Some time ago, we introduce this discussion by stating, "This is an mature adult conversation about things done that relate to things to be done. If you have a sincere desire to move the Picken's Plan forward, check in here!" Somewhere along the way, the question of integrity became an issue with reference to the the web sites founder and benefactor, T. Boone Pickens.
From this point forward, we want to be clear about certain points;
Transition is still a lively but insightful discussion of the political ramifications and requirements to employ NG as a bridge fuel to future energy independence; AND a equally informative forum for the side issues that naturally arise in the associated ideas that form the components of action. Participants engaged in this discussion lend their keen minds to unifying a common strategic objective by commenting on the various alternatives with respect to the political agenda necessary to generate a National Energy Policy.
Transition is many voices in addition to the founders. They speak of changes in the American community with regards to energy consumption and production. These voices may come from liberal, progressive, right-wing and conservative thinking, but more importantly they are collaborative. We are looking for the people with knowledge who are willing to share their expertise and intuitions with their neighbors to find a consensus necessary to unity.
Please, add your voice to this discussion by considering what you have to offer in the way of your personal expertise, experience and understanding of alternative fuels such as natural gas, solar or wind energy, hydro or thermal power, and chemical or biological process. If politics are not your forte, keep the following in mind:
Coal is great for power gen but not so much for vehicle fuel. Coal gasification to liquids cannot complete economically with CNG or LNG vehicle fuels.
I tend to look further forward. On an energy basis weight/weight, coal/petroleum, coal has ~ 1/2 the energy but has a 6:1 price advantage (currently). I'm not advocating it, but if the market demands is and the government stays out of the way, we'll start to see "coal derived synthetic crude" at $140/bbloe. Assuming a 10% thermodynamic efficiency of converting coal to oil.
You may recall, back when oil did hit $148 I was offering to sell futures (with adjustments for inflation to date adjusted dollars) at $400/bbl *UNLIMITED and in PERPETUITY* -- but no one was scared enough to buy once I explained the energy equivalency tidbit. ;^)
I should have clarified. I don't know how long each of the steps I outlined will last or take. Could be years, could be decades, might be centuries. But barring global catastrophe which could lock hoomanity[sic] into #4 & #5 (bio; wind water) forever... No.'s 6, 7, 8. are the goals for the future!
For energy security we should be pursuing all of them. The economically incentivized ones should be pursued commercially and the others in academia and industry R&D to be ready for implementation when market conditions or technology/cost prove to be economic. I am currently involved in a joint industry program to take syngas to gasoline in one step using the Haldor Hopsoe TiGas process. The syngas can be derived from any carbon based source gasification, reforming or partial oxidation (Coal, Pet coke, switchgrass, pulp mill waste, awfol, biowaste, natural gas, etc.). Current economics only need sustained $75/bbo to achieve economics on biowaste (tipping fees help offset some of the cost).
The financial failures and inability to progress collectively towards any sensible future is the result of our monetary system. Nothing will change until the way things are financed is changed. This could be called igneratio elenchi.
Trickle Down Economics
The Banker is responsible for putting Xs and 0s into the economy so that citizens can conveniently trade their valuable services evenly for even more valuable products. Services are difficult to value and costs of production are not considered in this exchange so the equal trade is inevitable fraudulent. The account keeping is therefore fraudulent.
The Bankers loan these Xs and 0s only to people who can pay them back, which means that they will not risk the wealth loaned to the banks, and people without assets or an established business do not have access to money. These people are scum.
A business that is unable to make enough to repay the bank and pay the Government taxes will be shut down and the owners will have any losses taken from their personal assets.
Only wealthy people create jobs so we only finance businesses with a guaranteed return enough to repay our investment plus interest which the bank spreads around amongst its wealthy shareholders and keeps the economy looking good.
When Governments are unable to pay salaries to their employees they borrow money from the economy whether they will ever be able to repay the debt or not. Each citizen now owes $X and when they repay that amount the lenders will be that much richer.
Huh? The fallacy is that "markets have failed" that's a damn lie, a political lie, and folks believe it. Markets work, markets are natural, markets are spontaneous. But markets can and have been corrupted and twisted by; GOVERNMENTS -- who else? How? by imposing restrictions, and introducing inequities. Why? To benefit special interests. Again, why?
Because people are covetous, it's natural. Governments are supposed to say: "Thou shall not..." and enforce the law. Governments are not supposed to say: "Thou shall not ... unless..." and selectively enforce the law. It's that "unless" that makes markets fail!
Only producers have valuable services to trade.
The value of a service is easy to determine. Is it worth the exchange to the buyer *right now* to obtain the service or is it better to retain the $$$, gold, or other trade goods. That's the negotiated price.
Bankers may not "loan" what they do not hold in deposits. Bankers *should* minimize the risks when lending assets -- those assets are others' property after all.
Businesses, aka "corporations" are established to protect the personal assets of people. Corporations are formed when investors *CHOOSE* to invest **SOME** of their personal assets -- those assets *ARE* at risk of loss.
No, only producers create jobs, but the wealthy do finance the poor that wish to become productive! And yes, they do expect and demand to have their investment repaid.
That's *exactly* why governments should *NOT* be paying salaries to employees!!! It's because government workers are BUREAUCRATS, they are *NOT PRODUCERS*. I'm not saying we should have no bureaucrats, but I'm saying we should not task bureaucrats with *any* expectation of *PRODUCTION*. Government cannot produce, government should not produce, government must not try to produce, and then we could easily have a balanced Federal budget, and balanced State budgets, and balanced Provincial budgets, and City budgets... And we'd have employment. Real gainful employment. We'd have infrastructure, we'd have services, we'd have wealth.
Chris, I don't mind, but this is taking a lot of time, and it's not going anywhere. Two closing thoughts:
The population en masse cannot be perfected, that's what socialism & collectivism require. Trying to impose Utopian collectivism is like building on wet sand or shoveling s*** against the tide; it will always fail, and no Herculean effort can change that.
Politicos can be selected from the imperfect masses and held to higher standards -- that's an achievable goal, and would produce a stable Republic. Allow the standards to weaken and the tower collapses. The price of Liberty is eternal vigilance.
I was just having fun Paul and you do not have all your facts straight.
What we all have is fractional reserve banking. Banks can loan out 10 X what they have on deposit. Watch http://ohcanadamovie.com
These are real Canadian politicians who also don't have a clue how things work. Then Google Moneymasters and watch the You Tube.
Banks have to be able to loan out more than they have on deposit because it is the only way that enough money can be added to the system fast enough to accommodate growth. Growth in the economy is also much greater than the equivalent value of gold being mined which is why gold continues to rise in value relative to the money and can not be used as a standard.
The problem that exists now is that the market is global. Every country can screw around with its own currency but in the big picture it is international trade that sets the value. The US Dollar is no longer the world's reserve currency so there is no longer any reason for other countries to stockpile the stuff and what an American is willing to pay for something is no longer its world value. The USD is no longer a commodity.
Whether we understand banking or not we will soon be subjected to some kind of global banking agreement in which the Federal Reserve will be following rules made by others. This should be an interesting transition.
The Global Market
If you haven't noticed, we are now part of a global market. World trade is the largest part of any economy. Trade is the exchange of goods for money and the value and stability of the money is very important to the people who use it.
The US prints money for use by American citizens and the Chinese print money for use by their citizens. The Chinese have to print much more money because, although each citizen needs less, they have 10X the population.
When the US makes a purchase from China it pays with US Dollars so when the Chinese purchase something from the US it can pay in US Dollars. However, because the Chinese have a surplus of US Dollars they set the exchange rate. If a Chinese citizen is willing to pay 100 Yuan for 1 USD that is the exchange rate.
It is the global market that is devaluing the US Dollar, driving up the price of oil and socializing the economies. As the economies are blended into one, the management of our worldly affairs are blended. Eventually there will be no significant differences between types of Governments. They will all have to conform to the global market. It is the market forces that are making you change the way that you live. This is a transition that neither you nor I can change. The Fed is no longer in control of anything.
Financing the TRANSITION
If Paul could finance his company and David owned a 'fracker' whatever that is, and was allowed to use it 'come hell or high water' we would not be here. Obviously money has some influence over any transition. Where does money come from? Who has money? How do we spend it to get what we want or get the Government to spend our money on what we want?
That all sounds like economic/Government stuff to me and if we don't know how the economy is controlled by the Government and/or the Banks and/or the markets, I don't think that we have a hope in hell of changing anything.
It is the monetary system that runs the economy which is the sum total of your income and your taxes and the salaries of the hierarchy of experts who work the gears and levers that provide us with the benefits of an advanced society. It allows us to build pyramids and great walls and have leaders who can be buried with gold masks in lead coffins.
Efficiency in Government, as economist Judith Maxwell once defined is “How we do things”. I am not making this up and she got paid to figure that out. I hoped that an American could do better.
So why can't we do what we want to do? It is because we don't own/control the printing press that prints the money.
If the Government could print money and spent it on all good things we wouldn't have much to revolt against. Unfortunately a Dictator gets in and steals everything for himself and friends and family, and passes treasury keys for his little empire along to his heirs, just like we do in our Capitalist Democratic Republic and any other form of Government. So long as the people who control the money power can maintain the system they have designed to prevent rebellion, nothing changes and it is business as usual.
Sorry people, we are fast running out of continents to conquer and resources to exploit. Everything has to change which means that everyone has to change. No more destruction of environment and we will need a different way to manage what we have. We need a different Government/money system that can feed people until they can find something to produce which they can sell to others in a free market. It may be some kind of Democratic Socialist Republic with a virtual invisible leader. -I don't know about that – sounds too Christian to me.
Anyway. The global economy is now caring for a number of Japanese citizens, prisoners in prisons and prison camps, and all the military personnel bombing Libya. That is all funded by the global economy and in the abstract, Paul's personal industry could right now be feeding another parasite.