I guess you saw those pictures of the Perseverance rover on Mars, truly amazing feat of engineering. But what I also registered was seeing the desert that is Mars. Maybe there was intelligent life there that reduced it to a wasteland a billion years ago, or maybe not. But it looks like what Earth will probably look like in a while, maybe a short while.
Of course, nothing we are doing to ameliorate this dystopian situation can make any difference now. The amounts we are spending on climate change are paltry and can’t possibly make any difference to the climate outcome.
So right now, it looks like the global strategy is to adopt some policies that can appear like the governments are actually doing something, while at the same time doing almost nothing since the amounts being spent are way too small to affect the outcome.
Even if the amounts were large enough, what exactly would we do? Stop burning coal? Expected impact in 200 years but that won’t stop global warming. Fix pollution? In your dreams. And so on.
But there is a solution, theoretical at least. That would be terraforming, a favorite meme for sci-fi buffs. That means changing the Earth and its atmosphere physically on a global scale. No-one knows exactly what it would look like but since there aren’t any other options, we’re stuck with it as being the best of no alternatives.
There’s another more aptly descriptive term for terraforming, namely geoengineering. Examples are getting rid of carbon dioxide by pumping it into the interior of the Earth, making the Earth’s surface more reflective (we really need Christo here folks, he was way ahead of his time) to reflect more sunlight, even changing the flow and direction of ocean currents to disrupt the presently increasing energy flows that inflate global temperatures even more.
These would all be great fun for OCD engineers and in the process prevent them from building yet more dams which contribute in no small way to habitat destruction and thus global warming. If there’s nothing else to be done, they could always mark out a couple of rich countries and put them inside a country-size mega-dome with a pristine environment and clean air inside (paraterraforming, if you must ask). Nothing to it really.
But terraforming will be monstrously expensive. How much? Who knows? Maybe $100 trillion over the next 10 years (what’s after a trillion?). It’s so much even politicians wouldn’t be able to imagine how to spend it. In any case, who’s got a spare $100 trillion hanging around with nothing to spend it on? How do you pay for a Mega-Manhattan project maybe 1,000 times the size of the original?
But what about Bitcoin? In theory you could just create the money out of thin air (as on Mars?) just by starting up enough bitcoin mining rigs and increasing the limit on the number of bitcoins that can be created within the Bitcoin framework originally dreamed up by the enigmatic and mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto.
There’s a catch of course. That is, bitcoin mining increases global warming significantly. So as things are right now you can create the money but the more you create, the worse global warming gets. Catch 22 got you.
But what if you put bitcoin mining rigs (solar powered of course) on Mars where they can heat up a frigid atmosphere to its hearts content and thus terraform Mars at the same time, making it warmer for us to live there? Two birds with one stone, right?
If our doubts about terraforming Mars without legal authorization get to be overly tiresome, put the pesky rigs (again solar-powered) at a Lagrange Point, , where they just add heat to the Solar System, which doesn’t really matter since we’re ruining Earth anyhow. In either case we can create enough bandwidth to beam the bitcoins down to Earth where they can be used productively to jump-start the Mega-Manhattan Terraformation Era, otherwise known as the Terraocene.
The keystone of this plan is that governments must create a new digital currency called EarthCoins. These are the bitcoins imported from Mars or the Lagrange Point which will form the monetary foundation for terraforming and Earthly sustainability. It’s a new currency for regular folks to get involved in a mass movement to save the Earth.
But we need a special monetary window to get the big mega- investors involved. Governments and international institutions such as the IMF need to also create a special class of EarthCoins called ESGCoins for investors. They are EarthCoins for billionaires devoted only to terraforming companies and projects. They would get tax breaks and other perks allowing ESGCoin entrepreneurs reap outsize rewards as well as get instant legitimacy, which is more than many of them have now.
ESGCoins are the trophy currency for those who want to play a leading role in addressing climate change and to be seen to be doing it. Everyone (with a few spare billions) can become their own version of the Elon Musk.
EarthCoins would be issued by the EarthCoins Monetary Fund (EMF of course) a new international agency. Its members would be countries who are prepared to back the EarthCoin currency in its use for terraforming.
The EarthCoin would be able to be used anywhere in the EMF territory which will include outer space and other planets. Their main purpose is to save the Earth, so most countries will grant them some nice bennies such as enhanced tax-free status and privileged access in granting new franchises and territory on other planets, starting with Mars, naturally. So, we’ll never have to go without our KFC and Macaroos on Mars.
I think there would be a huge market for EarthCoins and their fighting cousin, ESGCoins. I think you could raise a lot of money, especially if governments relaxed restrictions on the source of the money used for these two classes of digital money. This would get us the trillions we need for the Global Terraforming Project (TerraMan). At the same time, it would establish a new framework for extra-terrestrial commerce which is already emerging as a high priority as space ventures emerge, proliferate and (occasionally) explode (as in Starship).
The scuttlebutt from the financial literati is that Bitcoin is a bubble and so it might well be. It might also not be a bubble and presage an era of digital money and untold riches for those who grasp the promise. But in either case it’s a winning proposition.
If the bitcoin bubble bursts, the world as we know it is still going to end and collectively, we’ll all be no worse off: that is to say we all will be facing the end of the world as we know it. And if the bubble doesn’t burst, we will have managed to raise the hundreds of trillions (or more) that we need to save our fatally wounded planet from the Apocalypse.
What’s not to like? Real money for effective climate change initiatives and a good chance that we can avoid the End, as opposed to no chance now. A new source of cash for governments that hopefully some of which will go to humanistic uses not just terraforming. A new global currency that will grease the wheels of emerging extra-terrestrial commerce.
And maybe even dynamic economic growth effects as the impact of this new form of digital money sweeps through the Earth and then the Near-Earth Economics Federation (Mars, the Moon, Titan, Enceladus, what else?). Because terraforming will be a massive economic stimulus not only to Earth’s economy, but also on the newly populated planets of the Moon, Mars maybe even Planet 9!
Let’s Terraform like there’s no tomorrow (just like there might well not be)!
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