Posted by: energyblogwalter | June 30, 2006

Paradigm Shift: Conservation of Value

I don’t know if I can articulate this clearly, but I’ll try. My mental notes are basically rolling around after looking at Ithaca Hours and local currencies, that money is debt so why not make money as value instead? Sounds good. What does this look like? Why would I want to?

As far as I understand it, Money is made as debt. It’s loaned into existence by the banks. As it’s paid more loans are made. Money grows without end without any earthly limitation. This reckless abandon of economic growth ends up choking the earth.

Debt is a loss though, a continuous engine, compelling more debt to get over still more debt. Even if you paid it off, the bank makes other larger loans, making more money for society to loan to someone else so the economy can keep growing. Growth growth growth. Build build build.

No matter what we do this binds us all. Debt becomes a neverending spiral downwards, but growing in size all this time. We get more money and the earth loses as we sell it off. When we lose money the earth wins. This is bad in people’s minds. Bad earth baaaaad. We all work for debt. One side of our society in a nutshell.

Over time this debt has blinded us into action to make money, to do anything to get out of debt. We have not given ourselves any value. So we mine, we pollute, we cut, we spoil. It makes money. Destruction has value.

Meanwhile, forgotten in our debt existence, there are limits on the earth itself. Remember? The earth? All resources have limits or quotas of what’s available.

There is a solution: change to money as value.

People have value and resources have value. Nice. I can therefore work within my limit of an available quota of earth resources. Work for my needs and not beyond them. Take what I need, or within quota, but nothing more. And as those resources change, also change my quotas.

With value, you still have a marketplace of exchange. Our greatest tool of civilization, the market, can run on either debt or value, it doesn’t care. It’s the exchange of goods and services. The redistribution of energy and resources. Fostering innovation. Filling in niches of opportunity. Making culture.

Value becomes a spiral upwards. We get more money as the market difference between our quota and our conservation, and the earth wins. We lose money and the earth loses. We’re on the same team again and there is incentive to stay. We appreciate what the earth can do. We see the systems again. A good earth returns.

Living by Value would not be a limiting life on any human scale. Certainly in our big brains, they’re so big now that the value of things are only quantifiable at some anticeptic total global amount, yet it remains as unquantifiable as if owning a billion dollars. This is all well beyond the human scale anymore than seeing the whole sky. Our sad psychology of money has literally left the earth’s atmosphere. The lights are on but we don’t live here anymore. We live in square boxes as aliens to our own spherical earth, happily exhasting the planet to a cinder without end or reason.

Looking at the news and seeing the extent of the destruction that we have inflicted upon this world, it begs the question why do we do it? What kind of society do we live in that rewards this behaviour? Our debt money system with no connection to our earth drives us to impale and extinct resources like it’s nobody’s business. In spite of our best efforts, human nature follows the market. Deal.

We can’t go anywhere else though. There are no lifeboat rocketships. Instead we can live well and become earthers again, to ourselves even, and bring our brains back down to earth too. But only in the kathartic knowledge that we can only expand to the limits of the earth, and to the ebb and flow of earth’s systems. That’s it. There is no second earth. Not to infinity and beyond without end.

So how would value work? A conservation of value has a market price and rewards the conserver. Air conditioner saver is rewarded and may barter the excess energy quota on the open market. Thus a power saver is rewarded. Similarly saving primary resources a recycler is rewarded. Then a CO^2 emission saver is rewarded. By honouring the quota of resources available, an open market exists to continually financially reward the conservation of resources, well after some balance is reached. We are all linked together.

I believe in the earth to provide for us and for us to provide back, only taking what we need. We have long been granted consciousness but have sought infinity. In doing so we may break our earth in that quest. Blinded by modern debt and Who Can Dance? tv.

The tale of cultral indifference ruining a society is not new. There are clues. Easter Island built up statues of stone to their gods until all the wood was gone. The lack of vegetation washed the topsoil away and the people starved. So blinded by the driving force of their lives, they lost everything. Only their statues remain to tell tales of a lesson few can see.

Let’s learn from history. Let’s begin one of value. The rest will take care of itself.

Walter

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Responses

  1. Ok, Short version:::hmm..

    money is debt, so make money as value instead.
    would work with quotas. So for example, The Oil Depleation Protocol at 2.5% decline per year would represent the oil quota. Therefore the market of value would drive oil conservation to make money.

    WS

  2. I realized this would be the great equalizer. Rich people have many things which use a lot of energy. Under an Energy Quota, that would be quite expensive and would surpass their quota limits. Thus they would need to buy energy credits in the quota market.

    Poor people have limited resources. Under their Energy Quota they would not go over their limit. They can then sell off their credits to the wealthy.

    The wealthy then start to abandon a disposable society because they are suddenly paying for all their excesses. They then invest in reducing their energy quota amounts. Invest in reductions.

    The poor then can invest in themselves to live better lives on their energy quota levels. Both poor and rich then approach the medium of wealth available by the earth’s available resources. We live in harmony with the earth, but well and not poorly.

    It’s still a market system based on resource quota like oil and carbon.

    Since oil is dropping at 2.5 to 3% per year, there is market pressure to keep reducing your quota usage, naturally driving the market.

    This would also drive reducing population size worldwide, drive reducing waste pollution and all the positives we seek.

    Any issues?

  3. Ok, how would industrial society invest in their companies? They would buy the energy credits they need from the marketplace. Since the poor would have the most credit, then industry underwrites the poor to not be poor any more.

    Since the market controls the price and available credits then industry doesn’t have to care where the credit comes from. Interestingly the wealthy could not support industrial growth if it surpasses quota.

    Industrial processes are then themselves rewarded for using energy wisely.


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