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but comments at the new scientist are still depressingly of the "wind is expensive and subsidized" type...
by Xavier in Paris on Mon Aug 2nd, 2010 at 03:56:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... I tweeted a bit.ly to the article and got a Heritage / Cato Institute fan repeating the argument that if its necessary for government to "distort" the market, then wind must be uneconomic. Setting aside externalities, and setting aside the fact that marginalist bid markets in the power supply industry are constructed on the foundation of government investment in infrastructure and government regulation of contractual relationships ...

... the response to how it is uneconomic if having wind in the mix reduces the average cost of power only gets repetition of the claim that its uneconomic.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Aug 2nd, 2010 at 10:00:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BruceMcF:
... the response to how it is uneconomic if having wind in the mix reduces the average cost of power only gets repetition of the claim that its uneconomic.

It is 'uneconomic' if value is denominated using an intrinsically worthless value standard such as $, € or £.

It is 'economic' if value is denominated using an energy standard or other real world value standard.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Aug 2nd, 2010 at 10:28:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... if it reverses the inequality.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Aug 2nd, 2010 at 10:32:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... two different meanings of value ... "importance", which is multidimensional for all truly valuable things and irreducible to a single index, and "amount of money required to buy", where by definition the "market value" is in terms of whatever functions as money for the market in question.

Adopting energy units as a commodity-money would lead under current circumstances to a constantly deflating monetary unit, which would be destabilizing precisely in those periods of real resource constraints when financial side instability would be particularly unwelcome. They would be far more useful as an asset than as a form of money.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Aug 2nd, 2010 at 10:36:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You expect rationality from a card carrying libertarian?
by njh on Mon Aug 2nd, 2010 at 02:10:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unbounded, actually.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Aug 2nd, 2010 at 02:34:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... monotonic as well as unbounded rationality. Plus perfectly informed and economically powerless all around.

I was more focusing on the question of why anyone would set forward an intrinsically valuable monetary unit as a feature rather than as a bug after the history of repeated depressions and hyperinflations under the Gold Standard replaced, in the core industrial nations, by neither depression nor hyperinflation under sovereign fiat currency.

Libertarianism has nothing much to do with that: as a matter of empirical record, monetary systems based on media with independent value are miserable failures at delivering stability and reasonably sustained participation across the income ladder.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Aug 2nd, 2010 at 02:45:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
speaking of features and bugs:

Are you therefore a gold bug?  or an energy bug?  or something else?

by njh on Mon Aug 2nd, 2010 at 09:39:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll take Modern Monetary Theory bug for $100, thanks Alec.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Aug 3rd, 2010 at 02:59:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BruceMcF:
Adopting energy units as a commodity-money would lead under current circumstances to a constantly deflating monetary unit, which would be destabilizing precisely in those periods of real resource constraints when financial side instability would be particularly unwelcome. They would be far more useful as an asset than as a form of money.

There is a difference between an Energy Standard - which is a Unit of measure of Value - and a Unit of currency, which is what I prefer to think of as 'money's worth'.

A Value Standard cannot deflate, any more than a kilogramme or a metre - it is, by definition, an absolute.

A Unit of currency, on the other hand can deflate or inflate by reference to a Value Standard.

Why do you say energy currency units must necessarily deflate?

There is a virtually infinite amount of renewable energy - not to mention energy savings - available to be monetised/unitised in the course of financing the transition from carbon.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Aug 2nd, 2010 at 08:32:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a difference between an Energy Standard - which is a Unit of measure of Value - and a Unit of currency, which is what I prefer to think of as 'money's worth'.

A Value Standard cannot deflate, any more than a kilogramme or a metre - it is, by definition, an absolute.

A "Unit Measure of Value" implies that value is commensurate with a scalar, which is one of the empirical flaws of the utility maximizing theory of behavior ... since "Value" is a reification of the process of valuing.

You are of course free to make up existing words to mean anything you wish them to mean, but you cannot impute your definitions when someone is using a more common sense of the word. I mean standard of value in the more common sense of standard of value.

What matters for Energy units as a standard of value is the terms of trade of the energy harvest with all other produced goods and services, and part of the transition to a sustainable economy will be an increase in those terms of trade.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Aug 2nd, 2010 at 08:47:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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