[iDC] Introducing: Real Costs & Oil Standard

Andreas Schiffler aschiffler at ferzkopp.net
Sat May 12 20:28:03 EDT 2007

>> Now the key question is how you change the meta-system, giving the 
>> record of
>> failure in this regard, and the obsoleteness of industrial era 
>> leftism? My
>> suggestion would be to tone down the useless anti-capitalist 
>> rhetoric, and
>> to tune up the post-capitalist practices.
> Indeed. But what are these post-capitalist practices? Surely you are 
> not suggesting that by minimising our ecological footprints we will 
> somehow "change the system"?
One can presume that any action will have some effect on the system ... 
maybe not the desired outcome, but some effect will be present. (As a 
colorful example: a bunch of flies hitting the windshield of my car 
while driving will not change my path, but at some point I'll stop at a 
gas station to clean the windshield.) In theory, once the amount of 
"push" reaches some critical mass, the system must change because it is 
bound by some external dynamics to do so. (The colorful example again: 
the cars air intake is plugged by the masses of flies decending on the 

Fun aside, I don't have the answer either. In todays world it seems to 
revolve around variations of capitalism though ... unless one wants to 
disconnect from the world completely.

For example, I am in the position to install a geothermal heat pump to 
climatize my home. This is a capital intensive - since technical - 
improvement that will reduce my "dwelling's" carbon-footprint for 
decades. So it is "a good thing" (TM). But it is also an expensive 
enterprise requiring me to tap into "capitalism": my employer ultimately 
pays for it (me flying around trade shows to earn money), the bank (as 
lender) get a ton of interest for doing nothing, vendors, installers, 
shippers (all driving Ford T pickups) earn a living, and the actual 
production of the unit (lot's of PVC pipe!) surely employs whole 
villages in China. Currently I put the project on hold for a year for 
purely economic reasons (too little government incentives, too much 

So for post-capitalist practices to become initially sustainable, they 
might need to have quite a bit of traditional sound "economics" with a 
sprinkle of "irrationality" (see the latest Scientific American article 
on the "Traveller's Dilemma"). Governments and corporations seem to 
seldom provide any of that in the right ratio.

Oh, and if anyone want to reduce their carbon footprint - I have a lot 
of land to plant trees on. Seriously, how about integrating a "click 
here for a donation to plant a tree" into the FF plugin. Aren't some 
airlines already offering that as part of the ticket purchase???

-- Andreas

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