Archive for the 'Phaseout Profit Theory' category

Angel Wins Her Bet

Mar 23 2014 Published by under Last Week, Phaseout Profit Theory

Part 48 of my third global warming science fiction novel “Last Week”. Link to Part 1: “Back To Paradise Era”.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21 2023 1:37 P.M.

“I have one thing that would seem to be fun,” Satoshi said. “I want to get it done before you’re gone.”

“What would that be?”

“I want to make you win your bet. Remember? You bet John Baker four bucks that he would stop production at the Canadian tar sands before you die.”

“Yes. But we tried this morning. He’s stubborn.”

“Let’s try again. I have an idea.”

“What idea?”

“You’ll see. Let’s go and visit him once more.”

Satoshi took out his phone and called John Baker’s office. He got another short appointment without problems. John Baker liked talking to the World’s richest man. Especially if there was some major business for Non Standard Oil involved.

“Thank you, Mr. Baker, for receiving us on such short notice. Again.”

“You’re welcome. I’m always happy to talk to Satoshi Nakamoto. And Your Majesty, Princess Angel from the 24th Century.”

“What? Your Majesty? Have you finally seen the light?” Angel said.

“Of course not. I’m just going along with your publicity stunt. Just as a matter of basic courtesy. I understand it will be over tomorrow. This time for good.”

“And there I was thinking that the hypnotic power of the Glaring Glasses had worked on you after all,” Angel said.

“What is it about that hypnotic power? And why doesn’t it work on me?” John Baker seemed rather interested in the topic. He had studied a lot of hypnotic techniques for magic trick applications.

“I don’t know myself exactly,” Satoshi said. “But I can tell you what I do know.”

“Please do so,” John Baker said.

“Let’s start with that unfortunate incident last week. Where you tried to rob Angel of the Glaring Glasses. It didn’t work. As you may recall, that was a very unpleasant experience for you.”

“I sure do recall that,” John Baker said.

“The way this works, the Glaring Glasses are under my control right now. Princess Angel has transferred that root control to me before she was supposed to die last Tuesday. It’s only possible to do if the person transferring control is willingly doing so, you can’t force someone into doing it. Anybody who tries using the Glaring Glasses without authorization will be quickly dissuaded from the idea.”

“I see. And what about the hypnotic force?”

“One of the powers these Glaring Glasses have is getting anybody in sight under hypnotic mind control. But the weird part is, they don’t work on everyone in that mode. They didn’t work on me. They didn’t work on Senator Nutt. And they didn’t work on you. There’s no way I could just put you under mind control. And there’s no way to know if they work or not, short of actually trying.”

“So you don’t know why they don’t work on you? Or me?”

“No. I have no idea. But there is another mode that works all the time, except with the person who has root control. It’s mind reading mode. I would like to try it on you, if you don’t object to the idea.”

“Couldn’t you just do it anyway? Is my consent necessary?” John Baker said.

“I could. I certainly could. But I wouldn’t want to. That would not be appropriate. I need your cooperation for the 24th Century Princess Angel Fund, after all. So, I would like to ask for your kind cooperation. And it’s not a one-sided deal. I had this idea of what I’d like to try. Care to hear about it?” Satoshi said.

“Go ahead,” John Baker said.

“Listen. You go first. You take the Glaring Glasses, and read Princess Angel’s mind. You will find it most interesting. Then it’s my turn. I take them back and read your mind. How about it?”

“I’m not sure I want those Glasses on me ever again,” John Baker said, his face slightly pale.

“It’s safe. You get them with my consent this time. Be advised, though, that that consent is limited to five minutes. You’ll need to give them back before those five minutes run out, or it’s back to the solar cross. I wouldn’t want to give you any funny ideas about trying to keep them,” Satoshi explained.

“I’m not sure,” John Baker said.

“Give it a try,” Angel said. “I don’t mind. This is your one and only chance to read the mind of a 24th Century Princess. Don’t blow it.”

“Okay. Two minutes max. I’ll try it.”

Satoshi handed the Glaring Glasses to John Baker. Satoshi had concealed his eyes under the Glaring Glasses with a veil that allowed him to see through but prevented any security cameras John Baker might have had installed in his office from getting a picture.

Angel sat down right in front of John Baker. He put the Glaring Glasses on.

Instantly, he heard loud rock music playing. Lucky Man, by Emerson Lake and Palmer.

And instantly, he understood that Angel really thought she was a Princess from the 24th Century. She wasn’t lying to him, or to the World.

But he also understood that all of that was an illusion that would end the next day. Angel would wake up as Thusnelda Sneeze, a common girl and clerk in a bookstore.

He couldn’t read anything about the romantic feelings of Angel for Satoshi. That area had been put off limits.

John Baker took the Glaring Glasses off, rather hastily. He didn’t want to risk going over the time limit. He handed them back to Satoshi.

“I am sorry, Your Majesty,” John Baker said. He had decided to go along with the illusion for this last day. That was something he was actually doing on a regular basis when performing magic tricks. “I really am sorry. I now know for a fact that your story was true. You really are Princess Angel from the 24th Century. I am deeply honored to receive your visit today.”

“I forgive you,” Angel said. “It was my fault. I should have done that the first time I came here.”

Satoshi had put the Glaring Glasses back on.

“So, now it’s my turn. You’re ready to go ahead with it?”

“I’m not sure. You’ll be able to see everything I think and feel?”

“I would. But I’m going to restrict access now to everything you think and feel about your business. I’m not interested in your private life.”

“Okay. Let’s do this,” John Baker said.

Satoshi activated the Glaring Glasses and looked into John Baker’s mind.

First off, he saw three things.

One giant dollar sign.

Another giant dollar sign.

And yet another giant dollar sign.

Satoshi concluded that John Baker was interested in making money, and in nothing else.

Then, somewhat in the background, he saw some interest in magic, especially in hypnotic effects, and a lot of experience in using them to his advantage in business negotiations.

Satoshi deactivated the Glaring Glasses.

“Thank you. Here is what I saw. Nothing of it is really news to me, but for the record, I saw three giant dollar signs. I understand you have some interest in making money, which makes sense for someone in your position.”

“Did you see anything about his thoughts on the Canadian tar sands?” Angel asked.

“Actually, no,” Satoshi said.

“I can tell you my thoughts on that,” John Baker said. “They haven’t changed. I’m not going to stop production there.”

“Of course you won’t. You would lose four dollars in your bet with Princess Angel,” Satoshi said, grinning.

“I see,” Angel said. “I lost. I brought four dollar bills. Here you are.”

She took four dollar bills out of her pocket.

“Wait a minute,” Satoshi said. “You might still win.”

“I don’t think so,” John Baker said.

“This bet doesn’t say how long you need to stop production. What if you just announce now that you will stop production for exactly one day tomorrow, in honor of Princess Angel’s death?”

“Why should I do that?”

“Well, for one, I would like to see Angel win this last bet. It doesn’t mean much in the big picture, but it would be a nice thing to do for her on her last day. Don’t you agree? But there’s another side to it.”

“I see. I probably could go along with that. What’s that other side?”

“You could see how the markets react to your announcement. We have already seen some reactions to our own announcements related to the 24th Century Princess Angel Fund.”

“Yes. I have seen that. Oil is already up in price by twelve dollars over last week, even though you haven’t bought the first barrel yet with your new multi-trillion dollar fund. People are starting to figure your activities into their market analysis,” John Baker said.

“What does that price increase of twelve dollars mean for your profits? Do you think they might go up because of it?”

“Of course they’re going to go up. We’re in the business of selling oil. We like high prices.”

“Listen. Announce a one-day production stop at the Canadian tar sands right now. Look what that will do to the oil price and your profits. I think they will go up by at least another four dollars. You’ll be able to pay Angel, and then some.” Satoshi grinned again.

“I see. You have me cornered. I must admit it. Let’s try that little experiment. Congratulations. You got yourself a one-day production stop at the Canadian tar sands. And I’m going to announce it officially as in honor of Princess Angel, the valiant girl from the 24th Century that gave her life to warn us about the dangers of the Moros 27 asteroid. If it really gets prices up, I might even make it a regular holiday each year.”

John Baker ordered his assistant to prepare a short announcement. Then he took out his wallet, slowly counted out four dollars, and handed them over to Angel.

“Congratulations, Your Majesty. You win your bet. I wish you the best for the last day of your life.”

Link to part 49: Last Week’s End

No responses yet

Elon Musk on 100% Renewable

Mar 20 2014 Published by under Phaseout Profit Theory

It is of course correct that eventually all energy will be renewable, and the only question is how fast that happens. Fossil fuel will run out eventually.

It is also correct (in my opinion) that we should rather not gamble with the amount of CO2 that can be safely released.

The way to speed that transition up is to make fossil fuels more expensive. The way to make that happen is to mine it at a slower pace, and to keep larger reserves. As it happens, such a course of action would be highly profitable for everyone who owns fossil fuel reserves.

2 responses so far

Scarcity Rent and Olivine

Mar 19 2014 Published by under Last Week, Phaseout Profit Theory

Part 47 of my third global warming science fiction novel “Last Week”. Link to Part 1: “Back To Paradise Era”.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21 2023 1:12 P.M.

“So, this is my last day. If you’re right, I mean. I’m still not completely convinced.”

“Of course I’m right. You’ll wake up tomorrow morning as Thusnelda Sneeze. Princess Angel from the 24th Century will be only a pleasant memory,” Satoshi said.

“I can’t believe it. I really can’t. But let’s just assume you’re right for a moment. That means today is my last chance to write as Princess Angel on my blog. Let’s give humanity a couple of last hints.”

Angel navigated to the dashboard of the Angel_2323 blog and started typing.

“Hello humanity. I hear from Satoshi that the first couple of trillion dollars for the Buy&Hoard fund are scheduled to come in from institutional investors. Many thanks from me to the Norwegian Prime Minister and to Saudi Arabia for getting the ball rolling. And Satoshi even called the fund the ’24th Century Princess Angel Fund’, which is very sweet of him.

“I’ll be dead tomorrow.

“I realize that I’ve said that before last Monday. And I was wrong at the time. But this time it’s real. There will be no Princess Angel from the 24th Century come tomorrow.

“I’ve already basically finished my mission last Monday. I warned you how horrible the global warming crisis will play out. I warned you of the Moros 27 asteroid. And I told you how to solve these problems. Buy&Hoard.

“But here is one bonus hint. The concept of scarcity rent. It explains why this solution will work.

“Let’s explain this with bitcoins. Bitcoins, like oil, are a finite resource. There will never be more than 21 million bitcoins. There are only about one trillion barrels of oil left in your World of 2023.

“Anybody who sold 10,000 bitcoins for a pizza or something in 2010 would have been well advised to just sit on those coins for about a decade. At present prices those bitcoins are worth more than a billion dollars.

“Anybody who sold bitcoins at rock bottom prices of under one hundred dollars in 2013 would have been well advised to just sit on them for another decade and see their value go up by a factor of over one thousand.

“My friend Satoshi Nakamoto is the World’s richest person. The reason for that is that he bought a lot of bitcoins when they were cheap, and kept most of them. It’s very easy to understand.

“Exactly the same dynamic will work with fossil fuel. Basically, it’s a finite resource. That’s true even if you believe that there’s nothing wrong with using the atmosphere as an open sewer for CO2. It takes millions of years to form the fossil fuel that humanity is burning in just one year. Eventually, the stuff will run out. And before it runs out, it will go up in price.

“There is a name for this, and it’s called ‘scarcity rent’. If you own a finite resource that is guaranteed to go up in price, it makes more sense to hold it than to sell it and invest the profits in some other way.

“A lot of people will get very rich from investing in the 24th Century Princess Angel Fund. That’s especially true for those people investing in an early stage. Exactly like with bitcoins. Save the World, and become rich in the process.”

Angel hit the publish button.

“That was of course already obvious. There was no need to point it out any more. But it would be a shame to waste my opportunity for some more last words. It adds a bit of drama to the whole concept.”

“It sure does. And it actually is true. This is your last day as Princess Angel. I hope you enjoy it. Actually, I’d have some ideas on helping you enjoy it some more. And they don’t involve getting lost while you get knocked out with sleeping pills,” Satoshi said.

“Sounds good to me,” Angel said. “But I’ll do one more last post on another technical point. It’s also somewhat of interest.”

She started typing again.

“Hi humanity. This will be my last post on this blog. It really will be. If I turn out to be wrong again and I’m not dead tomorrow, I’ll just hide in shame. But I’m afraid I’m right this time.

“This point is also not really necessary. You would figure it out anyway, once Buy&Hoard gets up to the necessary scale. It’s somewhat technical. But while I have the chance, I’ll give you this last bonus information.

“The point is: You don’t need to keep all the fossil fuel you hoard in the 24th Century Princess Angel Fund. You can sell part of it, as long as it isn’t used as fuel.

“Let’s explain this for oil.

“Right now about ten percent of oil is used as feedstock for the petrochemical industry. There is nothing wrong with that. No CO2 will be emitted to the atmosphere from making some plastic, if you source the necessary process energy from wind and solar.

“You can keep selling oil for that purpose.

“Of course that leaves you with the problem of what to do with the waste you can’t use. All those outputs of the refining process that used to be useful fuel products, like gasoline, diesel, kerosene, heating oil, and fuel grade petroleum coke. Refining a barrel of oil to get at the valuable feedstock will leave you with gasoline, which is a dangerous waste product that needs a method of safe disposal.

“There are basically two ways of dealing with this dangerous waste disposal issue.

“For one, it may be possible to use gasoline safely as a feedstock for petrochemical products. Once the need to do so becomes clear, research into that matter may turn up with a solution.

“The other way to deal with that dangerous waste is to just burn the gasoline, capture the CO2, and dispose of the CO2 safely.

“It is a well known fact that weathering olivine is a safe solution for disposing of CO2. If such a safe solution is available, disposing of the dangerous waste products like gasoline would be no particular problem.

“Note that the incentive to get there is higher as oil prices rise.

“Anyway, these are rather technical details. You’ll be able to figure them out.

“So, this is it. Have fun getting rich investing in the 24th Century Princess Angel Fund, and saving the World in the process. And don’t forget about the asteroid threat.


Angel hit the publish button again.

“Now, what was that about your ideas for having some fun while spending the rest of my life?”

One response so far

A Modest $4 Billion Investment

Mar 01 2014 Published by under Last Week, Phaseout Profit Theory

Part 42 of my third global warming science fiction novel “Last Week”. Link to Part 1: “Back To Paradise Era”.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 18 2023 9:17 A.M.

“So, let’s get this World-saving business done now.”

“Yes. I think I’ll start slowly today. Maybe invest the first four billion dollars of my money in setting up the Buy & Hoard fund trustee company,” Satoshi said.

“Is that difficult to do?”

“It is, if I want to sell shares to the public. I need to file a lot of paperwork and get approval for that. I’ll have my lawyer do that for me, of course.”

“You have a lawyer?”

“No. I’ve been able to steer clear of lawyers until now. One of the benefits of telling no one about my money. But I’m sure I’ll find someone who can handle some routine paperwork like that,” Satoshi said.

“So, what do you need to do?”

“First I need to set up a company. Mind if I call it the ’24th Century Angel Fund’? I would like to keep your name permanently in it. Just to remind me of you, once you’re gone next Tuesday.”

“Go ahead. I don’t need to worry about the publicity. I’ll be gone soon, if you are right. And you probably are.”

“So, that’s settled. I’ll set up a company with that name and fund it with $4 billion, for starters. I’m not sure if that will be enough to have any influence on fossil fuel prices, though.”

“It probably won’t be enough to do much. But it’s a good start.”

“Do you have any idea how much money all the oil reserves left are worth?” Satoshi asked. He had never researched these issues before.

“Of course. They’re worth around $250 trillion at 250 dollars a barrel right now, with about one trillion barrels left. That’s only common sense.”

Angel had done her homework preparing for her mission to the 21st Century.

“So, $4 billion would be less than 1 percent of that amount. It won’t be enough to move the market in any way,” Satoshi said.

“Of course. You’ll need to attract other investors. Show the business case, start the positive feedback loop. There’s over $200 trillion in assets in the global fund management industry.” Angel really had done her homework.

Satoshi searched a bit on the Internet and found a large law firm specializing in securities regulation. He phoned them.

“Hi. I need to set up a $4 billion commodity fund. Would you be interested in assisting me with that task?”

They were interested. As well they should be, with that kind of money involved. He set up a meeting with one of their partners for later that morning. Then he checked his mail and transferred $40,000 as a first payment to the Bitcoin address the law firm had indicated in their mail.

“Are you coming to the meeting?” Satoshi said.

“Yes. I’ll grant your lawyers the honor of my visit,” Angel said.

“There’s only one problem.”


“To found such a company, I need to give them my identity. I need to come out.”

“So, you’ll present them with a passport in the name of Satoshi Nakamoto?”

“No. That’s not my real name, of course. I’ll show them a passport with my real name.”

“What is your real name?”

“You don’t need to know. I’d like you to keep calling me ‘Satoshi’, if you don’t mind.”

“That’s okay with me.”

“I’ll keep calling you ‘Angel’ as well, once you’re back to your real identity as Thusnelda Sneeze.”

“That’s very kind of you. Of course you will. I am not Thusnelda Sneeze. I am Angel, a real Princess from the 24th Century.”

“You sure are. As far as I’m concerned, you’ll stay my pretty Princess from the 24th Century until the end of time,” Satoshi said. “Now, let’s announce the news to the World. As you said, we need to find some investors to get this fund to the necessary scale. Watch.”

Satoshi navigated to the dashboard of the Angel 2323 blog and started typing a post announcing the new fund.

“Hello World, it’s Satoshi.

“As you know, our little problem of global warming is easily solved by the concept of Buy & Hoard.

“Buy & Hoard means buying up fossil fuel resources and keeping them off the market. That will increase fossil fuel prices, guaranteeing trillions of dollars of profits for the investors involved. And it will accelerate the transition to renewable energy, which is inevitable anyway. It will accelerate the process enough to keep global warming way down compared to a business as usual scenario. We’ll have plenty of resources left to start deflecting the Moros 27 asteroid that’s headed our way. And there is no need for any legislation or international Treaty to pull it off.

“Someone should start working on this idea. That someone is me. I’m just an ordinary guy who happens to be the World’s richest person. I don’t know anything about funds. So I just set up a meeting with some lawyers to invest a modest $4 billion in kickstarting this fund.

“It will be like the first bitcoins fund. You may know that it was set up in 2013. For the first time, anybody could easily buy some bitcoins just like any other investment. No more hassles with international wire transfers. No more headaches about storage or worries about getting your bitcoins stolen by some hacker or other.

“Once my fund is up and running, it will be exactly the same for oil. Anybody will be able to buy a barrel of oil, and keep it in the ground for the next couple of decades, to contribute to the price hike humanity needs. Leave the hassle of actually buying the oil and the trouble of storing the oil safely to the fund. And note that the price hike that will save the World from runaway global warming and Moros 27 will be also good news for the financial health of our investors.

“Anybody who missed out on buying bitcoins early on, here is your second chance. Oil prices will take off if our fund gets to scale. It’s just common sense. Do something for the planet, and get rich in the process. Who could argue with that?

“I have decided to name this fund the ‘24th Century Princess Angel Fund’, in honor of Princess Angel, who was willing to give her life in a suicide time travel mission back to our World to warn us of global warming and the Moros 27 asteroid. It is a small gesture of gratitude for her willingness to sacrifice her life for the mission.”

Satoshi finished typing.

“How does that sound to you?” he asked.

“You sure know how to treat Royalty properly. Thank you.”

Satoshi clicked the “publish” button.

Link to part 43: Heat Games.

One response so far

Game Over

Jan 19 2014 Published by under Last Week, Phaseout Profit Theory

Part 29 of my third global warming science fiction novel “Last Week”. Link to Part 1: “Back To Paradise Era”.


MONDAY, FEBRUARY 14 2023 9:12 A.M.

“So, let’s get that World-saving business done,” Angel said. “I’ll probably be finished by noon.”

“Yes,” Satoshi said. “You probably will.” He had given up on objecting to her constant optimism about her mission.

“Okay. First order of business is explaining the danger of Moros 27 and the necessary course of action to humanity in one short blog post. I’ll use the fact that I’ll die tonight as a rhetorical device to get some attention,” Angel said. She started typing:

“Hello, humanity. This is the last day of my life. I will be dead tomorrow. I’ll disappear completely in the early hours of the morning.

“For those of you who might not be familiar with my story: I’m Princess Angel. I came back last week from the 24th Century with a one-way time machine to warn humanity about how horribly global warming will play out. And also of the fact that a 400 km asteroid called Moros 27 is heading for impact with Earth in 2327.

“As a side effect of the time travel, I had only one last week to live. Once that week is over tomorrow, I will disappear without trace from your World. And I won’t just go back to my 24th Century World. I’ll die. I’m on a suicide mission giving my life to warn you. So, listen. It’s important.

“There will be billions dead from drought, heat waves, storms, hunger, and wars caused by global warming. And while humanity fights to clean up the mess caused by the greed and stupidity of your generation, we will neglect to build our defenses against the asteroid risk. We’ll have nothing to deflect Moros 27. It will completely fry the planet.

“Many of you will not care because you think that this will be the problem of later generations. You’re wrong. The historical record shows that the major problems of global warming will start spiraling out of control already in the 21st Century. Many of you will live to see it. And many will live to die from it.

“Also, many of you will not believe me. The fossil fuel companies have been quite successful in their public relations campaigns. As well they should be, considering the amount of money they put into them.

“Fortunately, the solution to all of this is really simple. And it doesn’t even depend on understanding that there is a problem. Even the minority that thinks all the scientists are wrong will have no reason to object.

“The problem is that humans burn too much fossil fuel. The solution to that problem is making fossil fuel more expensive. Basic market theory suggests that demand will go down that way. Also, the transition to renewable energy sources, which will happen anyway sooner or later, will be done much faster.

“So, how is fossil fuel supposed to get more expensive? Should there be a price on carbon emissions? Should that price go up over time?

“That certainly is one idea. It works, though it needs legislation to make it happen. But the solution is even simpler, and it needs no new law at all. I call it ‘Buy&Hoard’. It is really very easy.

“Just set up a fund that invests in buying fossil fuel. Make them buy the fuel, and hoard it. This is like the Strategic Oil Reserve, just on a much bigger scale.

“Take the oil off the market for a couple of decades. Do that on a large scale and oil prices will go up. Again, basic market theory. Removing supply from the market will move prices up.

“That in turn will increase the value of the oil or other fossil fuel the fund has bought. It’s a virtuous cycle. Buy fossil fuel, take it off the market, increasing prices, making a guaranteed profit on the deal. Repeat that to increase prices even more, increasing your profits even more.

“The way to do this without worrying about storing a lot of oil as in the Strategic Oil Reserve would be to just buy the fossil fuel right in the ground. Buy the rights to some resource or other. And then let the fossil fuel stay right in the ground, where it needs to stay to counter global warming, and make the biggest profits in history by doing this. You can of course always sell all the fossil fuel you want from these resources as raw material for the petrochemical industry.

“Of course there is no need to actually transfer the rights in any such resource to do this. For example, Non Standard Oil owns the Canadian tar sands. They could just announce tomorrow that they won’t sell one barrel of oil from that resource for the next thirty years. Guess what that would do to the price of oil? And guess what that would do to the value of their tar sands resource?

“So, there you have it. Have the fossil fuel stay in the ground, and make money from doing so.”

Angel published the blog post and pointed to it with a Tweet directed at Theo Birnbaum and Roberto Romero. It would be interesting to see if and how they reacted to that.

“That’s it? You think that will solve the problem?” Satoshi asked.

“It sure will. Once Buy&Hoard gets critical mass, it becomes a feedback loop. Fossil fuel will finally get close to the value it should have, considering that it takes millions of years to form. Of course I’m counting on you to help in the early phases. It shouldn’t be too difficult. A couple of billion dollars should be enough for the initial investment. You’ll attract trillions in private capital in no time,” Angel said. “Let’s talk a bit to Alexandrina Heathershaw now.” Angel started typing again. This it was time another blog post, and also a comment on Alexandrina’s blog.

“Hi, Alexandrina. This is my last comment for you. I’ll be dead tomorrow.

“Listen. I’ve just announced the solution for global warming on my blog. It will save billions of lives and enable humanity to have some resources left for deflecting the large asteroid heading for collision with Earth in 2327.

“I understand you don’t think that global warming is real. You and most of your readers think that I am wrong. Of course I know the exact historical record of the next three centuries. I already told you that your position is wrong, and I even showed you how New York will drown under a 60 meter sea level rise.

“But you may be not convinced. You may think that I’m not really from the future. Again, that would be wrong. But I don’t count on your changing your views. Most people don’t change their opinions easily.

“You see, the beauty of my solution is that it depends in no way on even understanding the problem. You can invest in Buy&Hoard because it will guarantee a massive profit. You can invest because it will leave more of the precious fossil fuel reserves for future generations.

“I would like you to acknowledge that fact. While I disagree with your position on global warming, I respect your intellectual integrity.

“Best of luck with the rest of your life. You’ll need it, considering the unfortunate global warming effects already locked in. Kind regards, Princess Angel.”

Angel published the text on her blog and as a comment on Alexandrina’s blog, and announced it on Twitter. “Two down, two to go,” she said.

“Two to go?” Satoshi asked.

“I’ll do another two posts for Theo Birnbaum and Roberto Romero,” Angel said. “Then I’m done with this World-saving business.” She started typing again.

“Hi, Theo. This is my last blog post for you. It will briefly discuss the role Greenpeace could play to get the solution for global warming to critical mass.

“I recall that you kindly came to the meeting I set up at Senator Nutt’s office last week. While she didn’t seem to be convinced that my presentation showed the historical record of New York sinking under a 60 meter sea level rise, I hope for more support from your side. I really am a Princess from the future, and that sure is the real record.

“I’ll be dead tomorrow, so I won’t be able to look after this myself, but if you kindly cooperate, there will be an independent expert evaluation of the Glaring Glasses. And it will of course show that these are impossible to build with 21st Century technology. That in turn will prove that I am really a Princess from the 24th Century. Maybe we can even get Senator Nutt or someone else from the fossil fuel lobby side to choose some expert or other.

“So, what would I like for Greenpeace to do to help? There are three things.

“For one, I would like you and your organization to read and understand what I have proposed. This is the solution to global warming. It really is. I understand that Greenpeace is concerned about the problem. So you should be interested in the solution.

“Second, I would like you to help spread the word. The main impulse from Buy&Hoard will need to come from private capital. Once this gets to scale, the way the solution is set up guarantees large profits for anyone involved early on. Just like with the Bitcoin network. But it needs to get to critical mass. And your help in spreading the word would be most valuable.

“And third, there may be some need for lobbying efforts. One of the beautiful aspects of Buy&Hoard is that it doesn’t require buying politicians to enact some legislation or other. It can be easily done within the existing legal framework, since it will all be a matter of market forces at work. All you need is the freedom of contract on fossil fuel reserves.

“But there might be an antitrust angle. Some people may argue that this kind of solution is not compatible with antitrust law. Especially if fossil fuel companies like Non Standard Oil get on board with Buy&Hoard. They might be accused of artificially raising prices.

“In that case, it might become necessary to defend them against such attacks. Greenpeace could help with that. I realize that you don’t normally consider helping the fossil fuel industry part of your agenda. But this is different. It is the miracle you have been waiting for.”

Angel posted this, and addressed Theo Birnbaum directly in a Tweet announcing the post. Then she started typing again, the last step in her big plan to save the World.

“Hi, Roberto. It’s Princess Angel from the 24th Century. We met last week at Senator Nutt’s office. I hope you recall my presentation on New York getting sunk by sea level rise. Thank you very much for your kind blog post reporting on the experience.

“Contrary to what you assert in that blog post, I am really a Princess from the 24th Century. I really am. It’s not just a clever metaphor. I understand you like to research rhetorical devices. And it is true, even if I were not for real, it would be an interesting way of framing this debate if I just pretended to be back from the future with a warming warning for humanity. But this is for real.

“I hope you have read my solution to global warming. Buy&Hoard. You are very smart, so you will understand that this will work. It will mean that this little global warming problem will be solved within a couple of years, which in turn means that you will be out of a job. I am sorry for that. I really am. But you will need to find something else to write about.

“In that case, I would like to ask you to kindly consider writing about the other threat. The asteroid that will hit Earth in 2327. Humanity needs to develop the ability to deflect this space rock, or solving global warming won’t change much. We would be fried anyway.

“Kind regards, Princess Angel.”

Again, she posted that and notified Roberto Romero with a short Tweet.

“So, I’m done,” Angel said. “The rest is up to you guys. The solution is out there. There is no way it won’t get noticed. If you help with getting a couple of billion dollars in initial investments, it will reach critical mass. It will work. I am sure. Which of course means that my father and everyone else I knew in the 24th Century will never be born,” Angel said. A tear formed in her eye. “Anyway, as far as I’m concerned, that’s it. Let’s have some fun for the remaining time of my last day.”

Satoshi gave her a light kiss and wiped away her tear tenderly.

“Thank you for your sacrifice, Angel,” Satoshi said. “I’ll take it from here. Your sacrifice will not be in vain.”

Link to part 30, Glaring Glasses Root Authority Transfer

One response so far

Buy and Hoard Fossil Fuel

Part 26 of my third global warming science fiction novel “Last Week”. Link to Part 01: “Back To Paradise Era”.

Sunday, February 13, 2023, 12:57 P.M.

“That was excellent,” Angel said. “It was a good idea to order the sweet and sour pork once more.”

“I guess it was. I’m happy you liked it,” Satoshi said.

They were having some coffee after they had finished their meal, sitting in the hotel restaurant with a great view over Waikiki beach.

“So, now we come to the decisive moment of my mission to save the World from the dual threat of global meltdown and the Moros 27 asteroid impact,” Angel said. “Are you ready to hear the solution?”

“I sure am,” Satoshi said. “I’ve been waiting for this all week.”

“Okay. First off, let’s state a couple of obvious points about my part in solving these little problems, and about your part,” Angel said.

Satoshi said nothing. He waited for her to go on.

“For one, your help will be necessary for this mission to succeed. Are you ready to help me?” Angel said.

“Yes,” Satoshi said. “If I can help, I will.”

“It may require you to come out as the World’s richest person later on. A great sacrifice on your part. Would you be ready to do that?” Angel asked.

“I am not sure about that, if you want to know the truth,” Satoshi said. “I really don’t like the idea. I would need to live surrounded by security people and chased by the media for the rest of my life. And Khalmorot advised me against coming out. I would like to listen to his advice. He has given me so much.”

“I see. And I understand, of course. It is a big sacrifice. I know. Getting chased by those paparazzi all the time is really a big drawback of being famous. But you would help, as long as you could avoid coming out?”

“I sure will,” Satoshi said. “If I can use most of my bitcoins for this mission, they will be spent very well. I don’t need so much for me personally anyway. Actually I think this alien guy Khalmorot gave me the Bitcoin network exactly for that purpose. He must have known that you would find me later on.”

“Interesting. That may well be,” Angel said. “Now, for my involvement in the mission. As you know, I will die tomorrow night. It is of course utterly impossible for me to personally see how the solution will work out. I can’t hope to see with my own eyes how CO2 goes back to less than 280 ppM, the value before the industrial revolution. It will take many decades for my solution to actually achieve that success. I don’t have many decades. I only have until tomorrow.”

“So that explains why you didn’t do much of anything until now,” Satoshi said. “You’ll just tell me how to do it, and leave the rest to me.”

“Exactly. Though you won’t be the only one I’m telling it. I’ll get it out on the blog tomorrow, for everyone to see. But you’ll hear it first. And you’ll be one of the first to help actually enact it. Just like with buying bitcoins, it will be wildly profitable to be involved early on.”

“What?” Satoshi protested. “You want to make me even richer? I’ve already got much more than I can ever eat.” He frowned.

“You might not like the idea. I understand that. But there are plenty of others who will like making some money while saving the planet. And there’s one other thing,” Angel explained. “Part of the money to be made from this solution needs to get invested in a serious space development and asteroid deflection program. Don’t forget about Moros 27.”

“So, what’s the big idea? How are you going to solve global warming with only one day left to live?” Satoshi asked.

“Okay. Let’s explain the basics first,” Angel said. “What do you know about the global warming problem?”

“Not much, I’m afraid. I’ve never written even one book about that,” Satoshi said.

“It’s very easy to understand. Listen. Global warming comes from burning fossil fuel, like oil, coal, and gas. So if we want to stop the process we need to do what?”

“Stop burning fossil fuel.”

“Of course. Actually we’ve known for more than a decade that most of the known reserves need to stay exactly where they are. They need to stay in the ground. Permanently,” Angel explained.

“I see.”

“So, the big question is, exactly which fossil fuel will be off-limits? Is there any way to make sure that some of the reserves are never burnt?”

“That makes sense,” Satoshi said.

“Actually there is. Let’s take an easy example first. Have you ever heard about the Strategic Oil Reserve?”

“No. What’s that?”

“The government of most developed states has such a reserve. It’s a security measure against temporary interruptions of supply, for example as a consequence of a war. The government buys some oil and stores it somewhere.”

“What’s that got to do with leaving oil in the ground?”

“Well, that oil in the strategic reserve won’t be burned. It is off the market, which is exactly what we need to make happen, just on a much larger scale. So it’s a model case for the solution.”

“And how do you want to get that to happen on a larger scale?” Satoshi asked.

“One way of making it happen is to have fossil fuel companies reduce their production. If our friend John Baker of Non Standard Oil decides that they’ll stop production from the Canadian tar sands they own, the oil there won’t be burned.”

“Why would he do such a thing? I heard somewhere they had a lot of trouble getting the pipelines built a decade ago. Why would they stop selling their oil now? It doesn’t make sense.”

“Actually, it does make sense. I call it ‘Phaseout Profit’. Do you know how long it took for nature to build the stock of fossil fuels humanity burns in one year right now?” Angel asked.


“Over five million years. Your great life in Paradise Era basically is due to that simple fact. Humanity is consuming the savings of the planet at a rate of five million times over the fair share of this generation. One thing is clear. Eventually, fossil fuel will run out,” Angel said.

“Yes. Of course,” Satoshi said. “Nobody can deny that fact.”

“Now, the interesting thing is that before it will run out, it will become much more expensive. Just as bitcoin prices have gone up massively, fossil fuel prices will go up massively as well. Do you understand what that means for Non Standard Oil?” Angel asked.

“No. What does it mean?”

“They are stupid if they sell all their tar sand oil at the rock bottom prices of around $250 right now. They should let those reserves sit idle for another thirty years. Our historical record shows that oil is up to $700 in 2053. Anybody selling oil now at present prices is losing a lot of money, just as anybody who sold you 10,000 bitcoins in 2010 for 50 dollars lost a lot of money. It’s really easy to understand for you if you compare it to bitcoins,” Angel said.

“Yes. I get that,” Satoshi said.

“So, what Non Standard Oil and all the other fossil fuel companies should do, they should listen to Theo and Roberto and reduce their production every year by a large percentage. Do you understand what that would mean for their prices?” Angel asked.

“Of course. That’s really simple. If you take supply down, prices will go up.” Satoshi said.

“And if prices go up, what happens to the value of an oil resource like the Canadian tar sands? Might that go up as well?”

“Of course it would,” Satoshi said.

“It’s just like bitcoins. You don’t need to actually sell any bitcoins for traditional money, or buy something with your bitcoins to make a profit. You can just buy it, and hold it.”

“That’s exactly what I’ve done for the last decade. So you’re telling me I can do the same thing with fossil fuel?” Satoshi asked.

“Exactly. Non Standard Oil should do what the environmentalists want them to do. They would make a ton of money in the process. That’s ‘Phaseout Profit Theory’,” Angel explained.

“So, you want me to buy the majority of the Non Standard Oil stock and order John Baker to start this ‘Phaseout Profit’ thing?” Satoshi said. “I probably would need to come out to do that.”

“No. We’ll explain it to him and the other fossil fuel companies of course. They’ll understand it. They’re not stupid. You don’t get to the top of the most profitable companies in history if you’re stupid,” Angel said.

“So what is my role there? I don’t own any fossil fuel company stock,” Satoshi said.

“It’s easy. You should start something I call the ‘Buy&Hoard’ investment fund.”

“What would that be?” Satoshi said.

“It’s easy. Just buy some oil and coal. And hold it for at least three decades. Just like buying bitcoins in 2010 and holding them for a decade.”

“There seems to be a slight problem with that,” Satoshi said. “Bitcoins are easy to store. All I need is the Perfect Purse. Even a paper wallet is enough. With oil, I would need massive storage facilities.”

“You would need that. I must admit it. But it has been done before. The Japanese strategic oil reserve program is run to a large part by private corporations right now. They hold about 40 percent of the reserve. Of course they need some tanks for that. But they still profit from the fact that the value of oil has gone up more than they needed to pay for the cost of storage. And there is an even easier solution,” Angel said.

“What’s that?” Satoshi said.

“Just buy the fossil fuel while it is still in the ground. Buy the rights to mine coal some place or other from whoever is holding those rights in the first place. Then wait for at least thirty years before the first ton of coal is actually dug out. And make it clear that only 20 percent of that will ever be available for burning. The rest will only be used as raw material for the petrochemical industry. With that setup, you have no cost of storage, and no cost of mining, which means you can buy the fossil fuel much cheaper, and hold it at basically no cost. Then lie back and watch the value of your mining rights go up. Repeat with other sites and watch how the value goes up even more, because more fossil fuel is off the market for a couple of decades. It’s very easy, once you realize the potential for profit from phasing out fossil fuel,” Angel explained.

“Sounds interesting. I may be able to do it,” Satoshi said. “However, I’m not sure I can do it without coming out.”

“I’m not sure either. It would be most inconvenient for you if you had to tell the World that you are the richest person ever. I’m sorry for that. I really am. But maybe you can work out some anonymous way of doing this,” Angel said.

“I’ll think about it. Compared to your sacrifice, mine would be a small one to make. I’ve already enjoyed over a decade of anonymous wealth. I might give the other alternative a try. It probably would help sales of my books,” Satoshi said.

Link to part 27: Thusnelda Sneeze

One response so far

Bitcoin Mining and Fossil Fuel Mining

Dec 30 2013 Published by under Bitcoin Law, Phaseout Profit Theory

There are two reasons that most of the fossil fuel needs to stay in the ground.

One of them is obvious. There is no way to dispute it:

Once you burn fossil fuel, it’s gone. Since it took 5.3 millions of years to build up the fossil fuel humanity is burning in one year now, burning it without limits is not a sustainable process. Future generations will be left without fossil fuel if there is no limit on burning it now.

The other one is obvious as well. Global warming. There are some people disputing this, though.

If the majority of fossil fuel needs to stay in the ground, the only way to have that happen is to reduce the speed of mining it.

As explained elsewhere, having that happen would be in the interest of fossil fuel companies and owners of fossil fuel reserves (Phaseout Profit Theory).

If that is true, we should see a powerful coalition of fossil fuel companies and climate activists calling for some schedule or other to reduce fossil fuel production.

If so, one possible way to do that would be to take bitcoin mining as a model.

There is a limited number of bitcoins to be mined in the Bitcoin network. The way this works is that every couple of years the number of bitcoins issued is reduced by half. We are right now in “reward era 2″, where 25 bitcoins are issued about every ten minutes. That will go down to 12.5 around 2017 and to 6.25 around 2021, at which point around 90 percent of all bitcoins ever will have been issued.

Obviously, the transition for fossil fuel can’t take exactly the same model. For one, that would lead to only 10 percent of fossil fuel left in the ground after only one decade, so the fossil fuel case needs to have much stronger restrictions. And on the other hand, there needs to be a much more gradual transition. Instead of halving fossil fuel production every decade or so, it would need to be reduced in a more continuous fashion.

I have no idea which exact formula would be best. But one thing is clear.

If the majority of the fossil fuel needs to stay in the ground, there must be some way to gradually reduce production. Just as there is with bitcoins on the Bitcoin network.

No responses yet

What If Fossil Fuel Companies Had to Pay for Global Warming?

Oct 31 2013 Published by under Phaseout Profit Theory

Ryan Cooper discusses the recent “carbon bubble” ideas at the Washtington Post, with the headline “How the carbon bubble will pop”. Thanks to this tweet by Justin Guay for the link.

Cooper points out that the damages from global warming are $1.2 trillion per year, or about 1.6 % of global GDP, citing the same Guardian article I blogged about last year. Cooper doesn’t mention that there are 400.000 people per year killed by global warming already in 2012, according to the same article, plus 4.5 million dead from fossil fuel air pollution.

What if people start to come after the fossil fuel companies and ask for compensation?

Might that have an impact on their balance sheets?

I believe that this is actually a substantial risk for any fossil fuel company. Look what happened to TEPCO, and they only have to pay for pollution in the immediate vicinity of their Fukushima nuclear power plant.

In contrast, as I have said before (Al Gore Completely Wrong), the risk that fossil fuel companies would become unable to sell most of their assets is much less severe. For one, they will still be able to sell fossil fuel for non-fuel use (something Al Gore, Jeremy Leggett, and Bill McKibben still have not addressed in any way). And if they are forced to put two thirds of their oil fields under a big “off limits” sign, prices will of course explode faster than Bitcoin prices. They will come off way ahead in such a development.

If anything, the oil companies should welcome any regulation forcing them to go much slower. Again, it is good business for them to have higher prices.

But having to pay $1.2 trillion per year, and rising?

Just like TEPCO, they would only be able to pay a small part of that sum, and they would be bankrupt.

Also, in such a scenario, they would get very much interested in limiting the damage (for example limit global warming under 2 degrees Celsius), since that would reduce the amount of their liability.

No responses yet

Al Gore Completely Wrong

Oct 27 2013 Published by under Phaseout Profit Theory

As I learned from this article by Sarah Murphy at the Motley Fool, Al Gore has recently joined the chorus of people getting the “carbon bubble” story wrong. Thanks to this tweet by ekopolitan for the link.

The wrong theory Gore now shares is: Since only one third of fossil fuel reserves valued at $7 trillion can be burned, most of these assets will need to be written off some time in the future. That, in turn makes it a long-term risk to invest in fossil fuel companies. Gore compares them to the “subprime” investments that caused the last financial crisis.

So why do I think this is wrong?

Actually, I agree with the premise. Global warming is dangerous. Eventually people will wake up and it will become illegal to burn the stuff. And most consumers will think of gasoline cars quite correctly ay s “stinking gasoline cars”, the mere thought of riding them making them want to vomit, like Princess Angel from the 24th Century in part 05 of my global warming science fiction novel “Last Week”. I just posted that part, by the way. Feel free to read it and find out about how someone from the future thinks about burning fossil fuel.

However, if you leave two thirds of the treasure in the ground, what would that do to the price of the remaining third?

Might that go up??

Would it go up by a factor of over three, which would be enough to cancel out the reduction in volume and leave the fossil fuel companies still with a higher valuation of their assets?

And what about non-fuel use of fossil fuels?

I still have to see anyone proposing the “carbon bubble” theory to even address these simple questions. Much less have I seen an answer that sounds convincing.

If Jeremy Leggett is right, we will see much higher oil prices because of peak oil in the immediate future anyway. Those assets will be worth much more in the future before the first oil field is declared off limits for climate change reasons.

And Al Gore wants me to believe oil fields will be worth less in the future?

I think that bet is about as smart as betting on Bitcoin prices falling strongly over the next decade.

No responses yet

Book Review: The Energy of Nations, by Jeremy Leggett

Oct 17 2013 Published by under Book Review, Phaseout Profit Theory

I recall having written about this book already when the first chapter was published. See my post “Can’t Wait for Jeremy Leggett’s New Book Release” from September.

Now I had a chance to buy and read the Kindle edition. I was somewhat surprised at the price tag of $17.26, which is quite a lot for an e-book. Doesn’t the author want to reach a large audience? Why does he put off some potential readers with such a high price? Or was that the smart idea of a publisher, as opposed to the author himself?

That said, this book certainly was worth even that relatively high number of dollars. I’ll give it four stars at Amazon once I’m done here.

What impressed me most was the comparison between the lukewarm policies addressing global warming and the transition to renewable energy and the response to the chance of bankers losing some bonus or other. Politicians have got it completely backwards. They should have let Greece  and all the banks they bailed out go bust, and spent all that taxpayer money on renewable energy instead. That would have been a sure-fire way to create jobs and economic growth.

Leggett expects a major wake-up call in the coming years, with peak oil getting real.

What I don’t understand: Why is that a bad thing? As far as I am concerned, oil should be much more expensive than it is today. That will help getting the transition to renewable up to speed. Leggett understands this. So why does it look for wide parts of his book as if that was something to worry about?

And why should the oil companies deny peak oil? If people believe that oil is precious and will run out soon, they will be inclined to pay higher prices. What business case is there possibly for an oil company to object to higher prices for their product?

The above question is of course the central point of the Phaseout Profit Theory proposed on this blog. Global warming will be solved in less than a week once the fossil fuel companies understand that selling less of their stuff is actually good for their bottom lines.

Another question is why he thinks that the unburnable carbon assets will be stranded. I don’t understand that. If they can’t be burned, they can still be used as raw materials in the petrochemical industry.

Also, even if 80 percent of assets turn out to be stranded, the oil companies would still be ahead if the price goes up by more than a factor of five, which of course it will in a peak oil crisis. If you believe in peak oil, investing in companies owning some of the stuff that will go way up in price seems to be a smart move. Doesn’t the peak oil price hike at least compensate for the possibility of assets getting stranded?

One last comment. Leggett mentions the conflict between Japan and China about the Senkaku Islands, which he says is a “worthless rock”. Actually, as mentioned earlier here, there are about 10 percent of known World oil reserves to be found in the East China Sea, ownership of which moves with that particular rock. That of course means that China might get an appetite for aggressive warfare to change the status quo and get their hands on that oil.

That’s it for the moment. I think this is an excellent book and recommend reading it.



2 responses so far

Older posts »