Archive for the 'Phaseout Profit Theory' category

Germany Dirtiest Country of the World

That’s not a title to be proud of. I like the World Cup win much better.

Unfortunately, Germany is the largest producer of lignite in the World. I just learned this because I read this blog post by Craig Morris about Germany’s large lignite reserves, and their relation to the transition to renewable energy. Morris points out that Germany might continue producing “cheap” lignite electricity even once it is not needed any more domestically and export it.

Wikipedia explains that Germany has over 14 percent of the World’s lignite reserves and is the World’s largest producer. At least the trend is in the correct direction: Production is down to 169 million tons in 2010, from 388 million in 1980.

I think Germany should greatly reduce production of lignite. The way to do this is easy. All that is needed is to stop granting permits to expropriate citizens’ real estate for these projects, which typically require whole villages to relocate. The only way that can be done under German Constitutional law (Article 14 Paragraph 3) is if the project is necessary for the common welfare (Wohl der Allgemeinheit).

Digging lignite out of the ground and burning it to produce electricity is making global warming worse, since that is the most CO2 intensive way of producing electricity. There is no fuel as dirty as lignite. As such digging it out of the ground is incompatible with the common welfare. Common welfare interests require phasing out the dirtiest energy first. They certainly don’t require expanding lignite mining.

If it is impossible to expropriate real estate owners, companies who want to relocate villages to get at the lignite buried below them will have to pay much higher prices. That in turn will remove the only remaining advantage of this dirty fuel: Price.

Another way to increase the price of lignite would be to reduce production (phaseout profit theory). In contrast to coal, lignite is sold at localized prices, since it doesn’t make sense to transport lignite over long distances. Reduce supply each year by 3 percent (which would result in a reduction around 60 percent over the next 30 years) and watch prices go up. That’s good for the owners of these lignite resources, good for people who else would see their home villages disappear in a big hole, good for future generations (who will have left more of the valuable resource left), and good for the climate.

And all it takes to do that is to stop relocating people and destroying whole villages.



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Book Review: The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future

By Naomi Oreskes and Eric M. Conway. I bought the Kindle version because of this review by Joe Romm at Climate Progress.

I am not quite sure if this is fiction or not.

The basic premise is that in 2393 Chinese historians look back at how global warming has played out and why humanity was not able to solve the problem as long as that was still possible.

That idea appeals to me, since I wrote a novel about a Princess coming back in a time machine from the 24th Century to warn humanity of how horribly global warming has played out (and to solve the problem in the one week she has left to live as a side effect of time travel). It is called “Last Week”. A FREE PDF file is here.

In contrast, this book has no time machines in its plot. It also doesn’t have a plot, or a story, or main characters, or antagonists. I don’t think it qualifies as a novel.

Instead, it reads like a learned article reflecting on what exactly makes humanity miss the obvious need for drastic countermeasures. Much of it is documented with footnotes. If this is science fiction, it is more science as fiction.

But there is also a strong fictional element. The authors tell us how much degrees of global warming we end up with. And how China dealt with the problem of relocating 250 million people from their coast lines. And many other things in the future, which obviously are impossible to document exactly with a footnote. About one third of the book is speculation about what might happen.

The authors blame something they call the “carbon-combustion complex”, which is a parallel to the “military-industrial complex” term already well known.

They may be correct. If so, it would help to have the “carbon-combustion complex” on the other side, the side of the climate activists. That is easily done. All it takes is to realize that oil companies and other fossil fuel owners would realize massive profits from rising fossil fuel prices, and that of course a fast phase-out of fossil fuel means higher prices (less supply).

I am preaching this all the time on this blog under the name of Phaseout Profit Theory.


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Bitcoin Based Cap and Trade

Jul 13 2014 Published by under Bitcoin Law, Phaseout Profit Theory

New video in the Youtube Bitcoin 101 series about a crazy idea to develop a Bitcoin-based global CO2 cap and trade system called Sno Cap.

I just saw this at the Reddit Bitcoin forum. I have no idea if it might work. But just like Bitcoin itself is creating a global currency based only on the power of mathematics, it might just be possible to create a global cap and trade system based on the Bitcoin global public ledger.

Anyway, as someone with a strong interest both in Bitcoin and global warming issues, this obviously deserves some attention.

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$950 Billion Invested in Fossil Fuel Supply Last Year

Jul 11 2014 Published by under Phaseout Profit Theory

Says this article at the Telegraph. Thanks to this Tweet by Jeremy Leggett for the link.

The largest chunk of that is oil and gas exploration. Oil exploration investment has gone up by a factor of three since 2000, but output has only increased by 14 percent.

The Telegraph article worries about these assets becoming “stranded”. They say that global warming considerations may require for most of the oil to stay in the ground, in which case it will become difficult to realize any return on these high investments.

I agree in part.

The oil industry should refrain from increasing their exploration investments in this way. Go back to the $230 billion a year they invested in 2000.

The predictable outcome is that supply will become restrained. That in turn will increase oil prices, which will lead to higher profit margins for the oil industry, as well as higher valuations of their existing reserves. And less CO2 emissions from burning oil.

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Book Review: Icarus Rising

Icarus Rising by Dominic Carney was published in January 2012. I bought this because I read a post by the author in the Facebook “The Cli-Fi writers process forum” group.

In my basic distinction of climate fiction novels, this falls into the first category of my “list of global warming fiction books“, which are those that propose a solution to the problem.

The solution proposed by this book is to release more oxygen, which word for some reason I don’t understand is always spelled capitalized (“Oxygen”) throughout the book. That will dilute the CO2 in the atmosphere and radically reduce the greenhouse effect. The necessary large amount of oxygen will come from an underground lake in the Antarctic, lake Vostok. The main character gets this idea by playing around with a cigar and the concept of using viagra. I was not able to understand that part.

When reading this, the first objection I had was that the author must have made up the part about the lake in Antarctica. How is that supposed to be possible? The whole continent is frozen many times over.

As it turns out, there actually is a “Lake Vostok“, and it is the sixth largest lake on the planet. It seems that there are packets of higher temperature under the ice sheets, or something. Anyway, I was wrong about that being impossible.

I still don’t think that this solution would work. With CO2 now at 0.04 percent of the atmosphere and oxygen at 20.949 percent, there is around 523 times more oxygen than CO2. Increasing the share of oxygen by 10 percent to 23.043 percent would require injection of an amount of oxygen that is over 50 times larger than the whole amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, only one third of which has been released by human activity. The numbers just don’t add up. Even if they would, reducing the share of CO2 in the atmosphere would not remove one single CO2 atom from there. And it is the absolute amount of CO2 and not the market share that is responsible for the greenhouse effect.

I also disagree with the basic idea that it would make much of any difference if such a “solution” gets deployed a couple of weeks or months later. It is just not a realistic scenario to have one clear tipping point for the climate. I understand that one would want such a tipping point when writing a novel. I have one in my own global warming science fiction novel “Tasneem”. But this comes at the cost of leaving the area of credible scenarios.

Early in the novel there is a part where oxygen comes up from the drilling well and somehow causes a fire. I had trouble understanding that. Obviously, oxygen doesn’t burn. Fuel does.

There are a lot of violent fighting scenes in this novel. Some of them seem to be rather lacking in realism. Twice we see characters who have multiple guns pointed at them from short range somehow kill the people pointing the guns. In the second case there is the additional question why the murderers would wake up the main character in the first place instead of just putting a bullet through his head, if that is what they want.

The motivation of the main villain (a leader of a fossil fuel company) was rather interesting for me. That’s because contrary to what one would expect he has his company investing in low carbon energy and is motivated by a desire to suppress voices critical of the scientific consensus on global warming. He doesn’t want his investments in renewable energy go sour.

If so, then there is not much reason to attack the main character, whose warnings make such investments an even more urgent priority.

But this motivation is exactly what I want to have fossil fuel industry leaders in a novel as well as in real life, though for different reasons. The global warming problem is the best thing that could happen to the fossil fuel industry. If Bill McKibben and Greenpeace win and we start strongly reducing the amount of CO2 that can be legally blown in the atmosphere, fossil fuel prices will go way up. I call this idea “phaseout profit theory”, and it is one of the main themes of this blog as well as of my own global warming novels. So yes, it actually makes sense to have a fossil fuel industry leader want to affirm the scientific consensus on global warming.

Update: Carney kindly answers here. He says that indeed, some of the science in the novel does not exactly work out, but that that is not important. He compares it to the Godzilla story. The scientific basis for that does not exist either. And his aim is to get people thinking about geoengineering.


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ExxonMobil Report “Energy and Carbon – Managing the Risks”

Apr 29 2014 Published by under Phaseout Profit Theory

ExxonMobil has published that report in March. It discusses their view of the question if they face a risk from climate related regulation.

In the mid-term until 2040, they think that it is “highly unlikely” that governments restrict hydrocarbon production in a way to reduce GHG emissions 80 percent during the Outlook period (page 12).

If true, that would be bad news for the climate. But it would also be bad news for the bottom line of ExxonMobil.

This report gives some interesting figures on the proven reserves of ExxonMobil, the world’s largest oil company. On page 24, they report proven reserves at the end of 2013 of 13.238 billion barrels of oil. That means that for every dollar the price of oil rises, the value ExxonMobil’s reserves rises by over 13 billion dollars.

Their profit in 2013 was only 32.58 billion dollars. Getting oil valuations up by only 5 dollars per barrel would result in a value increase of over 66 billion dollars, or double the 2013 profit, before the first barrel of oil is sold to anyone.

It was always clear to me that an oil company like ExxonMobil would see massive profits if oil prices increase because they scale back production. But these numbers give an idea of how vast those profits would be.

Page 28 reports revenue per barrel of oil as $95.25, and earnings as $17.45. Again, obviously increasing the average price of one barrel of oil by $5 would increase profits, by around $1 per barrel.

Double that average oil price to $190.50 (oil has gone up by a factor of fifty over the last forty years) and ExxonMobil is looking at more than doubling their earnings per unit. And in that case, the value of their reserves would go up by $1260.92 billion dollars.

In the long term, fossil fuel will run out. And before that happens, climate protection regulation will get serious in limiting oil use.

The trick for the oil companies would be to reduce production before they are actually forced to do so, and while price elasticity is low. Produce less, sell at higher prices, get more profit.

And solve climate change as well.


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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

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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.

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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?”

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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.

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