Blockchain: something new in the sun

User 9624935 2022-04-03 05:14:25 阅读数:346

blockchain new sun

John, a famous world environmental historian . McNeil is 《 What's new in the sun 》 It's said in : Human behavior that can change the environment , Can be called economic activity . that , The history of economic development can also be attributed to the history of human transformation and utilization of the environment .

Economic development is mainly driven by population growth , Others are due to the improvement of productivity by technology and organization .1760 Before the industrial revolution in , Human economic activities mainly use the life energy of nature , Including plants 、 Biological conversion of animals and their own mechanical energy ; After the industrial revolution , Inanimate energy is an alternative to life energy , Including coal 、 oil 、 In vitro energy of fossil fuels such as natural gas ; Global electrification began with 1980 And it is still in progress , Electricity has greatly stimulated the demand and use of energy . The use of inanimate energy has not only promoted two centuries of economic and population growth , What is more important is to liberate the human species from endless physical labor , Opened up human creativity .

A century of economic growth , It comes down to resources 、 Global and proportional allocation of labor and capital . This configuration is mainly reflected in three aspects : industrialization 、 Fordism and globalization .

Industrialization is mainly to change the structure and speed of energy and logistics , With the goal of reducing energy density , Form an economic center characterized by urban agglomeration , For example, Detroit and Silicon Valley in the United States . Industrialization not only gave birth to nationalism and the rise of the State , It also gave birth to the formation of a unified market and the public sphere , With the help of technological revolution and mercantilism , The competition of capitalism has been established all over the world 、 efficiency 、 And consumerism .

Fordism is 20 The typical cooperation mode in the 21st century , By introducing an assembly line 、 Taylor system scientific management 、 Improve workers' welfare, etc , It has reached the ultra-high productivity growth rate of industrial society . at that time , Ford employees 58 A day's salary can buy a car , The production model pioneered by Fordism has led millions of Americans to buy cars 、 The radio 、 phonograph 、 Refrigerators and washing machines .20 The abundance and leisure enjoyed by people in the 21st century , stay 19 In the 21st century, we need a large number of servants to do it . So , Fordism has far-reaching influence , Mass production requires mass consumption , This created a mass consumerism society and a welfare state . The negative influence of Fordism is the renegotiation of social contract in industrial society : Such as changes in family structure and social class , The decline of older craftsmen and employers prefer women to men , Even many people are hit by the relentless efficiency of the assembly line production process , Seek comfort from Nazism . Globalization is divided into several stages : The first stage was driven by exploration and Trade , The scope is 15 Century to 18 century ; The second stage is driven by colonialism , With the help of advances in transportation and communication technology , Including the railway 、 Ships and telegrams . The scope is 1870 Year to 1914 In between , Finally blocked by two world wars . The third stage is by immigrants 、 Driven by electronic communications and Global trade , Range is from 20 century 80 From time to now . Since the middle of last century , Globalization 、 Industrialization goes hand in hand with Fordism , Promote the miraculous growth of the global economy , By the end of last century , Tend to globalization rapidly “ Financialization ”, Money flows much easier in the financial system than in trade and manufacturing , That's the problem right now , Reference resources 《 Blockchain : Man cannot perch on a bridge of pure means 》 One article .

These three features interact , Through technological revolution and configuration optimization , Not only gave birth to 20 The economic miracle of the century , It has also triggered large-scale environmental changes . Michael . Jacobs is 《 Rethink capitalism 》 On capitalism and its dilemma , Behind the development of contemporary capitalism lies another more serious problem : Global greenhouse gas emissions have soared , Climate change is bad , The risk of catastrophic consequences is enormous . In the white paper released by the World Bank 《 Responsibility growth in the new millennium : social , Ecological and economic integration 》 Pointed out in , Our production speed is faster than ever before , This leads to a state of overcapacity , The world is moving beyond its carbon absorption capacity , It poses a major challenge to future growth . NASA research shows that , exceed 97% All climate scientists agree that : Since last century , Human activities have caused global warming .

Changes in the global average surface temperature ( source : NASA )

We cannot ignore such warnings .

stay 《 The limits of growth 》(The Limits to Growth) In a Book , MIT (MIT) Researchers in the last century 70 In the s, using the dynamic system model , Predicted entry into 21 Global growth trajectory in the 21st century . The author concludes that , If the historical behavior of economic man continues in the same way , Will push the world to a “ Natural limits ”:“ The basic behavior pattern of the world system is the exponential growth of population and capital , Then there was a crash .”

The latest in the United States 《 National climate assessment 》 in , Researchers have issued the toughest economic and climate warning yet , Negating Trump's official position : Without substantial and sustained global mitigation and regional adaptation efforts , Climate change is expected to cause increasing damage to infrastructure and property in the United States , And hinder the economic growth rate of this century .

Rethink capitalism , Environmental problems such as greenhouse gases are inseparable from the capitalist production and consumption system , Because the energy base of this system is fossil fuels . It seems that recently 30 The decline of carbon emissions in developed countries in , One important reason is the transfer of production to developing countries through globalization .

chart ES1: To 2050 Historical greenhouse gas emissions and projections for .

( source : The United Nations Environment Programme 《2015 Annual emission gap report 》)

The deeper reason is people's ideas . At present, all kinds of doctrines that countries all over the world follow as the standard , All follow a universal ideology : Economic growth . If science is a new religion , Then economic growth is the Holy Grail of modern human activities . Economics also puts on the cloak of Science , Become an abstract concept without blood and tears . As long as the economy continues to grow , Can cover up all corruption 、 unequal 、 Behavior monitoring 、 Moral corruption and ecological destruction .

This economic rationality that ignores nature is rooted in the teachings of Western monotheistic Christianity and Judaism , The God of the ancient Hebrews instructed believers to “ Have many children , All over the ground , Govern the land ; Also manage the fish in the sea 、 Birds in the air , And all kinds of living creatures on the ground ”( And Eastern Buddhism 、 Taoism reveres nature very much ). Marxism born after the industrial revolution , Its core is that nature can be conquered by mankind , Appeal to “ Human beings exploit nature ” Instead of “ Human beings exploit human beings ”. The peak of capitalism , An American economist once cheerfully announced that the economy would continue to grow 70 In one hundred million, , Until the sun dies out . A Nobel laureate once said , The world can live without natural resources .

And this idea is rooted in the nature of human shortsightedness and Prejudice : In case of collective action such as climate change , Then fall into “ Tragedy of the Commons ”. This is mainly reflected in the economy : The debt based banking system and the exogenous monetary system make the current capitalist economy live beyond its means ; The incentive mechanism for asset holders and enterprise executives has caused people in the financial and industrial circles to pay more and more attention to immediate interests .

Most people in the world focus on things that only affect family or friends in a short time

There are two solutions to the tragedy of the Commons : One is privatization , One is strong supervision ( Reference article 《 Let me build a tower of Babel , The top of the tower will open to the sky 》). In both directions, perhaps blockchain technology can provide implementation paths .

From the perspective of strong regulation , Reference resources 《 Blockchain : Man cannot perch on a bridge of pure means 》 In this article, Keynes's dream , In the industrial age , Enterprises are organized nationwide in the form of communism or capitalism , In the era of blockchain , We will see the first supranational jurisdiction and organizational form . Governance attribute of blockchain , A separate article is needed to explain .

From the perspective of privatization , It will be a climate issue for governments and enterprises , Give it to individuals through money and Technology , Blockchain will organize and motivate the environmental behavior of billions of people on this overpopulated planet , From linear economy to circular economy .

Adam . Smith believes that circular economy cannot bring sustained growth ,Andrew Gillick The demonstration of circular economy is based on the assumption of stable population growth and the assumption of infinite elastic demand in a world with limited resources . UN data show that ,1970 After years of 30 In the year , The population of the earth has doubled , But global population growth is slowing , May be in 2100 It reached a stable level around the year . , in turn, , Stable population growth will change the growth trajectory , Towards a more currency 、 A less growing world , because GDP The sustained growth of depends on the assumption of infinite elastic demand in a world with limited resources . Infinite elastic demand means that the demand and price of products remain unchanged , Any demand above this price will fall to zero .

The traditional economic system extracts raw materials from nature , Turn it into a product , And eventually destroy these products in nature . such “ extract - The destruction ” The model is called a linear economic model , And was criticized for its waste of resources .

Although linear models can include recycling , But in such a system , The material is not designed to be reusable or recycled , Lead to serious degradation of materials and accumulation of waste in the environment ( There is no corresponding institutional incentive ). by comparison , The recycling model envisages a waste free system , And take ecological benefits as the goal . Its purpose is to establish a circular economy , Maintain the ecological value of materials for a period of time .

Schematic diagram of resource flow in circular economy

To design such an economy , It is often necessary to think of the economy as a circular system , Products must be designed so that they can re-enter the economic cycle after treatment . In circular economy , Technical and biological components can be distinguished . Technical components must be able to be easily restored or updated . for example , The production of washing machine can follow the concept of modularization , In this way, components can be easily replaced or updated , Economic activities should increasingly shift from selling products to providing products and services . Biological components must be composed of harmless elements , These harmless elements can be easily returned to nature through biodegradation . for example , Any packaging should be made of materials that can be degraded or completely recycled for the production of other products .

Due to the use of blockchain Technology , It is feasible to track resources in the future . therefore , The input material of the product can be clearly determined , Including the quantity of materials 、 Quality and source . Besides , Information about the biological or technical components of the product can be tracked on the blockchain . Based on this knowledge , A complex resource restriction and trading system can be implemented . The system needs to distinguish between natural resources and technological resources . The fees collected for the use of technical resources can be adjusted according to the ecological severity of specific materials . for example , A ton of plastic is more expensive than a ton of sandstone . Besides , Based on a blockchain system that can track product attributes , The tax can be adjusted according to the degree of degradability of the material . for example , Producers of high-quality plastics that produce recyclable products will not be taxed . contrary , When the material is degraded by the producer , This will be recorded , Smart contract will reduce resource tax . therefore , We can establish a trading system that directly encourages the transformation to circular economy mode .

The financial system based on blockchain promotes sustainable development

Go further , This trading system can be strengthened through a blockchain based hosting mechanism . therefore , An individual or company concerned with the environment ( For example, by collecting plastic ) Will gain direct economic benefits . Under the supervision of the government , The value of custody contracts will remain stable , So as to realize the currency as the bookkeeping unit 、 Characteristics of value storage and accounting media . The establishment of the financial system should take into account the logic of natural capital . Besides , Such a system may change the basic financial principles . for example , Demurrage can be introduced , This will create fundamental incentives for the economic system to shift from short-term to long-term orientation . In such a system , The opposition between financial value and ecological value will be alleviated .

Besides , In practice , It may not only be necessary to implement a single national cryptocurrency , It also needs to implement different national cryptocurrencies for each resource type —— By public resources ( land , air , water , Minerals, etc ) Supported local cryptocurrencies ,Bernard Lietaer It is called supplementary currency other than legal currency , We can build an incentive mechanism for sustainable development to supplement the current financial system to improve efficiency .

Based on the Regen Above “ Ecological state agreement ”, Monitor ground conditions and generate credible evidence of ecosystem health

There are many different blockchain environmental protection projects being implemented .Nori It is a carbon blockchain market , Committed to creating the first common price for carbon elimination , One of them Nori The pass represents the equivalent of one ton of carbon dioxide removal . Different from other credits based on carbon emission rights , This is a digital certificate for carbon elimination , Will attract companies that try to improve their sustainability image , Like organic certification , Or participants in the food supply chain that protects the soil .

Technological revolution, as a factor of production, promotes economic development , This is not new . What's new is , Blockchain organizes society in a new way of governance , Reshape the environmental structure , Challenge the current banking and monetary system , Return to sustainable development .

2019 year 11 month 4 Japan , The United States government officially notified the United Nations , Call for withdrawal from the fight against global climate change 《 The Paris Agreement 》. according to 《 The Paris Agreement 》 Regulations , The exit process takes a year , It means , The United States will 2020 year 11 month 4 The date of “ on time ” sign out .

Blockchain not only faces the challenge of path dependence faced by any new technological revolution , We have to face the challenge of traditional global governance . Since the great depression in the United States last century , Mainstream Western economists never take the natural environment into consideration . Old Pliny said : Is nature a loving mother or a cruel stepmother , It's hard to conclude . As long as the state and society must seek self-protection in a highly competitive international system , As long as enterprises seek profit and power in a highly competitive market , When individuals seek status and wealth in a highly competitive society , Old Pliny's words will remain inconclusive .

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