THE ANATOMY OF DEGROWTH – A SEEDS ANALYSIS
Unless you’ve been stranded on a desert island, cut off from all sources of information, you’ll know that the global economy is deteriorating markedly, whilst risk continues to increase. Even the most perennially optimistic observers now concede that the ultra-loose policies which I call ‘monetary adventurism’, introduced in response to the 2008 global financial crisis (GFC), haven’t worked. Popular unrest is increasing around the world, even in places hitherto generally regarded as stable, with worsening hardship a central cause.
An interesting piece at first Blush Tim. It will be interesting to follow the comments.
My initial response is that the analysis of the economy as an Energy Transformation machine and only an Energy Transformation machine is going too far the other way.
What I mean by that is that the old Marxist notions of Labour and only Labour being the source of wealth in the economy leads to overreaching in that one direction by ignoring the other Inputs.
In this case, Energy and its importance are stated but other inputs including Labour and raw materials other than energy inputs are also key. Your cursory dealing with renewables, for instance, fails to recognise the breeder renewable possibilities and also ignores circular economy notions of re-recycling and designing for both repair and maintenance and end of life reuse and recycling. In this sort of Circular economy accounting the embedded energy in material goods is accounted for and recycled, there is a stock inventory of converted energy in products in use which is not lost at the end of economic life, your analysis does not complete its promise by ignoring these aspects of Circular Economics.
finally my old point that the Seeds basis should be on an energy equivalent basis, the existing currency accounting unit is broken beyond repair and unfit for purpose, as big an ask that is for people to get their heads around, without grasping that nettle Seeds’ is doomed to going into the cul-de-sac of financial mysticism wrapped up in the un-pin downable gobbly goop of the Economics priesthood.
15% of the energy use embodied in trade turns out to be induced by final consumption, and 85% is attributed to intermediate production https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320445428_Global_primary_energy_use_associated_with_production_consumption_and_international_trade
Steve you say EROI is only relevant to extractive industries I think this paper shows that is not correct. I think you are correct that International Trade is relevant, the relevance economically is relevant at the EROI embodied energy level though. Money in International Trade is a Convenient Posit ( Quine)(*1) What is important regarding that is that the receipt of currency can be exchanged for something tangible, the money receive is not an end in itself. Looked at in EROEI and embodied energy terms it actually makes your point crystal clear. That said its pretty clear to those who are objectively considering the point.
Redefining Fiscal Conservatism. The Terra/Energy Based Fiscal Unit. Föres and Lagom White Paper, Boundary Conditions for a Fiscal Conservatism based upon Circular Economics. (Part One) Scope.
See other discussions of Seeds and Circular concepts on this blog.