Monday, February 01, 2010

Cosmic Accounting

We're hearing a lot about the massive federal deficit again. The deficit adds to the debt, which is more massive yet. The exponential interest on these amounts is supposedly the inheritance of future generations, meaning they've been effectively robbed of opportunity even before birth.

Not every economist has the same model of the global economy of course. The more realistically minded do remember to credit the sun for supplying our planet with a steady inflow of energy. Calling it "cosmic accounting" makes it sound too hippie or something, but we're really just talking about thermodynamics 101. Planet Earth is not a closed system, and anyone who tells you otherwise needs to do some more homework.

That the sun is driving vast energy cycles, which in turn drive a lot of our engineering, really has to be on the books somehow. Earth is like a nonprofit in getting this grant income. Some call it "surfing the solar gradient."

Economists with little training in science forget to link wealth creation to natural phenomena, especially extraterrestrial phenomena.

A gigantic fusion furnace, bathing the Earth in free power, just doesn't get much notice in these economists' bookkeeping. Out of sight out of mind.

We should divide economists into two camps: those giving the sun credit for sponsoring our economy, versus those with no clue.

Next time you listen to an economist or read one's analysis, see if you can figure out which pigeon-hole to use.