Linking Currencies, Not Prices, to Natural Processes

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Discussion

James Quilligan:

"The idea behind the valuation of complementary currencies is neg-entropy (or, as Bernard Lietaer says, demurrage; or as Bucky Fuller called it, syntropy, which is the term I prefer, because it expresses the idea of biological growth resisting entropic energy loss). The idea behind linking complementary currencies to climate change is that it is important to capture and regenerate local exchange value by creating a countervailing system of monetary value which attempts to attach a value to energy loss, as it is expressed not only through climate change, but also through the rapid consumption and depletion of fossil fuels which underpin both the financial and monetary aspects of our debt-based, modern economy). Some folks pursuing this general idea (including me) maintain that by directing the signals of nature through local currency value, rather than through the prices of things, human civilization will curb its consumption, on the idea that if your money is worth less, you will spend less, conscious that your thrift is benefiting the health of your local ecosystem, and thereby the entire planet. Over the past 10-15 years, dozens of groups, notably Brian Davey and Feasta in the UK, have developed elaborate structural models linking climate change with currency valuation. I have written extensively about why this model is not as robust as ii seems Very briefly, the carbon cycle involved in carbon dioxide emissions is not the only vital planetary cycle which is endangered today by human behavior; the hydrological and nitrogen cycles are also highly impacted by entropy, which are also heightened by human activity. (Some will argue that the degradation of the carbon cycle, which poses an overwhelming threat to human survival, is the more fundamental, causal variable which leads to the degradation of water and soil loss, but that is only partly true; it can easily be demonstrated that water and soil are also being depleted and endangered by human beings for reasons unrelated to climate change). In any case, each of these three cycles is an essential ingredient of biological life on our planet - carbon, water and nitrogen - which together unite with oxygen to make biological life possible here. My point is that to create a truly resilient monetary system, which comprehensively establishes a circular, regenerative economy, all of these essentials need to be factored, not only carbon. There is much more to say about all this, but this is where the discussion begins. Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions is certainly a part of what is needed, but this alone will not ensure the carrying capacity of water and soil for future generations on Earth." (Fb, July 2017)