Sat Aug 24th, 2013 at 08:02:56 AM EST
David Graeber has just come up with a great meme on the subject of bullshit jobs.
I've been saying for eight years that emissions trading (invented by Enron) is a (bullshit) market invented by middlemen for middlemen.
One of the analogies I have found useful in critiquing this by reference to system inputs and outputs, has been a joking reference to animal inputs and outputs. To wit, if you wish to keep a bull healthy, you don't regulate what comes out of it, you regulate what goes in.
The Danes have since 1973 taken as a basis for their energy strategy the underlying principle of the least carbon fuel into their energy system for a given output of electricity, heat or power. This variation on a least energy cost policy is of course almost invariably in conflict with what may be the 'least $ cost' solutions available.
The outcome of this energy strategy and policies has been that since 1980 Danish GDP has risen (in DK terms) by 78% while their energy use has been stable, and their carbon fuel use has declined significantly.....and as a bonus little Denmark (6 million souls) now has the biggest wind turbine manufacturer in the world, and the greatest body of heat engineering expertise.
The point I am getting to is that it is actually possible - through using a simple prepay (unit returnable in payment for value received) instrument for carbon fuel - to monetise the intrinsically valuable energy content of carbon rather than the intrinsically worthless (other than as a specialised chemical) $ value of CO2.
On a 'top down' and macro scale I have been saying to the Iranians in particular that they (and every other producer and consumer nation) should concentrate their efforts on prospecting and producing oil and gas savings. I have been in Tehran and Baku recently in respect of the development of domestic and regional financial markets in gas and power using a clearing union architecture and prepay instruments.
If you network micro/meso then the result is resilient macro and the other 'bottom up' focus of my work has therefore been a new generation of community investment in energy savings.
Firstly, direct investment can be made in the cheapest carbon energy of all - nega barrels and nega therms of heat savings, ideally at decentralised local level (as the Danes do) but using a Community Green Deal framework and instrument.
Secondly, through prepayment for bio-gas and electricity it is possible to fund what are literally rural markets in bullshit and energy derived from it.
The key point which shines through is the need for a globally linked but decentralised Natural Grid as an outcome of least energy cost policies, rather than the centralised and wasteful (and pretty toxic) National Grids which result from least $ cost policies.
In a nutshell we need to keep score in energy not $, and £, whatever those symbols are or represent.
I shall, when I have time to do it justice, return to this subject of accounting/keeping score by way of a follow up to the Chiralkine debate/inquisition which I kicked off the other day, and which appears now to be generating more heat than light....although it has IMHO shone a great deal of light in some interesting places.
NB - No mathematics or pie-fights below, please.