Archive for the ‘Absolute Worth Energy’ Category

We Need An AWEsome Economy

February 9, 2022

Xenophon defined Eco-nomy: it’s House-management. Now our house, Earth, is on the fire: we have a CO2 crisis, heating up the atmosphere, and lethally acidifying the oceans; and there are also several other extinction crises, unfolding their termination shocks now [1]. 

Models vastly underestimate the potential imminent damage to planet Earth because what they can’t compute with, they ignore (such as the possible sudden and catastrophic melting of the under sea level areas of Antarctica… which is most of it…). I am charitable, saying this: methinks truly that academics do not want to displease too much the governments which feed them, by searching too enthusiastically for the real truth: this is why the UN’s IPCC deliberately underestimated the CO2 and greenhouse crises [2].   

The immediate conclusion is that we need to decarbonize primary energy production (84% fossil fuels). But we can’t do that only with ancient energy sources such as sun and wind. 

So the only solution is to invest in various new technologies which have not been invented or developed yet. We need to evaluate how much they really cost [3].

More generally we need to change currency… Because our present currencies have no meaning in terms of their true energy cost, or in terms of how much they cost our biosphere, or in terms of their human cost. We need a currency reflecting how much real energy content a product or service contains (the product could be a solid state physics PhD; or a pound of coal which costs little to produce, yet much to burn, thanks to its nefarious consequences).

This currency, called Absolute Worth Energy, would evaluate the energy content of every single product or service, from first principles of physics. Enormous computing power and subtle theories would enable us to evaluate exactly how much various aspects of civilization cost.

So the cost of things would be based on how much they cost the planet. Economics would become a more exact science by adopting, similarly to physics, energy as its fundamental unit, a unit independent of man. Economics would have AWE as its fundamental unit. Economics would acquire meaning.

Patrice Ayme

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[1] Under various shocks entire oceanic zones are becoming devoid of any life. A foretaste of things to come, obviously. A big reason is our inability, and unwillingness of our powerful masters, to compute how much cost is associated with the ways they impose on us. 

***

[2] The fossil fuel industry and its finance and power connections still rule the world: consder the Ukraine crisis. If oil was one dollar a barril, dictator Putin would have no army, and no blackmail.

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[3]. Not just how many Uyghurs killed per battery made in the Chinese dictatorship… but also how much coral could be killed by New Caledonia nickel extraction, and how much it would cost in energy to reconstitute the destroyed ecosystems.

***

P/S: This is slightly elongated version of a comment to Krugman: Paul Krugman, When Do We Need New Economic Theories? Feb. 8, 2022. Paul published it right away… Thanks!

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