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Watt-backed money

Back the dollar with kilowatt-hours
  (+15, -10)
(+15, -10)
  [vote for,
against]

The dollar can be a solid currency once again if we back it with America's industrial power. Promise that each dollar will be backed by a certain amount of energy do be provided, specifying location and form.

Create an energy exchange and allow people to create money in an electronic form by proving they can provide a certain amount of energy on demand. Create a dividend-driven oversite commitee to create rules for how such capicity must be proven; to meter out energy on demand; to void money turned in for energy; to ensure all exchanged energy is sustainable, to force accountability in the energy industry; and to police the whole energy market. The organization would be transparent and non-profit.

A killowatt-hour standard would bring several advantages:

Significantly strengthen America's economy.

End the world-wide energy crisis.

Stabilize the world, as oil-producing countries will lose their monopolies on energy.

Bring a cultural change as people start to see capacity as value, as opposed to product.

Voice, Jan 02 2006

I promise to pay the bearer... http://www.bankofen...s/about/history.htm
interesting but I thought that's how the present concept works more or less. [po, Jan 02 2006]

Rhodia http://www.planetar...sid/34282/story.htm
French chemical company, one of the first firms to win tradeable credits (!) for cutting greenhouse emissions. [reensure, Jan 03 2006]

James Watt http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Watt
[normzone, Jan 03 2006]

James G. Watt http://en.wikipedia.../wiki/James_G._Watt
[normzone, Jun 08 2006]

[link]






       What a great idea to back up money with something that is actually valuable.   

       Here are some drawbacks:   

       Fossil fuel is running out fast we have maybe thrity years left. We would be setting ourselves up for a big crisis when there would be a monetary crisis linked to the energy crisis.   

       //Significantly strengthen America's economy\\ I think not. America is very slow to develope alternative energy.   

       When the entire world is going to concentrate their efforts on making more energy and storing it it would be good for the global warming=bad for us.   

       //Stabilize the world, as oil-producing countries will lose their monopolies on energy\\ This has nothing to do with it. OPEC has been doing real good over the years. Global stability has been threatened only by China wanting to add Tibet to their land and getting away with it; Isreal refusing to aknowledge the humanity of Palestinians; America shamelessly attacking at will due to mental illness in their political leaders.   

       (I'm sure you don't agree with my political vieuws but that does not mean my other arguments are false.)   

       Still I give you a big bun for the idea of backing money with something that has intrinsical value instead of gold which has none.
zeno, Jan 02 2006
  

       I lit my fight on fire, therefore creating heat and warming my house. You owe me 30 cents. Uh corn and sugar will be used to create ethanol.   

       " The organisation would be transparent and non-profit."
Antegrity, Jan 02 2006
  

       { Fossil fuel is running out fast we have maybe thirty years left. We would be setting ourselves up for a big crisis when there would be a monetary crisis linked to the energy crisis. }   

       This idea would avert the monetary crisis by backing the dollar and prevent the energy crisis by giving a very good reason to create energy.   

       { When the entire world is going to concentrate their efforts on making more energy and storing it it would be good for the global warming=bad for us.   

       }   

       Okay then, new rule: the organization would (as fits world opinion) only accept renewable/ non-polluting/ efficient energy as exchangable   

       { //Significantly strengthen America's economy\\ I think not. America is very slow to develope alternative energy.   

       }   

       I meant it would strengthen America's economy by backing the dollar. This effect would take place regardless of the country in which the energy would be generated.   

       Furthermore, you can't say carrying out the idea would effectively sell America to other countries. The Saudies, Japan, and China each own about a trilion dollars of America now.   

       { //Stabilize the world, as oil-producing countries will lose their monopolies on energy\\ This has nothing to do with it. OPEC has been doing real good over the years. Global stability has been threatened only by China wanting to add Tibet to their land and getting away with it; Isreal refusing to aknowledge the humanity of Palestinians; America shamelessly attacking at will due to mental illness in their political leaders. }   

       China: true, and add Taiwan and culturally inherent differences of opinion about human rights, democracy, and freedom of information.   

       America: I could argue that oil gave Bush the votes he needed, but thats invalid because any number of other reasons can give America a leader of similar ability and sanity so your point remains valid.   

       Isreal: Also valid.   

       { Still I give you a big bun for the idea of backing money with something that has intrinsical value instead of gold which has none.   

       }   

       waah! my only bun came from someone who disagrees! I shall eat a pity bun.
Voice, Jan 02 2006
  

       No pity bun, hate pity bun. Ask me to make list of drawbacks about the way money is backed now! Go on Ask me! Aks me about the drawbacks of money sec! go on Aks me! Aks me about the drawbacks of us ever leaving the trees in the first place, Go ON AKKKS ME. I knew you wouldn't. AND WHATABOUT THE OCEANS? EVERYTHING WAS JUST HUNKYDORY IN THE OCEANS!   

       <is dragged off by familiar looking man in white coat>   

       Please stop exciting my boy with political talk? The docter says it is time for another rest so please don't do it again? Thank you. Zeno's mother.
zeno, Jan 02 2006
  

       The concept is baked in AC Clarke's "Imperial Earth".
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jan 02 2006
  

       Backing currency with anything in this post-whatever world is doomed to failure. Right now, most currencies are backed against a country's general ability to produce things now, and into the future, it's all a bit intangible, but it is entwined in a countries ability to produce power, so in some ways, this idea is already baked.   

       Having America sign up to the Kyoto treaty would have a more beneficial effect, and would bring reality more into line with the laudable goals of this idea.
zen_tom, Jan 02 2006
  

       big +   

       Then money really would grow on trees!
rainbow, Jan 02 2006
  

       Interesting in so many ways. However, would the earth get warmer faster as 3rd world nations develop?
RayfordSteele, Jan 02 2006
  

       Having America sign on to Kyoto would saddle the world's biggest economy with a crushing financial burden, with no guarantee of real change in the environmental state of the world. It is far from certain that Kyoto protocols would achieve anything close to the goals of their proponents. The science is NOT conclusive yet.
gardnertoo, Jan 02 2006
  

       I thought this was "wart-backed" currency. I prefer to go on thinking it is. Bun!   

       mmm bumpy.
bungston, Jan 03 2006
  

       //The science is NOT conclusive yet.//   

       Nor are your economic predictions.   

       Kyoto would not be a //crushing financial burden// it would, in fact be an economic stimulant, creating wealth and jobs, not to mention improvements in technology. To suggest otherwise, in my optinion, smacks of naivete.   

       Kyoto is not about climate change, it is about creating an environment where technological advancement is encouraged and rewarded. Slowing climate change is just a happy side effect, should it occur.   

       Incidentally, the continuing unrest in the Middle East, and the related hikes in oil prices are achieving much the same result.
zen_tom, Jan 03 2006
  

       //Stabilize the world, as oil-producing countries will lose their monopolies on energy.// What???
zigness, Jan 03 2006
  

       It will be exceedingly difficult for the US to sign up to Kyoto, given our current supply of cheap coal.   

       The signers of the treaty are having a very tough time meeting their obligations.   

       However, any resulting reduction would be a good thing.   

       I sincerely doubt that low-wage Asian and Indian labor markets are meeting Kyoto on the local level. In fact, I would suspect that if their economies were projected to the size of the US economic density, their environments would suffer much more from the lax local environmental policies in place there.
RayfordSteele, Jan 03 2006
  

       <if their economies were projected to the size of the US economic density, their environments would suffer much more from the lax local environmental policies in place there>   

       The thing is that at the moment their economies aren't on the same scale.   

       Kyoto, would encourage the American economy to change. Change due to the investment involved is something that slows economic growth in the short term. However as oil is without doubt a limited resource there has to be a point of change from an oil based eceonomy; it can either be slow or economy wreckingly fast. If the change is dealt with in advance by a forward looking administration it would lead to a strong independent economy and not one that is dependent on unstable states where a significant proportion of the population doesn't like the US and where the state has been funding Islamic fundamentalist terrorism with dollars given to them by the US for oil.   

       [Voice] I don't think you'd be able to seperate the renewable/carbon neutral energy from fossil fuel energy to back the dollar. Otherwise it's a great idea it naturally encourages efficiency at all levels.
scubadooper, Jan 04 2006
  

       Currency systems are inherently arbitrary. The act of placing any fixed or promised product or service as a unit of trade will sustain some sort of controversy (be it environmental, humanitarian or logical) and ultimately have to be agreed upon as a valid unit by all trading bodies. The confines of a monetary system not withstanding, we need to look at both the goal of energy trade stabilization and the ambition of gains in domestic economic strength by leveraging a more controllable asset. Indeed the energy trade stabilization notion is noble, and pinning a direct tag to its production would add the kind of accountability needed. The secondary issue of covering our own economic tushies by using our industrial assets could greatly backfire; remember America is a consumer above all else. If we rely on having to produce at equity to what we consume, it is unlikely to set us for success. I am a bit more pragmatic, I suggest we back our money with arrogance and sarcasm. This will at least put me in a much safer financial position and certainly the US Domestic Product would be able to finally produce a significant export surplus.
Seven, Jan 04 2006
  

       The US currency doesn't need to be backed by any commodity as it is a very powerful commodity itself. That's why Nixon was able to remove the tie between it and gold. It doesn't need to be backed by energy because it is used to buy energy, more than any other currency in the world.   

       That being said, the commodity market keeps every energy resource tied to the US dollar in a free market trading system and does so with only nominal commissions. In a sense, it's already there. But then again, there's a tie to every commodity in this way.
nitrojunkie, Jan 04 2006
  

       Can we PLEASE stop talking about the kyoto protocol as though that were my idea! I've said it twice, but people are still talking about enviromental destructivity of excess, cheap power creation: the regulating entity would only accept environmentally sustainable energy. Scuba, why is this impossible?   

       As oil peaks and oil prices can only go up, now is the time to fix the dollar's value to energy.   

       As NJ said, and market has the effect of giving everything a value against everything else. For example, if bread is worth $2 and my car $20, then both of them being in the market sets a value of both against the dollar, and therefor sets the value of bread to 1/10th of my car.   

       The difference is, I propose that 1 dollar be fixed at today's price against whatever it will currently buy in watts of power deliverable in, say you nearest Official Power Station as, say, AC current at 120 volts.   

       zig, let me put that another way: It would take control of the world's economies from those worrying about national interest of whatever kind, and give it to a hopeully benevolant commitee of power brokers who's interests would hopefully best be served by keeping everyone rich, producing power, and not at war.
Voice, Jan 05 2006
  

       Well [Voice] for a start the renewable energy industry is curently far too small to be able to back the dollar, you wouldn't be talking about kilowatt hours more microwatt seconds.
scubadooper, Jan 05 2006
  

       When the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, how will debts be settled?
reensure, Jan 05 2006
  

       Thats it, I'm boning me.
Voice, Jan 05 2006
  

       I sense another depression once fusion power becomes viable.
Aq_Bi, Jan 05 2006
  

       Crap --- people used to trade in tea and that turned out to be a bad idea
- it is not easy to store
- some years there is more tea than others
  

       -
madness, Jan 06 2006
  

       Wall-backed money. Each basic universal note is worth a brick, the universal currency of building. A Watt is a meaningless abstract, but everyone understands a brick (one of my own favourite objects)
xenzag, Jan 06 2006
  

       [rayford] The UK is on track for its Kyoto targets; it appears that they can be achieved if there is the political will. It boosted our alternative energy industry in the process.
david_scothern, Jan 09 2006
  

       It takes a certain amount of energy to produce a banknote. Why not use that?
"I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of one rectangular piece of paper printed just like this one, or equivalent in joules."
moomintroll, Jan 09 2006
  

       What backed money.   

       "I will pay the bearer on demand - what?"
normzone, Jan 09 2006
  

       [Seven] //I suggest we back our money with arrogance and sarcasm//   

       [Nitrojunkie] //The US currency doesn't need to be backed by any commodity as it is a very powerful commodity itself.//   

       Looks like we ALREADY back the dollar with A&S. And the USS Nimitz battle group.   

       Backing currency in watts would create an interesting phenomenon in the power industry. We current think of fuel use in dollars per mmBTU, plant efficiency in mmBTU per Megawatthour, with the overall cost for power coming out in dollars per Megawatthour. Under the new monetary system, plant efficiency would factor out as dollars per megadollar. Fuel would be denominated in watts per mmBTU. Makes the run/don’t run decision easier when the units all match up.
gardnertoo, Jun 08 2006
  

       /mmBTU per Megawatthour/   

       /watts per mmBTU/   

       Does not compute, does not compute <head explodes>.
Texticle, Jun 08 2006
  

       In his novel "The Shape Of Things To Come", H.G. Wells proposed the idea of the "air dollar". This linked the currency to the real cost of moving a fixed weight a fixed distance at a fixed speed, by air.   

       Using energy as the new "gold standard" is a really good idea, [+], and will therefore not happen; Saving energy woud then literally be saving money.   

       A litre of octane yelds a specific amount of energy; easy to link to a notional "currency". The same for gas, nuclear, renewable. The economies become obvious because the "cost" is directly linked.   

       The SI unit of energy is the Joule. Any suggestions as to what the currency should be called ?
8th of 7, Aug 29 2008
  

       Joulery.
csea, Aug 29 2008
  

       [csea], here's a pound for a cup of tea. Now, go away and bother someone else, OK ?
8th of 7, Aug 29 2008
  

       Sorry, I don't accept pounds. It'll cost you at least 20kWh = 72 MJ.
csea, Aug 29 2008
  

       We should all be given carbon debt for what we have already done to the world.   

       I suppose you are talking about reeling in all those extra dollars that are produced when oil is piped out of the ground which disappear when the energy is burnt.   

       Great idea!
johnbakersmon, Aug 29 2008
  
      
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