Grumps Loves New Economies!
Nyah nyah nyah!
I have to say hi to Mr PeterM, so - hi Peter! What we were discussing at our last conversation is in here, enjoy! (Sorry folks, we just sidetracked to the whole MCB/AGL/Sun Cable thing and I gave him the link to these blogs. Had to be done…)
Hi, this is Grumps, and this is gonna be A rambling little journey that takes in energy And why prices are up. And inflation’s ramping up - and up. And up. And Utopia.
(As you’ll see when we get to the end of this article, it also sort of raises the question of why we think of Utopia of a place and time of plenty when really we should be thinking of Utopia in terms of a place and time of enough.)
Also - this is a bit out there in terms of economic and social ideas.
At that stage Mr Cannon-Brookes was still consolidating shares to give him two seats and the power to break the de-merger, and now he’s done it. I mentioned in the last post about this that AGL had an ulterior motive for splitting into two companies and that it wasn’t so much about the shareholders as being able to separate the company into a clean and a dirty company, and put as much daylight between the two as corporately possible, and screw the customers in the process.
Well it seems to have been pretty close to what’s turned up. (Free registration required, or find something with a name like Paywall Bypass in the Chrome store, I’m not fussy.)
I’m still saying it. The fossil fuel energy sector seem to be in a race to the bottom but it seems they’re going to extract every last cent they can out of ruining the planet’s climate before they go. I realise this may be a foreign concept to people used to seeing the advertising about how the fuel companies are keeping Australia running and empowering us all to live our dreams, but - no. No, no, no!
Do not think that the new Opposition couldn’t possibly have been planning to reduce the population of Australia while they were in office by ‘mismanaging’ the pandemic, ‘mismanaging’ the energy crisis they engineered, and creating a recession in their terms and just not calling it that. They can and they did. If you see a LNP Coalition politician, spit on the ground at their feet. They are the bastards I’ve always been railing at you to keep honest.
The Coup. I Guess.
Thanks to MCB, the demerger has been stopped. And there IS a way ahead, and wouldn’t you know it, it includes scads and scads of renewable sustainable energy. . .
What a horrible bastard Mike is. NOT!!!
Yes, this ties in with his solar power venture in Darwin, but stop for a moment. Where and how do you think any profits are going to be employed? Mike and Scott (Farquhar, the partner that Cannon-Brookes started the now huge Atlassian software company with) are both doing their best to use the money they’ve earned from Atlassian in ways that do the most good for the planet and the people.
In that they’ve joined a large group of philanthropists who’ve realised that their money is no use to them past a certain amount and who are also using their fortunes to good effect. It’s worth noting that while I admire Musk for his sheer brilliance and grit, but I note that between him and Jeff Bezos if they used just 10% of their personal fortunes each, they could end world hunger, poverty, homelessness, and the energy crisis. And they haven’t done so, so that sort of shows them for what they are…
Although, it was a tweet from MCB to Musk that enticed Musk to build the world’s biggest baseload battery in SA in under 100 days. That was a huge publicity stunt for EM, and of course a golden opportunity to polish the technology to the then state of the art. (And - the main purpose of the battery - it did save the SA grid from a lot of brownouts and outages. And just coincidentally, it paid for itself in just a few years, in saving fuel from older fossil fuel peak generators that no longer had to be idled for 2/3 of each day just to tame the duck curve.)
Why I like.
Aside from the total climate change remediation inaction taken by the previous government which resulted in this, the actions by MCB and SKF with Sun Cable (that they’re each partners in, along with several others) and AGL are going to spike the wheels of the price grabs by the fossil fuel companies.
Philosophical Sidetrack: I have no idea why we venerate the pathological hoarding of tokens of damage we’ve been able to inflict on our life support system. Yet here we are with way less than 1% of the population hoarding 50% of the planet’s fiscal wealth and the 1% hoarding in effect 80%. The tales of dragons are real, people, and we need a few St George’s (BTW pedants I know that’s wrong use of an apostrophe but bite me) to come along and demolish those draconis economicus’s (ditto) and scatter that wealth back where it belongs so that we can fix their flame scars. Back to the article.
So I like that this St George is called Mike, and also Scott, and by the names of a couple of dozen more billionaires who are going to philanthropise the Murdochskocratic Bezodragons out of existence.
What we need is for those last holdout dragons to realise that they really truly won’t survive the next ten years any better than anyone else and so they’d better work towards mitigating it everywhere.
The second best option (and the best, in my humble opinion) is to just - devalue their hoards. Turn to a new system of wealth and economics, make money obsolete. And I’m not talking the Great Reset here. But the Great Reset’s headed sort of towards the right direction.
A system where raw materials and natural resources are each location’s wealth, and each time they take some of a resource out of the ground it decreases that Country’s Net Worth by the “economic value” of that material. I.e. the ‘value’ of the damage that material cost to extract, then process and reprocess
Everyone is then assigned a Universal Basic Income based on the CNW, and each time they take stuff out of the ground, their UBI decreases by their percentage of that amount.
Any basic life requirements are met, and manufactured goods bought by each person similarly decrement their CNW by the amount of energy and resources that were used to create those goods. Any materials recycled would generate an increase in a CNW and thus their UBI.
Art would be valued by how many people around the world upvoted it and the amount they upvoted it by, minus the ecological cost, and the artist would receive a percentage while the rest went towards the CNW.
Work would be worth a similar income, the value of which is similarly voted by the world, but which in general would be less for exploitative pursuits and more for recycling, green, and sustainable work.
This stuff doesn’t need a huge AI or blockchain to keep track of it, and in fact the dumber the system the easier it would be to keep it secure. You write it - engrave it - into a block of solid material and refresh the software from that. On the upside that means that if someone managed to hack the infrastructure it would only be for a brief period and if you basically ran it from the block it couldn’t be hacked without a large consensus.
On the downside it would freeze our values and ethics for centuries if not millennia and thus probably halt progress for as long as it takes for the world to reach consensus. This may be a Good Thing or a Bad Thing, but it would definitely give the planet a break to recuperate itself.
IANAE (I Am Not An Economist) but this would seem to work. We don’t need traditional economics for this, we need a NEW kind of economy and this is as close as I’m able to get in the space of a single article.
How to get it adopted is already a stumbling block, how precisely to set the parameters is another, and then how long to keep it for yet another. There has to be a mechanism whereby it can be increased in scope to also encompass our Solar System, our Nebula, and so forth - always balancing what is taken with what it returns, etc.
However. It WOULD change our human psyche in the space of a very short time to a less rapacious one, and that might just be what gets us past the Great Filter. I’m all for that.
The only things I know are that we have to learn to live with billions of us on this planet rather than a few hundreds of millions, and there are only two ways of doing that. One is to let capitalism kill billions of people and then still collapse and throw us back to a chaotic dog eat dog world; Or we can ditch capitalism, learn to share our resources equitably, and move on to a whole new society and level of technology.
I reckon either way our population will reduce, but with the former it’ll be cruel and bloody, with the latter it’ll be a gradual process where we strike a balance with the planet as we learn more about it. (And I know, this is a gross over-simplification and a lot of other factors come into play but it seems to be the best chance we have.)
In addition to writing these articles I'm also experimenting with ways of recycling waste that can be done at the cottage industry or community hub levels, not so much because it'll magically convert 100% of local waste into recycled useful articles, but because people who are doing these sorts of activities are likely to talk about them to people in their community, and so raise even more awareness of the issues and dangers.
So please - if you can at all spare some time, take a look at my News Stand where you'll see live updated links to everything I publish; And take some time and share the links to the News Stand and this article with your friends and readers.
Take a subscription to my weekly newsletter where you'll receive the same information;
All donations are put towards keeping these websites online, and for developing devices, machines, and techniques to easily and safely recycle materials on a tiny scale.