Re: Future currency

From: Chris Hibbert (
Date: Wed Jan 10 2007 - 13:56:57 MST

> Energy is certainly fungible.

Coal, gas, wind, geothermal, and hydro are not interchangeable.
Different consumers need particular forms of energy. Some electric
consumers could convert to natural gas, but not at a moment's notice. A
ship at sea or a car on the road can't make use of electricity on the
grid. The driver could trade in her car to get more flexibility, but
that doesn't make gas and electricity fungible.

> As for it being storable, that's what credit is for. You don't store
> energy. You store a record of the transaction, and a debt.

That's a useful idea, but it's not relevant in deciding whether energy
would make a good backing for money. In order for a commodity to be a
good foundation, one of the standard desiderata is that it be storeable.
     You can store credits for milk as well, but that doesn't make milk
a good store of value.

Maybe you want to argue that the modern reliability of credit and
ubiquitous information about credit-worthiness make it less important
that commodities used to back currencies should be storeable.

> Information seems problematic. Energy is better, in that it /is/
> fungible; one joule is one joule is one joule.

In the long term, possibly, but not in the short term in which consumers
of power need to buy the kind of energy that their current equipment


Currently reading: Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope; Robert
    Pape, Dying to Win: the Strategic Logic of Suicice Terrorism
    Cass Sunstein, Infotopia; Sherri Tepper, Six Moon Dance;
Chris Hibbert

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