We have written here about the Roboeconomy, or real life 3.0 in Max Tegmark speak. It is the economy that succesfully integrated human welbeeing, renewables and automation. We are in a transition to it now as automated systems are becoming easier to own by end consumers instead of producers.
The extraeconomy or an extraeconomy is a small economic system that lives outside the wider fossil credit (EU, Yen, $) controlled economy, and is thus not vulnerable to investors trying to buy it and take its resources.
Extraeconomic communities can exist within the physical wider economy, but are more likely to exist in locations where the fossil credit economy can’t reach, that is to say places that do not have any resources to export, that don’t easily support humans, so where the (fossil fuel) cost of keeping people alive and happy can not be justified by the generation of cashflow elsewhere. The middle of Australia or remote parts of Morocco or any old desert or remote forest village is usually already extraeconomic. These places allow poor lives on the scarce resources available.
But with renewables that can change. This is because renewables provide a resource, electricity (and heat/cooling) that has many applications. Alic Springs is actually trying to get a big solar farm, being resisted in it’s attempts. Now if it has that farm and the energy it provides it can in turn generate water, it can plant trees and green the area. It can shape the land with electic machines to become even more habitable. It can cool offices so the people can be more productive and comfortable. It can solar power any type of logistics it needs and thus become a fully functional community as if it was situated much more favourably. Why? Because the energy is free.
We can imagine that with a few component technolgies being
1. Water harvesting
2. Electric heavy transportation
3. Solar/Wind/Geothermal generation
4. Electic construction equipment
5. (optional) LED growing
6. A separate unique currency that can not be exchanged into fossil credit currencies
Any place with sufficient renewable resources can become viable. Internet, virtual reality and cheap electric transportation (including hyperloop and eflight) will make it acceptable, if not really pleasant to live outside big cities. Then people can tend to large areas of new growth forest, see their surroundings shaped by robots to maximize their enjoyment.
The pressure to survive on a fossil diet means we have to compete for the share given to us, as the amount of fossil fuel is limited. This is done by competing over money, by trying to make profit on our deals, making them inequitable by definition. The renewable resources we are now starting to use are spread out geographically, and thuse distribute production capacity and thus wealth in a way that with a low enough population density nobody needs to endure scarcity or compete.
The above described fossil scracity driven competition is also the reason natural resources are shipped across the globe, this pressure to make profit is nearly everywhere. Of course it is the people with adventurous minds that will be best fit to give way to this competitive pressure, but that’s not the reason why they do it. It’s financial desperation usually. That doesn’t need to exist in the roboeconomy, and will certainly not exist in the extraeconomic communities.
We think we should design an extraeconomic model community for use in different climatic regions. The purpose if them being ecorestauration without economic exploitation, so true addition of natural resources, carbon capture, biodiversity increase, species conservation and giving humans a happy life. The rules are thus:
1. Only use solar, wind, geothermal, wave/tidal energy
2. The community members are to increase biomass, capture carbon dioxide
3. The community lives of a one figure and shrinking percentage of the biomass it creates
4. No external economic involvement is allowed, travel/internet is of course free
A managing body that allows fossil credit to be allocated to the creation of extraeconomic communities, as well as to fund the external existence of community members can be created. It can facilitate the exchange of knowledge and human resources between communities.
Of course we do not need an iron curtain mentality, it is more as if one manages a number of companies, who also do not allow their employees to leave at will, work for other companies or sell assets randomly. In that sense some companies are already becoming partly extraeconomic, like Volkswagen using wind power, but a large portion of their cashflow as well as their product remain tied into the fossil credit economy.
An early 1900 cattle ranch in Australie as extraeconomic, if it did not deplete the land and would not have sold the cattle. Most US settlers lived extraeconomic, as most things one needs to survive have for the longest time been supplied by nature. What makes this extraeconomic concept different is that renewables add a wealth enabling factor in places that without it would be uninhabitable, and thus we can inhabit the most remote unbearable places and make them thrive. Of course it makes most sense to start with easy ones.
Of nobody wants to live in the middle of nowhere planting trees, we still have the Roboeconomic approach, so we use robots to do the job, with maintenance robots to keep things running. But we think the different effect of renewables on the geographical viability of communites will catch on, maybe we can even play a role.