Wouter van Deren (AS Roma): “Fish money is not nonsense”

In NRC on July 23, Rosanne Hertzberger wrote about the hopefully sustainable future coming, with electric traffic and nuclear fusion. This statement deserves correction.

In the newly released Club of Rome report Boundaries and beyondCelebrating 50 years growth limits, published in 1972, analyzes the roots of the significant social, technical, and economic misunderstanding that has arisen around this famous report ever since. Starting with the famous denial of Nobel Prize winner Robert Solow in 1974: “The world economy can do without natural resources,” The Wall Street Journal Translated to “Not economically saving the planet”. Thousands of excuses have been devised to overcome growth barriers, and the hope of saving energy has always been the key factor. Nuclear power would become “too cheap to measure”.

About 200 billion has been spent on the development of nuclear fusion since 1950. The Dutch partner was FOM (Fundamental Research on Matter), led by passionate Professor Kistenmaker.

The message has always been about the breakthrough, the great moment when a controllable fusion reactor can be built. This promise was not fulfilled. No investor will interfere and no democracy will last. The mirage remains.

And then the electric car, which, according to the logic of science fiction, will become his dream sustainable solution to the green economy highway. The gasoline car is about the social addiction of a type of Coke, and the electric vehicle (EV) or electric alternative is heroin. French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo He dedicated an entire issue to her on July 1, under the title green scam.

Approximately 45 materials are processed in EV and in renewable energy. Steel, aluminum, rubber, polymers and textiles are clear. For onboard batteries and computers, this includes lithium, silicon, gold, lead, nickel, copper, cobalt, selenium, and materials that are or soon-to-be scarce. Electric vehicles are monsters that consume energy up to 2500 kg. They last a long time due to minimal friction losses, but they run largely on coal energy, and deplete the earth. Mass production does not make it cheaper but more expensive. When recycling during demolition, 50% of this material can be recovered with great difficulty, but due to the growth of the vehicle fleet and the depletion of raw materials, the quantities decrease logarithmically. Disposing of Tesla is not a wreck but a precious gold mine, you can extract everything with a lot of energy, with the net effect of higher secondary raw material price. It’s hard to realize that the materials (raw materials) will ever run out. There are no raw materials in neoliberal economic theory. There is the historical logic of Milton Friedman that applies: the market and innovation solves everything, it’s just about supply and demand.

In this logic, we are printing more and more money to extract the last ore deposits (up to ±3.5 km deep), without facing the problem of soil heat at this depth or technical barriers, or final costs. So copper may become expensive, but the economy will pay anyway, even if it makes the electricity grid so expensive that the customer eventually has to pay €100 per kilowatt-hour.

If a resource is exhausted and money is continually printed to pay the last reserves, then such a pyramid scheme as the Reichs Mark in 1945 ends: RM1 million for a loaf of bread. If there are no more fish, the extra fishing money will have no value anymore. Finally, there is a paper sticker on your plate with a picture of a new Dutch type. And if gold becomes a hundred times more expensive, and therefore unobtainable, you buy a gold ring for fortune consisting of inflationary paper, no longer real gold, because it no longer exists in everyday reality.

Fishing money is not nonsense. All money has to do with a commodity. Gold and silver are even money in and of itself. Oil, gas, pills, and drugs are traded in black or white-gray (or fake) monetary units. The bank’s money supply was supported by the gold in the basement; Obviously serving space in the catacombs of the new building of the Nederlandsche Bank of the Raw Materials Bank. The basis of all value creation is raw materials and energy to extract and process them.

Raw materials and materials are the source of all wealth, energy is the processor, and money is the resource, so sustainable monetary policy must be driven by the basis of resource security.

Sweden will become president of the European Union in 2023 and wants to use this topic to give the Green Deal more impetus, or call it realistic.

All economics begins with materials, and they come not from the universe but from the immediate environment. No material is green and sustainable, everything has a footprint.

The WWF once invested its assets in what were then thought to be sustainable networks, such as telephone communications and digital highways. because their production and consumption would be largely insignificant; Listening, singing, watching, speaking and communicating. Later he was called wide boom or green growth.

We know better now. Data centers suck raw materials and energy like a hurricane in the desert. Founder Cradle to Cradle, Michael Braungartspeaking in this regard from bad or less badTakeda (= Nobel) laureate Schmidt Blake OrganicFounder Wendy Energy and the Supplier WendeTalking about green lie. Nobel laureate Robert Solow addressed the American Economic Association in 1974 with the famous statement: “The world can do well without natural resources.”

If you dig deeper, you will discover the roots of this self-deception in OA . science fiction Isaac Asimov (Institution) The physicist Gerald O’Neill From the fifties and sixties with their huge stories Galactic colonies; also Freeman Dyson, Guler and Weinberg I dreamed of a humanity leaving the planet. (“Infinite Sustainability Principles”)

The list of raw materials for the universe is called the periodic table. We’ve added some that will never run out: Ignorium, Stupidium, and Fantasium.

Wouter van Deren, Club of Rome

Just published: Limits and Beyond, edited by Ugo Bardi (Florence), Dennis Meadows (Dartmouth) and Jürgen Randers (Oslo), marking 50 years of the Frontiers of Roma growth. (205 pages), Exapt Press, 2022.

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