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The CarbonCredit System

More detailed “Banks and Carbon Divestment”

We live in a world still largely powered by fossil fuels. We also live in a world dominated by the financial sector. Both things are related. There is a deep dependency of the financial and banking system on fossil fuels.

The reason the banks depend on the fossil sector is because they create credit, which is simple numbers in an account, or paper money when it is drawn from the ATM. Those Dollars, Euro’s and Yen would not be attractive to anyone if you could not buy fossil fuels with them.

Imagine what would happen if you had money that did not buy fossil fuels? You would go to the gas station and not be able to fill up your tank. You would go to the airport but the airline would say “Sorry, but your money does not allow us to buy our fuel, we can’t accept it”. You would go to the clothing store and the person would say “With your money we can’t run our store, we can’t transport our cloths, we can’t pay our workers in asia who want to drive mopets..”. So this function of money is fundamental.

Economists won’t agree because it is their job to make you believe fossil fuels are just another commodity, that money buys everything, always has and always will. It doesn’t unless you make sure it does. The wars over oil and gas are over our carbon-credit system. The system run by cooperation between the fossil industry and the banks.

Why is this important? Because we have to get rid of fossil fuels from our society. How can we get rid of the thing banks see as essential to their business model? A few percent renewables is ok, but a society with only renewables will not be possible in the current model. Therefore the growth of renewable energy is obstructed by the current fossil/financial system.

What happens if you make a solar panel? You need fossil fuels to do it (still). That means the price of the panel reflects the price of the fossil fuels. You have to compare the price of burning fossil fuels directly with that of burning it in the process of making a solar panel. The latter thing is smarter, because one solar panel can avoid the need to buy about ten times the energy you invest in making it. For that reason there should be no debate or competition. One should make as much solar panels as possible because it would multiply wealth!

Because banks depend on the fossil fuel cashflow however solar and direct buring of gas in power plants still have to compete. And they can lobby for levies on panels so the price rises, and they can make the installation system more complex so the cost rises. The banks want fossil cashflow and they can generate it by making things as expensive as we can afford. A nice side effect of this is that if you make things expensive, people need money, and come back to the banks.

The world needs to see this carboncredit system, understand it. Money is still expected to buy oil and gas, gas based electricity or it is worthless. We need to make this relationship explicit, quantify it so that we can capture the productive power of fossil fuels before it reaches the market, and direct it at no cost to the manufacturing of energy multiplying technology like wind and solar. We can then sell the output of those wind and solar panels by loaning out wind and solar electricity credit, and do so much longer than the bank could loan out its carbon credit.

Banks like we know today and the financial system as we know it today will not exist in a fully renewable powered world, because they are a product and part of the carboncredit system. We need to take this system and direct it because on its own accord it will never move away from fossil fuels, and it will keep pricing renewables comparatively to fossil fuels.

 

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