Why And How We Have to Break Out of the Circular Economy

Further to the Stories of the Kardashev Hinge, and the Money-Fuel Tree, this story is to clarify some of the questions around the far reaching changes those things mean for our economy, and in turn, the connection between that, and how we think about things in general.

Logically, the way we think is profoundly influenced by how we perceive our environment.

The ideas of capital, debt, gain, and interest have been with us a long time, thousands of years, and are founded on an implicit assertion that all things are limited.

Hence the reason we have terms like “Market Cap”, “Circulation”, and the ideas of “Austrian Economics”; the idea of money expressing capital.

Like a baby being weaned off the milk of its mother, we are being weaned off the energy of the Earth, by nature, and that basically removes the limits.

The energy, and thus the wealth of our environment, is unlimited

But to have it, we are going to have to get used to doing things differently, very differently.

We should notice in nature that all of life passes energy around in various forms of tokens.

Natural trees take the energy of the sun, converting it on the surfaces of their leaves, delivering that to all of nature in the form firstly as nutrients which are passed down from the leaves to the roots of the tree, and then into the ground. From there, it makes its way to all living things which do not themselves absorb their own energy from sunlight.

Vegetarian animals then get their energy by eating vegetation containing some of those nutrients, whilst carnivores (including most of us), consume those animals as well as other carnivores.

The nutrients from the tree are the tokens carrying the energy from the tree to all living things.

Those are what our economy must mimic, in order for us to work like nature, on unlimited energy.

We see an end-to-end path, of the flow of energy from the sun to Earth, and all life on it.

In contrast, our econonomy has no input, it is circular, consuming everything containing energy, from Earth, faster than the sun can put it there.

Because that is the only way we have ever functioned, we seem to find it difficult to imagine any other way of working.

Our economy has to go from circular, to a linear flow, in the same way as the energy flows from the sun to all things.

Our tokens of currency must come to represent energy flowing, rather than energy stored in capital.

Then we need to get used to receiving it donated for free from the sun, and giving away the bulk of what we receive, that we don’t need ourselves.

The description of a basic Money-Fuel tree, in terms of equipments which are already available commercially, which can do the task of infinite token and fuel generation, from unlimited sunlight, forever, is given in the Money-Fuel Tree story.

Since the money is from an infinite source, it quickly becomes apparent to recipients that they have no need to save any of it.

We saw this happening once already, at the beginning of covid, strange things happened in markets, including oil going negatively priced, and stocks in known but bankrupt companies soaring.

“Traders”, many of whom had never traded before, were not trading, they were donating, with donated money, towards the things they wanted to see sustained.

By that they were defining value. They were voting, for the things they saw as valuable.

In the longer term, it will make sense for all people to have personal currencies which represent their share of the energy of sunlight, received and put to use by humanity, with which all can create, by voting / trading or otherwise.

For now we have to be aware that the inflation we are seeing, is actually the movement of money towards representing the Joules moving in solar energy received.

That energy is absolutely being added to the world economy, by the mechanisms outlined in the Bitcoin Kardasehv Hinge story. The proportion of added energy is increasing all of the time.

Therefore increasing amounts of solar energy are being put to use by humanity, and therefore the base of Joules of energy that money represents, is no longer static. It is being expanded, by solar energy received.

So now we are seeing the value of money begin to slide, away from representing any fixed amount of capital.

Due to the depletion of usable energy, we are no longer able to sustain profit driven expansion. Hence we see swathes of unemployment, with also an increasing amount of “Jobs” becoming automated.

The only way of funding that ever increasing bracket of still very valuable humanity, is donation.

All people, no matter how rich in capital they might currently be, will come to be fully dependent on donation.

This is how capitalism is ending.

We can see there is much resistance to this concept, but it is self-verifying physical reality which requires only simple logic to work out. The motivation for not seeing it, seems to be a subconscious desire to maintain the old system. Those currently enjoying privelige and power from capital maybe feel like they worked hard for, and deserve to have that privelige, and are heavily emotionally invested, with still much power in capital, they will try to do everything possible to prevent this change from happening. But like a baby about to be born, it is not negotiable or arguable. This is how we will, and are being weaned off of the finite energy sources of Earth, by nature, unless we somehow expire as a species.

So to deal with the inflation, money must be issued.

To maximise the value of the currency, it must be issued at a rate which approaches the value of the energy of sunlight coming in.

Any more, or any less, will result in the value, and thus the market price of the currency dropping, as we are seeing.

We will see that confirmed by some initial experiements of money issued.

$4Tn per month, as was issued previously, when we saw oil prices going negative, would be a good start.

For sure the amount of solar energy being received now, a year later, is more than it was then.

So to satisfy the Austrian Economic ideal, of product (Energy) being balanced by money, at least $4Tn per month needs to be issued in the US alone, but the optimal rate of issuance, which will need to be increased, as the amount of solar energy being received is increased will probably need to be found by trial and error.

There is much more that can be done on this study, my stories present only a backbone of the systems analysis.

Any and all are most welcome to contribute, to flesh things out, or if preferred to critique, all of it helps to makes the analysis stronger.

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Frederick Bott

Frederick Bott

Solarpunk

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