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A Political Currency for Climate Action

Economics at large is causing humanity to degrade its habitat to such an extend that extinction is now a likely outcome. Economics, capitalism has been altered from using true capital (material resources and human expertise) to using fossil fuels in nearly all cases, to harvest and modify natural resources into what ‘the market’ demanded. A good demonstration of what ‘the market’ is we saw this week when US carmakers demanded China slowed down its adoption of electric vehicles. Of course not the carmakers and their factories are driving this, but the banks financing that industry, who have only one option which is to fight to the death against the demise of the fossil credit economy.

Renewable growth is slowed down by its inclusion in this wider economy. Investments are going into fossil fuel intensive activities as long as fossil fuel mining and drilling operations are allowed to continue, and the same people that finance the consumption of fossil fuel of course lobby for its protection and advertise the habits of a petrolhead as manly and tough. If you are a BBQing open carry diesel truck driving fatso with racist tencencies then you’re the posterboy for fossil. There’s no greater mob to recruit than the overentitled. Of course this is a gross generalization, but be sure the fossil industry has those it likes and those it doesn’t like. Who? Just check the right wing media, they tell you.

So what to do about this unfair competition. Why is fossil credit banking the only game in town? Is it? By posing this question we can open up a new world of opportunity for renewables and the so called roboeconomy. Traditionally the kind of money we use today (empty contracts for which fossil fuel can be bought) is more compatible farming and renewables than with fossil fuels. This is because a farmer could in principle always pay its workers with a I-owe-U or credit note for part of the harvest. Farming futures are one of the few kinds of futures that actually make sense.

What dit that farming credit do? It organized people, they held a promisary note and because they understood what they where doing and how farming worked they could trust it would be valuable later. They could even buy food today with those notes. In the end the baker supplying bread could use the notes to buy grain after the harvest. With that sale the credit note disappeared. Today we have a wierd system of debt, the holder of the credit has debt to the bank, which means he has to return the note.

The answer to how to finance many renewable project should then be to create a currency that will hold value if the activities for which it is created are fruitfull. This may be the planting of trees, the irrigation of land, the building of renewable energy factories. The question arises how to redeem this credit, how it would function. The answer is not simple and your intuitions are not going to be right, because the world that it could create by organizing people works different from your current fossil fuel economic environment.

First of all we need to ignore all bank ownership of land, all endebtedness. The only concrete form current bank debt takes is as CO2 molecules in our atmosphere. That is the consequence of fossil credit : When it is spend CO2 and H20 are dumped into the atmosphere, that is the problem we try to counter, we are not going to respect that system at all. We don’t need to. If the work takes 50 years, so much will change and so many owners will die of climate change, the financial centers will not be populated by the same people. On the other hand, this is not some communist revolution, we don’t need to disturb anyone. This is because the point of the currency can be to become valuable through political change. This is why financeing started in wars, we can have our own ‘war’ and finance it with our own currency.

If you support the effort you buy the currency. If you use the currency to run your local economy you no longer feed the system that is so damaging. If you achieve more status of the currency by political influence you have a good motivation to do work on that. The end goal is to avert catastrophic climate change and to sustain the order that is needed to fight it.

We suggest we set up climatecoin.eu to implement this system.

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