Nate + Tom = WOW

7 01 2023

I knew that this was going to be good, but it’s even better than that!




7 responses

7 01 2023
Brandon Young

When asked if renewable energy was reason for any degree of optimism Tom Murphy says:

“If every jackass on the planet had abundant clean energy what would they do with it? Would they do good things, like ecological restoration? Well there is no money in that, so our financial or economic system won’t support such things.”

What if there was money in ecological restoration? Vast global streams of revenue for ecological restoration could very easily be created with a simple global price on carbon emissions.

Ecological restoration has enormous capacity to sink carbon. Every living thing in a complex ecosystem is a carbon based lifeform. Most of the mass of living things is below the surface in the soils, and even when they die, the carbon chains that make up their bodies become part of the soils, enriching them in the process, sequestering more carbon, holding more water, and supporting an increasing abundance of living things within and above the soil.

So, the money for ecological restoration is there, should we choose to solve climate change at the global scale.

Tom Murphy also said that Malthus is ridiculed now, because he could not foresee the power of fossil fuels to temporarily overcome the natural limits to uncontrolled population growth, so “maybe there is something we are not seeing as well.”

The thing we are not seeing is how we can easily change the outcomes that the economy delivers.

We can set the goals for the system to deliver, apply a simple penalty price to the major economic activities that drive outcomes away from those goals, and use the revenues collected to handsomely reward all economic activities that drive outcomes towards those goals. In this way, the system automatically cultivates and grows the positive activities, and shrinks or eliminates the negative activities. If the pricing signals are free to rise and fall according to how well the overall outcome is tracking the goal trajectory, the economy will automatically deliver the desired outcome, even if every player in the system is pursuing only self interest and the profit motive.

Armed with just a single goal, to make net greenhouse gas emissions follow the agreed Paris trajectory to zero and into negative territory, a global race between nations and corporations will begin to restore the most ecosystems, and so sink the most carbon and get the greatest share of massive global revenues.

What we are not seeing is the power of Market Outcome Guidance Mechanisms to achieve any goal we collective agree as necessary or desirable. The same price on carbon emissions that drives up ecological restoration will drive down total energy consumption, drive up the energy efficiency of all goods and services in the system, and dramatically increase the speed at which the excess heat in the Earth-atmosphere system is released into space.

This solution is clearly a win-win-win scenario. So, what objections are there? I am not saying that getting a global agreement will be easy, just that it is absolutely necessary if we are actually to address the issue of the sustainability and stability of industrialised human civilisation.

The presumption that the economics we have currently are necessarily the economics we must have into the future is wrong. Changing the economics, and aligning the profit motive with the goal of the sustainability of human civilisation, is the only thing we can do to change our trajectory, and to write a positive chapter into the simple story of human civilisation.

8 01 2023

Are you really delusional enough at this point in time to believe the free market will save us? Really? Artificial profit motives will fix the environment? That you can be here and watch and read these articles and videos and then say “i reckon capitalism will fix it” is a sad testiment to the power of ideological propadanda.

9 01 2023
Brandon Young

The economy is a system. System outcomes can be engineered, controlled, designed for any desired purpose. There is no wishful thinking involved in setting price signals to make markets bend to our collective will. They really have no choice, and must follow the profit motive.

Free markets will solve nothing on their own. But markets that are designed to serve the collective interests of humanity can achieve any goal we set.

7 01 2023

Wonderful discussion between two of my favourite energy/environment commentators. The other one who is right ‘up there’ in my estimation is Canadian Professor Bill Rees…..
And then there’s Simon Michaux, Richard Heinberg and a few others.

8 01 2023
Pantheist Union

This was perhaps the best video I’ve ever watched and so much packed in half an hour. I’d not heard of Tom Murphy before but I’ll certainly be looking for more of his work.
Thank you for posting this. Definitely a keep and share video!!!!

8 01 2023

Tom Murphy is brilliant. His website is called Do The Math.
It’s very illuminating and thought provoking.

8 01 2023
Brendon Crook

Thanks for the tips Marge. I’ve been writing and talking about what a danger renewables would be in this culture of destruction and also about our need to reconnect to Nature for ages now and it’s so good to hear it all in one half hour interview 😀

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