Earth Energy Economics – A Basic Outline

This is a rough framework of my Economic ideas as mentioned in the last post.

I do have music things ongoing too, but anyone who knows me, will be aware I’m a political animal (to a point, career politics has defeated much that was good about politics, and emphasised much that was bad).

 

TL;DR (AKA illiterate lazy moron/time pressed persons version)/ Or Abstract, if your’re of an academic bent.

Convert all money to Earth Energy Credits, backed by Resource Availability and their worth through scarcity. (EC/∑Cs as a unit). Reign in the worst aspects of Neoliberalism, i.e environmental destruction, paupering people, etc. Manage the planet sustainably and scientifically to help the largest possible number of people, live as long and as reasonably, and as sustainably as possible. Thus Ensuring the survival, maintenance, and future existence of Humans on Earth with a Space Worthy Civilsation.

If I were to call this a political movement it would be Earth-Onomics/The Sustainable Civilisation Party, it would not be ‘tree hugging hippy cr*p’ to quote Eric Cartman, as it would have to work in the real world with science, and not in the land of the hair shirts and drum circles.

I seriously regret not becoming a Mining Engineer, at this point, I could have actually been working on this, legitimately, and have a job from it, more fool me, for turning down the best known college for this on Earth, Camborne School of Mines (I had an unconditional place, I am an idiot, I could go back for Post-Grad stuff, if they’d have me). I’d have a great job, and still have time for music, as it is I have weird jobs, and do occasionally make some music). Future, tough thing to predict and all.

 

The Earth Credit – Energy Economy System – or We’re Literally Costing the Earth, let’s make it obvious.

Simon Mark Bellord-Bull ©2014

 

Pre-Amble –

In the famous words of the fictional Zaphod Beeblebrox, “I’m just this guy, you know?”, that’s it I’m just this guy, I’m not a genius and I’m not a fool, I have a background in Science and my passion is Music, I dabble in politics and consider myself broadly left-wing. I’m neither utterly for or against ‘the system’ I don’t call for Revolution, violent or otherwise, I know the historical record too well to advocate it.

I favour democracy, the more direct the better, even to Anarchist levels of it (i.e Minarchy), take the power back, literally, I don’t subscribe to any particular ideologies, beyond, Humanism, Secularism, Liberalism, Democracy, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law.

I’m also pro-nuclear power, and anti-nuclear war, (how about a nice game of chess?) for I hope, obvious reasons.

I also consider it most ideologies unnecessary, what humans need to do is to utilise their ability to adapt, to evolve, we’re arguably the most behaviourally adaptable species on this planet, and we owe it everything, our existence infact.

Children who loose their parents, or kill them do not survive, and we are children of the universe and more locally of Earth, we won’t survive this century if we wreck our own habitat, we have a duty to maintain our home, and I believe the abilities, the ITER project [1], the Moon Landings all demonstrate the immense capabilities of humankind, however our wars, greed and indifference to those we consider ‘other’ do us great dis-service but cannot be disregarded as parts of our nature.

I take the following things to be complete writ facts; physics works, science and technology are our greatest tools, our social ability one of our greatest assets to survival.

We (by which I mean the human species/race/civilisation) face a crisis, of our own making, that of climate change, if we do not take steps to mitigate or adapt to this we face a slow and lingering extinction, and worst of all without personal jetpacks.

Whilst I consider this idea basically mine (as in my formulation of an existing and frankly obvious set of ideas), I claim the nomenclature and general structure I am creating it as a basis for those with more specialist knowledge in mathematics, statistics, biology, chemistry, physics & engineering to adapt and improve upon.

This idea is rooted in Keynsian/Smithian Economics and most other Economics 101 principles, this is to make it easy enough to do in your head or on the back of an envelope to test. (I am aware Economics is at best a post-hoc complex modelling system).

I have taken on the critiques of capitalism of Marx & Engels, as well as Emma Goldman and the thoughts of Weber, we cannot have a system that caters only to humans material needs that leaves us socially, culturally or (and I use the term in a broad way) spiritually malnourished.

I will now proceed to outline ‘my’ ideas….

 

Earth Energy Economics

Being a person of a reasonably high level of education (Biology Graduate B.Sc), and a lover of words I consider the naming and the reasoning behind naming to be important. It is partly based on my study many years ago of Earth Systems Science, which shows the synergy of Earth’s functions and how humans impact them. [1].

 

I will briefly explain

  1. What I call my idea

  2. Why I chose to call it this and what significance the initialism has

  3. General Princples

  4. It’s broad scope

 

The basic principles of Earth Energy Economics

1.) The naming of the idea; Earth Energy Economics E.E.E or ∑.∑.∑ = ∆E/t –

2.) This should be obvious, we live on Earth, we need Energy to run our civilisation and Economics (whilst not a hard science by any means) is a pre-existing adaptable structure that enables the exchange of abstract units of currency between individuals, nations, super- states, companies, and so forth, it is thus, work done for all its myriad foibles.

3.) The basic idea and general principle, is to move away from a fiat form of currency, (the US Dollar $ currently backs the world economic system) to a backed currency, using Energy Costs and/or Resource costs (these are often directly equatable) to back the ‘Earth Energy Credit or Earth Credit’ ∑∑C/∑C or EEC or EC. I.e somethings cost in ECs/∑Cs is a direct measure of its cost to the Earth in terms of Resources, Energy and Human Time expressed in an abstract Unit, backed by the actual existence of The Resource, The Energy to work with it and the Human time to do this.

3.a) I propose this as a complete replacement of all current currencies, this solves for one trade balance deficits, and dangerous fluctuations in currency markets, as well as an end to foreign exchange nonsense, this would not need to be immediate as I am aware currencies are part of people’s cultuarl heritage, so in transition any currency could be exchanged for ∑C/EC.

3.b) The reason I have used sigma ∑ or ‘sum’ as it is known, is that the Earth Credit would directly represent the Energy Cost of a given Product or Service, this also means not having to throw the baby out with the bathwater but ‘merely’ adapt our current system to this new mode of operation.

Seeing as prediction is very hard, especially about the future, as Niels Bohr noted, I would say the following this transition would take at least a decade, but most likely meet far more political obstacles that practical or theoretical ones.

  1. The idea of personal wealth would not be thrown out, it is an important motivating factor for humans and can’t be removed (command economies bear this out in the blood of millions, mad men with moustaches not withstanding).

    1. The idea of ‘profit’ and expendability of the environment and of exploitation would have to be discarded however, we live on a finite resource (the Earth) and can support as some estimates suggest only 9-11 Billion people, with industrial technologies to support them.

    2. The mechanism I propose to replace the profit motive is simply efficiency, e.g All people will have an allowance of EC that will meet their basic needs, shelter, water, food, education, family & friends and other social needs, this will be regarded and already is considered a basic human right (along with others not relevant here) however if a person was to make a new system or process, or refine an existing one, that made the amount of energy consumed in that process less, that person would get back that Net Energy difference as an increase in their ‘basic rate of pay’, a pay rise/allowance increase. I base the ideas here on guaranteed incomes, on that of Martin Luther King and the ideas currently being testing in Sweden/Switzerland giving citizens a basic income, as a right.

    3. In the very likely event someone creates a novel cultural work (a book, play, piece of music, visual piece &c) this would also earn them a similar increase, as they have added to society and the human experience.

     

    e) The basic breakdowns of cost would fall into the following categories:

    Resource (scarcity would impact its cost, I.e the rarer the material the more EC it costs)

    Energy to use/make/move Resources into a new product etc >E(J) > EC cost

    Human Cost In Time (defined as a hourly rate as now, more demanding jobs making this more expensive and those making them compensated accordingly).

     

    Thus cost of item X in EC = (Amount (Kg/g/Ton)+Rarity of material(Proportion Remaining of estimate global total)+Total Energy Cost (J)+Human Cost EC/hr = EC

     

    Or more simply and formally: Value of X in EC/∑C = Am+(R/T)+E+H (EC)

     

    I will go on to work through a simple example (I am guesstimating figures for the same of demonstration) however I will do this example in full, as a test case, to theoretically test this model.

     

    As I’m English I will pick ‘A Cup or Mug of Tea (Or Coffee if you’re sur la continent’);

     

    Anyone who spots a basic mathematics error here, or a missing variable, co-efficient, something ill derived etc, please point it out, I did this in a rush, in my spare time, pretty much for fun, so if people are able to apply more rigour to it, that would be fantastic.

    I will post my ‘Cup of EX-Ample’ Example, later once I have the numbers behaving and the maths as rigorous as my spare time allows it to become, it’s a lot of work finding all the figures needed to get this simple portion working.

    Yes, this is idea is copyrighted, it’s mine, at least in princple, it is not Creative Commons, as that’s simply copyright 2.0, for a world where copyright isn’t knackered, there’s just silly tech companies, and loonies on both sides saying either

     

    a) everything needs to be free, literally, metaphorically, code wise, content-wise or

    b) Patent maths,

    I favour position

    c) a the ‘third position’; both sides have points, but you can’t starve artists, nor can you stop people sharing things they like, or adapting ideas, copyright works ok here, many patents are absurd and dangerous, google et al profiting on ad-money, (this is their revenue) from illegal actions is crap, so too however is the NSA, so too would be having no national security at all. e.g I think Snowden did something important, he shouldn’t be killed for it, or overly praised, he brought to light what anyone with some semblance of how technology works guessed/assumed/could see as possible anyway.

    Anyone who wishes to build on this, work with me on it, get in touch and credit your sources, as I have done. Simple As. There is also a host of professional peer-reviewed academic work in this, it is not a new idea, and thankfully, it is being seriously considered by many people with far greater expertise than myself.

    I’m posting this to show awareness, of the level of complexity involved, and well as a guide to thinking round this topic, I will leave things to the professionals but any serious expert input of a paper someone finds that I’m not aware of, or can’t access as I’m not a student would be much appreciated.

     

    References/Further Reading

    [1] https://www.iter.org/ Accessed 5/4/2014.

    [2] Marshak, Stephen. (2005). Portrait of a Planet. 3rd Ed. W.W. Norton.

    [3] http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/04/us-swiss-pay-idUSBRE9930O620131004 Accessed 5/4/2014.

    [4]- http://smurfz.hubpages.com/question/98255/how-much-energy-does-it-take-to-make-a- cup-of-tea-or-coffee Accessed 5/4/2014.

    [5] http://www.journals.elsevier.com/resource-and-energy-economics/ Accessed 5/4/2014.

    [6] Physical Science Study Committee. (1965). Physics. 2nd Ed.

    [7] David Nelson. (2008). Dictionary of Mathematics. 4th Ed. Penguin.

    [8] http://www.plosone.org/ (Search Terms; Energy, Resources, Economics, or any combination thereof) Accessed 5/4/2014.

     

    Footnotes

    [1] Note to Marxists, North Americans and Young People, yes value will be added by labour, this does mean the potential for exploitation of workers, as utterly abolishing private ownership has gone very wrong in the past, and doesn’t work even as a concept, citizens of earth should have unions in the German/World Union sense and would hopefully be given guaranteed incomes anyway, thus reducing or removing the need for welfare states, there would of course be NHS style health care, Socialised medicine and Utilities in the European sense e.g State Owned, not Socialism in the Stalinist or Nazi sense fascism means war as everyone has learnt to the detriment of (hu)mankind.

     

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