Holochain Forum

An Emission trade currency enabling a UBI

I just want to dump another idea I had.

My main question will be: The concept I am about to explain seems to be at odds with the Holochain design principles. By that I mean Holochain does not encourage me to build fixed supply currencies. But I have reasons, why a fixed supply makes sense in this case. Is this application an example, where the advantages of Holochain do not shine? Or does the Holochain philosophy give a hint, how the concept can be improved (into a flexible supply currency)?

The concept

The idea is a currency that connect emissions trade with a universal basic income.

Those who pollute the atmosphere pay. To whom? Every human on the planet. (I know, not only humans suffer from pollution, but…)

Thus a global plan of how much pollution the planet can handle, worked out by scientists, say the 1.5 degree goal, is taken as a basis for a fixed supply. The amount of greenhouse gases for a certain period of time (say a month) are divided equally upon all registered human beings and granted to them as a universal basic in a new currency denoted in CO2 kilogram equivalent greenhouse gases.

Those people can sell this currency to companies, which then are able to redeem the currency for their emissions.

So two things are required: The central emission plan and an identity dapp, that tries to make sure, only real humans are registered, and with only one account each.

Now countries can include in their laws, that:
a) Emissions require an equivalent redemption of this currency. Otherwise they are illegal and shut down.

b) For any imports from a country, that has not yet adopted these rules in their law, an assesment guessing how much emissions happened for the production of that product (for which was not payed in form of the redemption of that currency) and this amount is required to be redeemed by the person importing it at the customs.

Discussion

First of all every human has an interest to register in order to get the free UBI. The system makes sure, that in the area of all participating countries (suppose the laws are enforced) emissions do not exceed the master plan (It may be even lower if people hoard the currency). The market sets a price for the emissions, that will increase the prices of products. Those people who consume less than an average sustainable human would be allowed to, would be net profiteers, those who consume more would be worse off. Some production would no longer be profitable. Poorer countries would surely support this system, as it would bring them a strong developmental aid, considering that their people under consume. Those countries in the West, where people over consume would not have a financial interest to participate, but hopefully a ideological one. The system can spread over the world county by country, it does not need to happen in a global agreement. There can be no carbot heavens (like tax havens) as long as the consumption takes place in a participating country. For the goals to be met, of course almost all counties would need to participate. Such a system, e.g. technologically implemented by dapps, would be at least provide an argument of ‘Here is a solution, you just need to commit to it’.

Flaws in the Philosophy

The approach is reductionist, thinks monocausal, not taking into account the complexity of the global ecosystem, but you need to start somewhere.

There is a ‘the market solves it, just put a price tag on it’ philosophy in here, which is more than debatable.

But much worse, there is a ‘central authorities dictate the truth’ philosophy here. Namely at the point where the global master plan comes in. This results in a fixed supply for the currency, that is divided equally between all members. Both things Holochain does not naturally want me to do.
However, the atmosphere is a global thing, and its pollution should stay within sustainable limits, thus this design choice seems natural.
Therefore my questions: Is this application an example, where the advantages of Holochain do not shine? Or does the Holochain philosophy give a hint, how the concept can be improved (into a flexible supply currency)?

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I like your intellectual honesty, acknowledging where this might have issues. Still, I really like the idea, and something like it is implemented in the province in Canada where I live. It’s marketed as a tax credit and is not truly universal (it’s based on income), but FWIU it is a dividend paid out from carbon tax revenues.

I don’t see anything alarming about this re: whether it could be done on Holochain, except that if the credits were distributed among all registered users, some central authority would be needed to show that x number of people are registered so the monthly pot should be distributed x ways.

An interesting alternative worth exploring is that everyone on the planet is ‘registered’, so to speak, and only needs to create an account with the ID verification app in order to claim their dividend. The math and validation rule would be really easy (assume that there are 7.5bln people in the world, assume a yearly growth rate of x%, divide the pot equally among earth’s entire population, each agent automatically mints their own tokens based on that figure — anyone not following the math gets flagged as the bad actor.) This would limit the actual amount of allowable carbon to the number of registered users — although you’d have to decide whether to back-credit people who register years later.

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Oh nice. The problem I always see with a tax, is that it can only guess how high it needs to be, to attain a certain emmission goal. And usually it is chosen way to low :smiley: But hey, at least cool that they pay it as a dividend to the people.

Me neither. Its only, that this central authority thing feels … like bad design.

I like that. I mean it would not be too much of a problem if the formula in the apps dna is guessing the world population slightly wrong. With the ID verification app one only needs to make sure, that one human does not have different IDs registered. But that can happen in a decentralized manner.
Thats an improvement! Nice!

To people who sequester Carbon, except we don’t know if it’s source is biotic Carbon? or fossil Carbon? and the time duration of the lock up? , if it’s crate quality wood like pine it’s going to be up in the atmosphere in a couple of decades, however if it’s a tropical hardwood like Ebony, that is used for indoor furniture, it’ll probably be locked up for a few centuries.
However shouldn’t we be also valuing Oxygen? We burn it in all engines that use fossil fuels, but the photosynthetic-biomass that actually does the job of creating that Oxygen that is burned, is not valued at all, yet.

Please see the link below to the concepts and the mvp attempt and get on board to make it a state of the art distributed hApp and to run it on Holochain as a central backbone for a ecosystem of ecosystems hApps and maybe I’ll also be able to rightfully reclaim the digital currency for Oxygen Idea from my friend [Dr. Ranil Senanayake]


:laughing:
https://www.restore.earth/
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Thanks for the link.
Yes I see two things here: First a better step than just reducing everything to carbon emissions. Thats concerning the issue, that I called being reductionist monocausal etc.
Second, in doing that (taking at least slightly more of the complexity into account) one realizes, that the fixed supply might be not as suitable as it was at first glance. Because when one starts accounting for the positive effects our actions can make, it makes sense to increase the supply accordingly, to incentive and honor those positive effect actions.

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Totally agree.

That’s what I’m thinking too; the inaccuracies would be within tolerances. It may create problems if number of active users started approaching the assumed current population though… something to consider in the design. But yeah, proof-of-unique-personhood is the only requirement, and some people argued that this can be done fairly reliably without resorting to central authorities. Check out @resilience-me’s thoughts on this.

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I love the idea, especially Paul’s suggestion to let every individual mint their own monthly (or we might as well do a daily) credit supply, as specified in the hApp dna.

The tricky bit really is to figure out what to do with that currency! Thats a really hard one to figure out, I’m afraid.

One route we could take - albeit a long and complex one - is to have an all encompassing supply-chain tracking hApp (lets call it the Flow network):

All physical ressources have to be registered to the Flow network. If I mine some coal or chop down a tree or harvest some corn, I have to enter it into the network. Each type of ressource has a different CO2-value attached to it and in order to register it to the Flow network, I have to burn the necessary amount of CO2-currency.

Those CO2 costs could then be passed on - from the lumberjack to the woodworker to the carpenter to the furniture store to the customer. So my table at home is a store of CO2, in the physical, as well as the digital world.

In theory, such a system would be awesome. And it could be extended way beyond just CO2. Once entered into the network, tracking ressources should be rather easy.

The tricky bit is the insertion point of ressources into the economy.

  • How do we make sure nobody is cheating?
  • What prize do we put on individual ressources?
  • What happens if a small farmer doesn’t have enough CO2 credits upfront to harvest?

Maybe starting with a few, particularly CO2-heavy and easily quantifiable ressources would be a good option, like crude oil, coal, natural gas.

But yeah, something like that could really change the world. make everyone more equal.

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https://shermin.net/token-economy-book/ is a great resource…

That’s certainly the only way to go!

My suggestion was (but you can see it as a step to get there) , states as central authorities enforcing it.
The appealing thing there is, that this step could be taken immediately. So only the two laws, and some officials controlling them, and you are done. Without the need to track anything.

And

In the not too distant future, right here on planet earth, how would the FFC method for electro winning Titanium metal out of Titanium dioxide powder, a process which liberates Oxygen, be taken into account when 3D printing?

Here’s another excellent resource:

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I think the primary issue here is clarifying the idea and then getting social and political buy in. The technical side, and especially whether Holo is a good vehicle for this, comes very much later. Gary

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@garyalex agreed — the social stuff is always the most important and hardest. Technology is just a tool — sometimes a critical enabling tool, to be sure — but it comes alongside the ‘wet’ work as an assistant, not a driver. Ideally :slight_smile:

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You are right, that is definitely the hardest part. But since compared to that, building such a thing is pretty simple, it might be useful to have in order to convince people: “there is this thing, we ‘just’ need to collectively use it.”

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Agreed!
My suggestion is that we take the social tact. I don’t know if this could be construed as child labor :joy: but,

A) Insist on development and deployment of a global environmental education curriculum that gets comprehensive, verified and repetitive data sets of the more pollution sensitive species (before they all die off), specifics of crops grown, and the physical parameters/specific parts per billion (ppb) pollution counts of a block of productive land that wants to opt in on a low cost, land use certification system.

B) Overlay the datasets to work out pollution tolerance thresholds of a local set of indicator species that represents air, water and soil quality. These representatives of land quality and are marketed on products and also, then ‘targeted’ by students on field trips by harmless GPS photo tagging, not capturing. Universities can index and process this data for different uses.

C) A whole public behavior change program can follow by offering bounties, rewards and rebates; giving discounts on solar energy charges for carrying niche market food, zero carbon to high end users who pre order food of certified quality and deals on rooms and food for guests who spot sensitive indicators on market driven properties as a low cost certification of tourism based properties worldwide. For starters…

I believe that if several different functional hApps distribute their databases along ecological boundaries and watersheds, altitude contours, and feeder rivulet grade specifications the gathering and retrieval of species related data then would make more sense, would be lighter local data and could revolutionize in-situ conservation in as yet unforeseen ways. Accurate source data is key, an education driven, indicator certified land certification would lay a sustainable overlay of quality on everything, including emissions!
Wouldn’t students on supervised coursework do a good job of gathering verifiable data, at a worthy cost?