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Monday, 27 February 2012

A quick overview of energy accounting

 Recently In received an invention to write a quick overview of our proposal for an alternative to our current socio-economic system from a group opposed to fiat money. I wrote this:

  1. We argue that our current socio-economic system has a fundamental unsustainable nature (liner production, infinite exponential growth with finite resources). Thus, we cannot fix the problem without addressing the core problem (therefore, we argue, that just changing the current system wont work).

  1. We aim to maintain a high standard of living in a sustainable way. To do that we propose a system of expert management of the resources we need in society. We can see a socioeconomic system as a type of resource allocation system; from raw materials to production to goods and then back to raw material (in a sustainable system).

  1. We argue that our resource allocation system forms an example of a physical system, thus requires energy to run. We can determine the amount of energy we need to produce an item. We can also account for materials we use in terms of energy (using the exergy concept). Thus, we have a common accountancy unit to measure production in therms of energy.

  1. We propose an alternative, sustainable, socioeconomic system based on the allocation of resources through the use of energy accounting. We measure production in terms of energy and allocate equal amounts of the production capacity to people who then decide how the production capacity gets used and what items it produces.

The above presents a quick over view but you can get more details here: The Design


  1. Any type of "accounting", be it in Euros, gold, calories or even time, creates the same issues as the current monetary system, namely, a competitive system by inherent design. This is exactly the opposite of what a Resource Based Economy seeks to achieve. The poets contribution is not as valuable as the scientists, and the limitations (austerity) is still enforced, with advantage gaind by those that control the accounting and resources. You have reinvented the monetary system with a new currency, nothing will change.

    1. I would disagree.

      From an engineering perspective; you cannot control what you cannot measure. You will need to know how much resources you have and how much energy to intelligently manage resources. You simply cannot manage something if you cannot know what you have.

      In JF's design you have computers with sensors in the environment to measure what you have and do the accountancy. Same here, except we use exergy as a common accountancy unit.

      Also, measuring what you have doesn't create a competitive system. It give you knowledge to know how to allocate resources efficiently, which everyoen has equal access to. Nature imposes the limitations, hence the need to intelligently manage. The advantage you gain comes from know what you have. Without that knowledge, you have no idea what your system does.

      BTW, unlike money, you cannot sane production capacity from year to year and I'm an engineer and a scientist, not a poet ;)

    2. I too agree with you, how can we control things unless we don't have methods to measure them.
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