lack of freedom is that the government (which usually contains some socialist members) tries to control the economy so it offers opportunities to all. It doesn’t because it tends to offer opportunities to those that are easy to control, those that promote it’s ideal of consumption. Not everyone is born to be vrivolous enough to go for the full economic ideology.

Economics takes morality and puts trade in its place. It doesn’t want you to be attached to anything of potential value to someone else.

A well functioning economy will always repair flaws in its own system and continuously does. Economists constantly debate to find how out how to present the core principles so that people will cooperate with it. In some countries like the US this has resulted in even the election cycle being economically driven (a total and complete success). Companies pay for propaganda that makes people support their chosen candidate. There are left oriented socialist companies that will support the left wing candidates, and right wing fossil fuel serving companies that will support the right wing candidates. Obviously the usefullness meme comes from the right, and there is a good reason.

On the left side we find people that try to reason with reality. They try to see what is there and wonder how it can help us survive and thrive. If there is solar energy the left is all for using it. If there are people in need the left will recognize there are ample resources to feed them and try to do so. The left does go wrong when it thinks that we can have universal basic income without riding ourselves of having to deal with the fossil fuel sector. A basic income implies that you take fossil fuels from people who work very hard to get it and have almost everyone to sell it to.

On the right we find people that reason with their ambitions. What they want is most important. They want above all to be strong and clean, not dragged down by trash and filth (easily disgusted people tend strongly to be on the right side of the political spectrum). To the people on the right reality is of no importance, what is important is that they get what they want. They usually exclude filth and poverty from their vision of the world so in extrema they don’t want poor or filthy people to exist. A slight variation of not wanting people to exist is to want them to be usefull. This is the minimal requirement for the right because if you are not usefull you don’t contribute to what anyone wants, and the people on the right don’t bother with people that don’t play a role in what they want.

Marylin Monroe plugging Shell (1:35) in Some like it Hot

The right side of politics may once have been predicated on a superior sense of neatness or ability and desire to achieve. Today it is predicated on protecting the fossil fuel industry and the banking system which is a derivative of it. Without fossil fuels there would be no banking system as we know it today. Credit would not be that easily generated. Since Nixon money is fossil fuel credit and this system only works if there is enough fossil fuel to go around. US superiority has come mostly from it’s control over fossil fuels through their dollar printing press and Wallstreet banks. The fossil fuel sector had the biggest cookie to lure the right in and make them be their posterchildren. Neat, clean fossil fuels in neat clean cars in neat clean houses using neat clean plastic etc. etc.

A fossil fuel driven society is a zero sum game

The most important aspect of modern right wing’s subservience to fossil fuel interest is that to them running a society has to be a zero sum game. There is one common resource : fossil fuels, and its supply is limted, so through the management of credit you can manage where it goes. If someone gets it another person will not. The challenge is how to distribute fossil fuels so that most of the right wing servants will keep helping the fossil industry do what it does while still realizing their personal ambitions. It is a challenge to manage the mutual dependence between banks, neat people and oil with a crumbling ecosystem and climate in the background.

In order to manage that dependency the neat people need effective tools to deal with demand for oil rising beyond the ability to supply it. That would definitely lead people to go for renewables and undermine the political power of the right as well as the fossil fuel sector. So in order to reduce demand an ideology has to be created that justifies rejecting people (and sending them to an early grave through deprivation), which has been happening by undermining education, by cutting social services and by allowing automation (although this is a whole other related topic). Now we are reaquainted with the property ‘usefullness’ of a person.

If a person can not find a job he is not usefull?

The first mistake most people will make is to start arguing why people are usefull or not, or how they can be usefull. The first thing to say is that this “how usefull are you?” is an invalid question. Usefull to whom? The answer is usually that a ‘useless person’ takes from the collective, he/she is a parasite. What that implies is that others that are working do not take from that same collective. That people that work are somehow a benefit to us. Most of the times they are not. A divorce lawyers’s work is no use to me, a bakers work in another country is no use to me. In fact, most other jobs are depleting resources that I could have enjoyed more easily if those jobs didn’t exist. This is the whole ‘competitive free market economy’, the reason why we work so hard. ‘Useless people’ that just eat and drink and hang out are exactly what we want!

How usefull is a shoe salesman in Karachi to you? But he has a job!!

If a job today is only viable if there is enough fossil fuel to do all kinds of things to make the job possible, than such a job is a cost of resources, and in 99% of cases people in other jobs do not have any benefit from it. Who does have benefit is the seller of the fossil fuels, who likes to enjoy the revenue in return to giving people lives they like, with some work during the day and relative luxury in their spare time. They would have that if they worked the land and owned their own home, but the fossil fuel economy inserted itself in every activity and brought it under control of the fossil fuel/banking system.

You are not usefull if you don’t create more resources than you consume

As a result most jobs are a burden on resources, and most working people are useless. Picking on the non working is just the most efficient thing to do because it 1. doesn’t affect cashflows 2. It reinforces the notion work is valuable 3. It scares people into their useless jobs. 4. It fits the rights preconception that poor people are filthy (especially when the right ‘useless’ people are shown, the ones with dirty dreadlocks and shabby clothes).

Usefullness can be a local social quality, not a general economic one

Renewables totally change the above dynamic. The first reason why is that solar panels/collectors and wind turbines generate resources, electricity or heat (or cooling) that can be used in many ways to support human lives. The group of people to represent local renewables can not be gathered from the elite of all neat people, because a local wind turbine or solar power plant doesn’t serve people on the other side of the country (even if the fossil fuel economy tries to make this the case). There is no problem with useless people if they are kept alive by systems that have no first owner or require hard work to make available. Renewables break the same sum game. They create a game in which the amount of people our planet can sustain increases by a factor of more than a thousand.

When the productivity or a region no longer depends on whether it is integrated with the fossil fuel distribution system the role of the people in it changes from being either a ‘deserving’ or ‘undeserving’ fossil fuel consumers. Everyone can have a role. The smartest people can still be doctors and the hand ones can maintain the energy infrastructure, but the less intelligent or agressive can simply be and exist off of mostly mechanized food production. Jobs like that of a farmer don’t have to be squeezed to death for the benefit of traders or intermediates, because there is no fossil fuel based economy on top that has many lazy neat people. Instead farmers hold the cards themselves as they are autonomous. This either leads to more people farming or to some kind of communal cooperation when in comes to food production.

Clearly the use of a human is up to him or herself. We are entering an era in which supporting large numbers of ‘useless’ people will become easier, but also in which giving people something to do to ‘justify their existence’ becomes easier. Now it is almost baked into the cake that for those outside or unwanted by the carbon-economic system there is no job that can redeem them (except escape and fight it). Anyone supporting both economics as usual and this notion of usefullness is thus building towards world war II style genocide.