Reality Blind - Vol. 1

Energy Part 5 – Energy and Money

What is Money?

“Ultimately, money has no intrinsic value, but is simply a claim on real goods and services… The problem now is that the sum of all the claims represented by money and debt has become vastly larger than anything that the real economy can deliver.”

– Tim Morgan

Summary: Traditionally, money has served three functions: a unit of exchange, a store of value, and a unit of account. Historically, lots of things have been considered money: seashells, wampum, tobacco, beads, etc. Now we have “paper” money (it’s actually made from linen and synthetic materials) and electronic digits that record sums of money in bank computers around the world. But what do we exchange it for and what does it represent? The things we want, use, and keep consist of real capital, which is what monetary capital indirectly represents.

Real capital is:

● natural capital , like fresh water, trees, healthy soil and wildlife ● social capital , which is our friends, family and social networks (shown above are author Nate Hagens’ two dogs) ● built capital , or the things we turn natural resources into, such as houses, tractors, computers and solar panels; and


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