We discuss the economics of electric cars, and what the heavy subsidies they receive tell us about their future potential. Will they save Earth from CO2 emissions? Is eliminating emissions possible? Is it even desirable?
Saifedean Ammous: How’s everyone doing today?
[00:03:41] Daniel Prince: Doing well, mate, doing well. Cool thread with Taleb by the way, loved it! And were you trying to trigger people about the car because that goes few people are fired up as well?
[00:03:59] Saifedean Ammous: No, I really wasn’t trying to trigger anybody. Triggering people comes naturally to me, everything I do has to trigger somebody because I like to think for myself and that always triggers people who haven’t thought things through, but in my case, I genuinely want to buy a car and I genuinely don’t want to have an electric motor. For me the thought of getting an electric car at this point is… it’s not idealism.
[00:04:28] It’s not like I don’t want to profit from subsidies. Or I want to send out a signal that I want to boycott these cars because I don’t like them. I really don’t care. It’s purely just thinking of it as a consumer. Like I’ve never had a piece of electronic equipment that has lasted more than five years.
[00:04:42] It just doesn’t happen, you know? Electronics? Well, okay. Maybe washing machines can last longer and fridges, but generally electronics are things that fall apart and specifically if it’s something that’s produced by a company that cannot turn a profit. more you read about electric cars, the more you realize the entire industry is a complete product of regulations and subsidies and mandates and amount of money that is being wasted on trying to get people to move from fossil fuel cars to electric cars is just insane.
[00:05:16] It’s huge. And it’s not something that I would want to invest in. I don’t want to buy a car and then five years down the line, there’s a fiscal crisis somewhere and they stopped subsidizing these cars. And then you end up with break. These are highly sophisticated electronic equipment.
[00:05:32]It’s not like mechanical cars where you just… we have mechanical cars that are running functional that are 50 years old. They’re around. People use them. You have a 50 year old Mercedes, you just put fuel in the engine and the engine runs.
[00:05:47] You don’t need software updates from Mercedes-Benz. You don’t need ’em. You’re not going to expect it to have all kinds of electric faults, which are really what is the major issue with the cars? Mostly because like the mechanical stuff is pretty basic and pretty easy to get right.
[00:06:05]You can have a mechanical car last forever, but it’s not very likely with an electric car. And I just don’t see these things lasting. Electric cars were invented before internal combustion engines. The first electric car was made in 1820 they’re, 200 years old. It’s not something new.
[00:06:23]Elon Musk didn’t invent it. Nobody invented it recently. It’s something old and there are very, very, very good reasons why that didn’t work. People keep saying the battery technology is improving battery… Sure. If it’s improving then why the *** do they need all these subsidies?
[00:06:43] Show me one electric car manufacturer who’s able to turn a profit and sell their car at a profit without needing enormous amounts of subsidies. And of course the main subsidy that they get is the carbon trading scams. All of these car companies are essentially forced to get into the stupid electric car business because the way that it is done is that… and this is of course the carbon trading is one of the dumbest scams in the world.
[00:07:06]It’s calculated so that mechanical cars, internal combustion engine cars have a lot of emissions. Whereas the electric cars don’t have emissions and it’s such a profoundly idiotic way of calculating it because the emissions are still there in your electric car. It’s so *** dumb.
[00:07:22] Really people who watch the news and believe the news are so f*** stupid. It’s amazing. Like your electric car wasn’t immaculately conceived out of the farts of angels in the Tesla factory. It took an enormous amount of burning energy in order to make the battery and to make the body and to make all of that stuff.
[00:07:42] And that emits an enormous shit ton of carbon dioxide. It also takes energy. You need to generate the electricity that goes into the car. So the electricity is not generated in an engine in the car. It’s generated in a power plant, which for the vast majority of the world runs on hydrocarbon and also releases a lot of carbon dioxide.
[00:08:02] So the notion that you’re just getting rid of carbon dioxide by driving an electric car is f*** idiotic. You’re just releasing the carbon dioxide somewhere else. Of course then there’s the whole issue of how f*** idiotic the whole hysteria about carbon dioxide itself is because carbon dioxide is an essential gas that is an essential part of every living thing. So the notion that we’re destroying the planet with carbon dioxide is also extremely f*** retarded, but even if you were to accept that the idea that electric cars are changing anything about this is just ridiculous.
[00:08:39]It’s a massive a boondoggle for the green industrial complex to just continue to make money from subsidies by selling this emotionally charged idea that we’re destroying the planet and you have to do something and we’re offering you something and give us money.
[00:08:56] And you can start feeling better about yourself for doing the things that you’re doing. And this isn’t new. I did my PhD 12 years ago, I completed it and it was looking at biofuels. And I noticed that it had been 10 years of people saying biofuels around the corner, and then you dig a little bit deeper and you see that it’s been the case since the 1970s.
[00:09:18] Literally every single “renewable form of energy” that is being marketed as the future today and that we’re being told is three to five years away from a tipping point where it becomes economical, where it can take over the market… literally every single one of these ideas was being promoted in the 1970s on the premise that it is three to five years away from a tipping point where it’s going to become more economical and cheaper than the alternatives.
[00:09:45] It was supposed to be biofuels. It was supposed to be solar. It was supposed to be electric cars, all of these things where in the 1970s being heavily promoted, heavily subsidized. And it’s been 50 years of subsidies for these industries. And none of them has managed to make it commercially viable.
[00:10:04] None of them has become commercially viable. I’m sure, solar and wind are viable and some very tiny, small capacities in specific places. But they are small little complements to hydrocarbon energy. There is no alternative to using hydrocarbons. The only alternative to hydrocarbon is poverty and cold and the darkness and misery and early death and not surviving winter.
[00:10:28] Those are the only proven alternatives to hydrocarbon that we have. Everything else is a scam and a stupid luxury that we are only able to afford because of the hydrocarbons. It’s only because we consume a lot of hydrocarbon that we can make electric cars. It’s only because we have a shit ton of hydrocarbon that we can consume that we’re able to make these monstrous windmill abominations that are destroying the country side all over the world in order to produce very little energy.
[00:10:53] These things can’t be made out of wind energy. You can’t use wind energy to make windmills. You can’t use solar energy to make solar panels. These things require industry to spend a lot of energy and a lot of power in order to create them, generate them, make them functional.
[00:11:09]But there’s an enormous industry of people making money out of selling people who watch TV, the illusion that we can just upgrade to this star Trek immaculate world, where we don’t have to make any fire. We don’t have to consume anything. Everything is just going to be like the iPhone, your entire life is just going to look like the iPhone and the iPhone is just going to be immaculately conceived out of The tears of angels who are just going to give us these beautiful iPhones that just come to us and everything’s going to be like the iPhone.
[00:11:44] Your house is going to be built without having to consume energy. And this is just completely, completely delusional. And it’s the kind of delusion that only people who live in extremely modern and extremely capitalist societies can afford. When the division of labor has gotten to the point where you have absolutely no idea how your house is built, you have no idea how your car is built, you have no idea how your phone is built, then you can entertain ideas as ridiculous as we’re going to go off hydrocarbon, or we’re going to have zero emissions. These things are only possible if you don’t understand how the world works.
[00:12:18] In the same way tooth fairy is only possible for my daughter when she doesn’t understand how the world works, when she grows up, she realizes that’s not how it works. The world is a little bit more complicated. That’s my general take on this. I have no reason to buy a technology that is subsidized. If it’s subsidized, that means it doesn’t pass the market test. If you remember what we studied in ECO11 and ECO12 on the Mises calculation debate, and the discussion of entrepreneurship and the discussion of profit and loss… In order for economic production to happen, you need that profit and loss incentive.
[00:12:50] You need people to be constantly leashed essentially into reality or tethered to reality by calculations of profit and loss. It’s like when you’re driving a car you need to have your eyes on the road so that when you see that the road is turning right, you turn right. And when you see the, the road is turning left, you turn left. That’s effectively what profits and losses do for producers.
[00:13:13] You look at what is coming in the market. You look at what the market is telling you. And then you apply that. And build your decisions and your actions based on it in order to try and maximize your profit and loss. And if you look at government agencies, or if you look at businesses that are subsidized, they don’t have that compass guiding them.
[00:13:31] They don’t have the profit and loss calculation guiding them. And so they end up being driven by other goals. So bureaucracies are driven by the goal of the people in charge of the bureaucracy of perpetuating their own jobs and continuing to keep the jobs going.
[00:13:44] And so the ostensible purpose of the job is just completely forgotten over time in bureaucracies. In the case of electric car makers, the people making those cars aren’t out there making cars because they’re making a profit out of cars because they can’t turn a profit out of the car.
[00:13:58] They’re making these cars in order to get carbon trading scheme credits and profit from them. They’re making those cars to meet stupid regulations being imposed about how much emissions cars can make and how many cars that emit things can make and how much of your fleet needs to have this thing.
[00:14:15] So if that’s the motivation of a capitalist, if that’s the motivation of a company, I just don’t want to buy it’s products. I don’t know how things are going to head in the future. And I don’t know what kind of problems will be there, but I know for a fact that you’re not going to become profitable by taking an unprofitable product and adding subsidies. It’s a different way of approach.
[00:14:36]It’s like you have a leaking tank and you think you can fix it by adding more fuel into it or more water into it. It’s not how it works. The leak means that no matter how much you put in, it’s still going to be lost. And so if you wanted to stop leaking, you have to fix it. But if the business is leaking, if the business is not able to make money… and it’s really astonishing.
[00:14:57]You think about the hype around Tesla and just how much people are so convinced that this is the future. They still cannot turn a profit on their car business, and they still cannot scale the business into any kind of meaningful numbers. The total amount of electric cars made by Tesla and all other car makers are still less than 2% of the new cars.
[00:15:19] So 98% of cars are still on hydrocarbons. And of course there’s always the idea that we’re at the tipping point, we can’t get onto the tipping point, if we’re not able to turn a profit. There’s not enough money in the world to pay for everybody in the world who has fossil fuel car to shift to an electric car.
[00:15:37] That’s just, isn’t, you know. The business model, the way that it works is that people who are driving… well, first of all, governments are subsidizing it, but also people who drive fossil fuel cars are subsidizing electric cars, because if you are a car maker who makes fossil fuel cars, you need to pay carbon taxes, carbon credits.
[00:15:55] And these go to the car makers who are making the electric cars. So effectively the people driving Tesla are subsidized by taxpayers and they’re subsidized by gasoline car drivers. So that can’t scale. There’s no way that you can scale that because if you run out of gas and car drivers, who’s going to pay for all the electric cars and the cars are still enormously expensive.
[00:16:15] They’re still far more expensive than the regular cars. Sure, maybe there are better. And a lot of people think that they’re much better than internal combustion engines. I don’t doubt that, but I don’t think it’s relevant. I don’t think it means anything to discuss whether a good is better or worse without regard to the price calculations around it.
[00:16:33] So if you give me half a million dollars per car, I can make an enormously fun car that is so much more fun to drive than the existing cars. The question is, can I sell it at a price that makes it worthwhile for people to ditch their existing car for? That’s the market test.
[00:16:51] It’s not about just making a nice toy. It’s about making a nice toy at a cost that people are willing to pay for and enough for you to turn a profit. That’s the test of the market and that’s where electric cars have completely unambiguously failed. There’s just no way around it. Not a single electric car maker has managed to turn a profit.
[00:17:11] And so, no matter how much fun you think it is to drive your car, it doesn’t really matter. You are not the one paying for it. So your opinion about how much fun it is, is not valid until you’re paying for it. So until the subsidies stop, it really means nothing to tell me that you think this is a better car.
[00:17:26]So you think your Tesla is better than the Mercedes. Currently there may maybe roughly at the same price, but if you got rid of the subsidies, Tesla will probably be triple the price of the Mercedes. The Mercedes will get cheaper because they don’t have to pay the stupid carbon credit taxes to subsidize the Tesla.
[00:17:41] And then the Tesla would have to be financed… this sounds insane, but you’d have to pay Tesla, Tesla factory, and the Tesla the production would have to be paid for by consumers who buy the Tesla, which is insane because currently that’s probably something like less than 30% of the revenues that Tesla makes.
[00:18:00]Tesla is essentially a carbon trading company. The car business is essentially a front. So if you take away the carbon trading scam bullshit and you take away the green subsidy bullshit, you likely end up with a Tesla being at maybe triple the price of the Mercedes. So then the question is, it fun enough for you to pay triple the price of the Mercedes?
[00:18:18] That’s the question. And secondly, of course, when you’ve tripled the price of these cars and you’ve taken away the subsidies, can you actually build the infrastructure that is needed to make those cars work? Having all these recharging stations all over the world so that you can drive your car and recharge everywhere? Would the cars still be profitable, when you have a smaller number of cars and you need to build all of this infrastructure in order to make those cars usable?
[00:18:45] Plus of course we have the problem of range. The car is fun your trips are short, but a lot of people need to drive long distances and the Teslas have a short range and then you drive a couple of hours, then you need to park and then you need to spend a significant amount of time recharging it.
[00:18:59]And of course that’s completely unworkable for a lot of very important uses. So for trucks. Truck drivers pull 18 hour shifts and they have to drive 18 hours. And then if you ran all global trade on electric cars that need to stop every couple of hours and recharge, that’s an enormous waste of time, enormous waste of capital, enormous waste of machines that could be running on cheap, reliable fossil fuels.
[00:19:25] Instead you’re running them on a much slower technology that is requiring all of that. So it’s of course impossible that we’re going to get rid of hydrocarbon powered car. There’s no way around it. We need gas stations everywhere. Because we need trucking, we need all of that infrastructure.
[00:19:38] We have a lot of people that drive long distances. And of course the vast majority of people can’t afford electric cars. Even if all of the miracles, that people talk about – batteries, where to indeed materialize it’s still far, far, far, far more expensive. Building an internal combustion car is dirt cheap.
[00:19:54] It costs a few hundred dollars to make what some of these cars have. There are cars, new cars that are sold for a few thousand dollars all over the world. So, The notion that we’re just going to replace hydrocarbon with electric is ridiculous. And the notion that electric is going to grow massively is I think it’s catastrophic. If it does happen, it’s going to mean an enormous amount of subsidies and an enormous amount of taxes on people who are driving in gasoline cars. Essentially just the most regressive tax possible. The people who can afford the electric cars are that some of the richest people in the world.
[00:20:25] It’s essentially asking the poorest 99% of the planet to subsidize the 1% of the planet, because, because we want to take the carbon dioxide emissions out of the car and have them come out of the power plant. And for that we need to keep subsidizing the richest people in the world.
[00:20:44] I’m not even trying to be principled about it. I just wouldn’t want to own a product that has this kind of technical debt involvement that requires governments all over the world to keep subsidizing this enormously inefficient, massively expensive technology that has constantly failed on the market test.
[00:21:03]I would not want to do it. I would not trust my safety into a car that is built on subsidies that can’t pass the profit test.
[00:21:11] Boris has a slightly different view on this. You want to go ahead and talk Boris?
[00:21:16] Boris: Sure Saif! One of the things which we have not discussed which people are not considering is the cost of the engine block itself.
[00:21:24] So for example a car has a longevity, let’s say a hundred to 200,000 miles, right? The car without the engine block could potentially last for a million miles easily because the only thing which wears out in the car, it really is the engine block. And without the engine block, the car will last for much, much longer.
[00:21:43] So you could almost argue that electric cars would be low time preference articles, because you could keep them for a much, much longer time than having to dispose of them after like three to five years. So I think the savings on the car is going to come from the fact that you will be able to use these vehicles for much, much longer time.
[00:22:03] Yes, the production of the energies is going to be somewhat centralized because if you use the power produced by centralized plants, yes, there’s some centralization there, but if you are able to, let’s say, produce the energy in your house with solar panels and let’s say do 80% of the charging using solar panels in your house, then you have a energy decentralization and at the same time enormous cost savings coming from the less need to replace the car so frequently.
[00:22:39] Saifedean Ammous: All right. Who knows why Boris is wrong on this? Why can we be sure that he’s wrong without having to know anything about mechanical engineering?
[00:22:49]Boris: Well, the simple thing, the only thing, the only thing you’ll be swapping is the batteries. That’s the only thing that’s going to be needed to be swapped.
[00:22:56] Saifedean Ammous: All right, Kiki?
[00:23:01]Coach Kiki: In the electric car, there’s all this technology and all the software. Very few people can repair that electric car. I live on a boat with like a 65 year old engine block on it that tens, hundreds of thousands of people who understand engines can repair.
[00:23:20] And I used to drive a 1974 Dodge dart in 2000, and it was the most reliable, easiest car to run. And there was hundreds of thousands of people potentially that could easily repair that car. So I think it’s all of that proprietary software around these cars, it’s going to fail and the whole technical team and the limited people that you have to go to. Also here in the United States, people can’t, I mean, they can, if they’re totally off the grid, if you put solar in your home, it has to run through the grid and you’re getting your subsidies back from the grid.
[00:24:01] That’s not independent where you just like pop up a solar panel and create your own energy. That’s not happening in 99% of the situations here in the U S.
[00:24:15] Saifedean Ammous: Yeah, I agree with this, but I think even…
[00:24:18] Dirk: Can we make it short answer? Wouldn’t it be really that otherwise people would buy them without subsidies?
[00:24:24] Saifedean Ammous: Exactly. It would make sense. Yeah. Kiki answered from an engineering perspective, but I think Dirk is hitting the nail on the head from an economic perspective. If that was the case, if it was a better choice in the long run, well then people would be jumping on the electric cars and they wouldn’t need subsidies to buy them.
[00:24:41] And the companies would be profitable. Clearly there’s something else going on. This is the thing that kind of frustrates me about this, that people think, the press release by the electric car manufacturer said that this is going to have less maintenance in 20 years.
[00:24:53] Well if you believe that, go and pay the full price and buy the car and you don’t need any subsidies then. You’re going to make the difference. You’re gonna make better money out of it by holding this better car. But instead, we have to, at once believe that it is better economics, it’s more economical, and also it needs subsidies.
[00:25:12] You know? So like, I don’t have a problem with people making electric cars. I have a problem when people make me pay for their electric cars. And until I stopped paying for the electric car that you’re driving, I don’t care about your consumer experience. I don’t care about your driving experience. I don’t care about how much you think this matters to the environment and how much this reduces the horror and the terror of carbon dioxide emissions.
[00:25:37] Pay for it yourself. And none of these car makers can produce one of these cars that can pay for itself.
[00:25:44] Boris: Saif, I totally agree. The subsidies need to go. Totally agree. But to release a new car takes three to five years. If you completely change the power technology inside the car, obviously talking even longer timeframes and responding to Kiki.
[00:26:00] I think the maintenance is going to be dramatically lower because you will be removing all of the mechanical parts which weren’t there. Not just the engine block, but you’re talking about the clutch and all of this stuff. The electrical motor is such a simple component. So the cars will be much simpler to maintain.
[00:26:17] I do agree…
[00:26:18] Saifedean Ammous: Yes, but the battery is more expensive than 10 cars. The battery of a Tesla is more expensive than 10 regular cars. The rest of the Tesla is basically just a bunch of plastic and an iPad essentially, but it’s the battery that’s really, really expensive. Absolutely. But these batteries will come down. No, they’re not, no, they’re not.
[00:26:34] This is, this is the fiction that everybody keeps driving. The batteries will come down. There are a million more useful uses for batteries than car engines. Car engines, you can have a gas tank in a car, and then you can have the combustion take place in the car. So if battery technology comes down, the market is going to advocate those batteries to far more useful things like for instance, a $1,000 phone that lasts more than a day.
[00:26:58] Like you pay a thousand dollars for a phone right now, and the battery won’t last you a day. It won’t last you a day, even after you’ve paid a thousand dollars for it. Most of which or a big chunk of which goes to pay for the battery. So in a free market if battery technology were to improve, we’d get phones that don’t require to be recharged every couple of hours and phones that you don’t have to throw away the battery every 18 months. The life expectancy of your phone battery is about 18 months or so.
[00:27:27] And that’s ridiculous. shows you what battery technology is. It’s not ridiculous. It’s just the limit of battery technology as it stands. And so the notion that we pay hundreds of dollars for a battery in a phone, which, you can’t put an engine in your phone, you can’t put an internal combustion engine with gasoline in your phone to keep it running, but you can put one in your car.
[00:27:47] So the notion that we’re going to take batteries out of phones and keep only crappy batteries in the phone so that we can finance batteries in cars is an enormous, enormous misallocation of capital, which it sounds like a misallocation of capital to me intuitively, and you look at it, does it happen in the market?
[00:28:05] No, it does not happen in the market. And it only happens because of subsidies. So people keep saying battery technology is going to get cheaper, better technology… if that were the case, we’ll see better technology for batteries in your laptop, in your telephone, in things that actually require batteries and we don’t. We are seeing very little, we’re seeing progress in battery technology. Of course it is getting better, but of course, what people are missing is that a progress in internal combustion engines is even better. That’s continuously getting cheaper. You look at the car makers in places like India and China who could produce new cars for like a couple of thousand dollars.
[00:28:42] You can make 20 cars for the price of the battery of a Tesla. Maybe even a hundred cars if you take out the subsidies. The notion that we’re going to be putting all of these batteries, these enormously expensive, hot, large batteries. And of course also the life expectancy of those batteries is completely unknown at this point.
[00:29:01] Marketing material pretends like those batteries are going to last forever, but we have no idea what they’re going to be like in 10 years. Most likely in 10 years, you’re going to need a new one. And essentially you’re buying a new car. You’re buying the equivalent of 100 of the cheap Indian or Chinese cars that they make for their producers.
[00:29:17] So again, I have no problem with you doing it. I just have a problem with people, finding reasons why other people need to pay for it. That’s really the issue. And of course, the fact that they pay for it… if you’ve been around the economic phenomenon long enough, you know, if it’s subsidized, it’s trash, it won’t work.
[00:29:36] If it’s good, it doesn’t need subsidies. If it’s good, people will be jumping all over each other to try and produce it at the lowest cost and get it onto the market. If it’s something that’s good… When smartphones came around, nobody sat there trying to go to the government and tell them give us a few billion dollars so that we can get smartphones to start becoming popular.
[00:29:56] No. People bought smartphones because they wanted them. Because cost of production of one of those phones was far less than the market value that people attached to it. You pay a thousand dollars for your phone, but your phone is worth a lot more for you. So people have no problem paying a thousand dollars.
[00:30:09] And the people who managed to get phones onto the market for others to buy… if you’re going to be building a phone that’s going to compete with all the others that are trying to make another phone… rule number one is don’t waste your time trying to lobby for subsidies, go out there and build the phone.
[00:30:24] And those are the people that built it. So you see, why is it that Tesla doesn’t need subsidies or, sorry, why is it that Apple doesn’t need subsidies? Why is it that all these technologies that people actually want, people will pay for willingly. And, you know, with time, do they get cheaper?
[00:30:39] Yeah, of course the iPhone today is better than the iPhone 10 years ago. It’s faster, stronger, better battery. Everything’s gotten better, but not like it was subsidies that made it cheaper. It’s the technology and the fact that they’re producing it. And that’s really what people who promote these cars keep missing, which is, it was any good, it wouldn’t need all that.
[00:30:56]Daniel Prince: if it was more of a free market, shouldn’t the emergence of the electric car pushed legacy companies into really taking a much closer look at the internal combustion engine and just improving that at a faster rate than… improving the range, improving reliability… shouldn’t it have driven more technological advancement in the existing system that we already had?
[00:31:17] Instead we have them now like you’re educating us about now that they’re moving more to an electric or a hybrid range, to cash in on somebody’s carbon credits. So yeah.
[00:31:28]Saifedean Ammous: Internal combustion engine is constantly improving. It’s always getting better.
[00:31:32] There are always improvements in it. You look at internal combustion engine cars in 2020, compare them to 2000, compared them to 1980 and 1960. It’s just more efficiency, better fuel efficiency, more range, lower cost, more reliability, fewer problems. That’s because it’s the market process.
[00:31:52]That’s how you make profit. That’s how Mercedes and BMW and all these car makers can make a profit by making a better, cheaper, more reliable car. What’s happening right now is, and this is the reason why I was asking about this on Twitter… what’s happening right now is that there’s an enormous amount of regulations that are forcing car companies to switch away from internal combustion, reliable, cheap working cars, and move towards this experimental insane attempt to make all of these electric cars.
[00:32:23] And there’s an enormous amount of subsidies that goes towards them. Some people think that this is an issue about Tesla, that I’m just picking on Tesla, but it’s really not just Tesla. It’s not like Tesla is the only one that’s getting subsidies. Its subsidies are there for all car makers, not only subsidies, it’s really the taxes and the punishment that exists for being an internal combustion engine car maker.
[00:32:42] So if you’re a Mercedes or Audi or BMW, you’re being forced to make the switch, because if your fleet is all gasoline, you’re being paid an enormous amount of taxes that are going to car makers that are making the electric cars. So that’s why we’re seeing this enormous drive, toward putting electric engines and making all of these hybrids and trying to figure out how to reduce the pollution that comes out of car and how to reduce the carbon dioxide that comes out of car.
[00:33:07] This is not market driven innovation. This is regulation driven innovation and it’s hysteria driven innovation. It’s innovation driven by a bunch of hysterical idiots like Greta who think that the world is going to end because of tiny little particulates coming out of other people’s cars.
[00:33:21] And the fact that they focus on cars is just ridiculous. There are so many other things that are making emissions all over the world. But cars is just an emotional one. We are optimizing car making, and this is the dangerous thing about it. We’re optimizing car making for these insane f*** idiots who have this hysteria about what cars are doing to something in the atmosphere as if, you know, these tiny little f**** particles are going to destroy the planet.
[00:33:48]And we are optimizing car design based on this phantom idea that these little tiny f**** particles are going to burn down the planet. And if we only transfer the emission of those particles from the exhaust of the car, into the coal power plant, then somehow we make that better.
[00:34:03]It’s sad because it’s basically setting back car engineering and it’s driving it down to a dead end. I think I was hearing something about Audi saying that they want to phase out all their internal combustion engine cars, and it’s insane.
[00:34:14]You’re doing this when the number of electric cars, even after all these decades of subsidies, we’re still at a point where electric cars are less than 2% of the market. The notion that you are going to phase out the 98% in favor of the 2% is an extremely, extremely, extremely bold move. And the fact that the 2% only exists because of subsidies really makes it ridiculous.
[00:34:37] Now, some people were telling me that just basically Audi doing some good PR. I hope that’s the case. I hope it really comes down to it is that they do a bunch of stupid press releases about switching to green, and then they forget about it and they make a couple of cars.
[00:34:50] They publicize it. Audi makes good cars. I’ve driven Audi’s before I’ve written an Audi’s before I like them. It’s a company that has a more than a hundred years of experience in car making. And it would be an absolute shame if all of that were to be thrown away because government subsidies are destroying the car industry, it’s tragic.
[00:35:12] If you had to think about it, that’s really tragic. And when you combine this with the insanity that’s taking place with the aviation sector. The aviation industry is getting destroyed. This cult of believing that humans are destroying the earth. The sick religious cult is truly setting us back centuries, technologically we’re not advancing in aviation like we should.
[00:35:33] We instead of having supersonic flight everywhere, we no longer have supersonic flight and even subsonic flight is basically getting phased out almost, with the shutdowns that happen all over the world because of the hysteria last year, airplane makers are getting deep financial problems and they’re going to have to invest less than there will be fewer airplanes made and essentially were being sent back based on hysterical fears that people have about completely completely idiotic, and baseless nonsense as if atmosphere is a control knob for temperature. We’re out here, we’re controlling the climate based on how much carbon dioxide emissions.
[00:36:10]It’s so conceited to imagine that we can have that kind of impact on a planet so huge. That we can just change the climate of the planet by changing the concentration of a gas that is a trace gas, it exists at a concentration of 400 particulates per millions. Out of every 1 million particulates in the atmosphere, only 400 are carbon dioxide.
[00:36:32] It used to be about 300 before industrialization and we’ve taken it up to 400 and this supposedly is going to destroy our planet. It’s a trace gas that exists in the atmosphere, has always existed in an atmosphere. It’s an essential ingredient in all living things. There isn’t a single living organism on earth that doesn’t have carbon dioxide inside it.
[00:36:53] So the idea that changing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is going to destroy the earth is so f**** laughable. It’s so pathetic. It’s insane. It’s absolutely ridiculous. The idea that people can believe this, that we are controlling climate and that if we just change, if we just switch from this car to that car, then suddenly the concentration of carbon dioxide is going to come down and then you know, that the earth will be healed and saved is just so ridiculous.
[00:37:23] And of course, there’s absolutely no evidence whatsoever tying these emissions with anything that is actually happening in the world. I’ve studied this hysteria and this insanity for many years now, and there has never been any single study around the stuff that can be called a scientific study.
[00:37:40] We have a bunch of government paid idiots hallucinating and hysterically writing things about, assuming everything bad that happens in the world is happening because of carbon dioxide. And so it’s just carbon dioxide is causing this. Oh, look there’s flooding in the Bangladesh.
[00:37:54] Well that’s because of carbon dioxide. Oh, earthquake in Australia, carbon dioxide, the population of squirrels in the Highlands of Scotland is declining because of carbon dioxide. This is the science behind this thing. This is what it is, but there isn’t a single testable hypothesis. If you really believe this was the case, you’d make a testable hypothesis.
[00:38:15]These people have been hyperventilating about this since the nineties. So 2000 was the time they’d already had 10, 15 years of hysteria around this. And I remember in 2000 they were already making stupid movies like The Day After Tomorrow or whatever it is, those like 2003, about how the earth was going to be destroyed.
[00:38:33] And that snow is going to flood New York to the point where it’s going to cover the statue of Liberty is all going to be covered in snow. This is what it was going to be like in 2016 or something like that. This is how they used to scare people that, uh, what’s the name of that con artist Al Gore.
[00:38:48] When he made that stupid film about how the earth is going to burn and boil, it’s just an enormous number of bad things that are going to happen, but exactly zero tests. Well, there were a few, but zero testable hypothesis. Like if you want to make an actual scientific statement, the way you would do it as this.
[00:39:06] If we raise the concentration of CO2 over the next five years from X to X plus Y, then we would expect that temperatures would rise by this much; sea levels would rise by that much. The population of squirrels in the Highlands of Scotland will be decimated and there will be flooding in Bangladesh.
[00:39:27] You would make these predictions before they happen, based on the thing that you think is the cause. And then we would see as the carbon dioxide rises, we can then test it against it. If any of this hysteria had any basis in fact, we’d need to have many years of real actual scientists, not the morons that we have in most universities today.
[00:39:53] Real actual scientists, making actual, real testable hypothesis about what is going to happen if we make all of this carbon dioxide get into the atmosphere. We put all of that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, what is the impact going to be? Give me actual testable hypothesis. What’s going to happen to sea levels?
[00:40:10] What’s going to happen to temperatures? What’s going to happen to flooding El Nino El Nino patterns? What’s going to happen to hurricanes? All of these things that people claim are being caused by carbon dioxide are just nature. This is what nature has always shown us. We’ve had squirrels populations go extinct in places all over throughout history.
[00:40:30] We’ve had temperatures rise and fall and nothing different from what we’re seeing right now. We haven’t seen any variation in sea levels anywhere in the world irrespective of what these people are saying. All that we’re seeing is essentially the same thing that we’ve always seen throughout history. It’s just weather.
[00:40:46] And yes, sometimes weather is bad and young people, when you’re 15 and you go through your first winter, you think it’s the apocalypse. Then when you’re 20 and you go through another bad winter, you realize, oh wait every five years or so this thing, or 10 years of this thing, we do get a winter like this.
[00:41:01] And you realize, yeah, extreme weather is a natural part of life. They’re always going to be a majority of days where the weather is average. That’s what average is. And then there will always be a small minority where weather is extreme. It’s going to get very hot. Sometimes it’s gonna get very cold, it’s going to rain a lot.
[00:41:18] It’s going to snow a lot. Sometimes. Sometimes it’s not going to snow. Sometimes we’re going to get a very rainy winter. Sometimes you’re not going to get a rainy winter. These things happen and there’s absolutely nothing to suggest that anything we’ve seen in the last 20, 30, 40 years is in any way different from anything that we’ve seen in the hundreds of years before, or the thousands of years for which we’ve heard records
[00:41:37]Sure the climate is changing and we’ve always had changes in climate, but you have to be a f**** idiot to think that we are controlling the changes in the climate by carbon dioxide. And I mean, that genuinely like you can’t be serious if you think that the changes in the climate are being driven by changes in carbon dioxide.
[00:41:58] It’s completely, completely baseless and ridiculous there’s absolutely no evidence for it. It’s as ridiculous as me saying the changes in the climate are being driven by changes in the amount of water that I put in for my dog every day. So today I put a lot of water for my dog and then the temperature has risen and, today is cold so my dog is getting a little bit of water. So you see, because I gave him a little bit of water, the temperature is cold. It’s no different than every crazy and insane witch doctor in history. We’ve always had witch doctors and con artists try to manipulate and control people by invoking the weather.
[00:42:37]If the weather is bad, it’s your fault. Do what I say, give me money. This is the oldest scam in history. There’s nothing new about it. And the reason all of these scams fail. That’s amazing. You know, we, we look back at these religions and tribes that do those things and we think these people are stupid.
[00:42:52] These people are not serious. They can’t think scientifically. This is no different. It’s no different from telling people you need to sacrifice a virgin 13 year old in order for the harvest to come good this year. It’s exactly as stupid as saying, we need to shift from gasoline cars, into electric cars in order for the weather to work.
[00:43:10] There’s nothing, there’s absolutely no link. And I challenge anybody to present me a testable hypothesis about what we can do. And the amazing thing, of course, the really, really amazing thing about 2020 is that, in 2020, we had a very, very excellent test of this. We had the entire global aviation industry shut down.
[00:43:32] We had the vast majority of cars being decommissioned. When the world went crazy last year, when hysteria took over the planet and everybody was hiding in their basement, we dropped the amount of emission that we could drop, basically as far as we’ll go, like we’ve destroyed the livelihoods of billions of people, which for the green cultists this is obviously a dream come true because you know, humans are a bad thing. But we did it, we destroyed the livelihood of billions of people. We shut down the aviation industry for months and cars stopped driving. Nobody left their homes. A lot of economic activity was suspended and shut down a lot of restaurants and all kinds of manners of different industrial things were shut down.
[00:44:16] So a lot of the emissions were reduced. And what happened in the world? What changed? What changed the planet? Did the planet get colder? Because we stopped making it warm. Did the sea level stopped rising? What changed? Absolutely nothing. The Sun still rises in the East and sets in the West.
[00:44:34] Temperatures are still around their averages and there are still places that witness extreme weather every year, just because there are millions of places in the world. And inevitably from a million places, you’re going to expect approximately one of them is going to have a one in a million weather occurrence every year.
[00:44:51]Always been the case always will be the case.
[00:44:53]Daniel Prince: You just taking a breath, getting ready for the next rant?
[00:45:03] Saifedean Ammous: Where was that? Do you remember that anybody remember that World Economic Forum video, they posted about how the lockdowns were a good start because the dolphins in Venice?, is that what you were talking? I can’t remember what it was, but basically something along the lines of, yeah. You know, um, lock downs are making the world a better, um, well, yes, they’ve destroyed the livelihoods, a lot of people, but at least they’re reducing carbon emissions and that’s a great thing.
[00:45:29]They came up with some stupid thing that it’s allowing scientists to study cities when they’re quiet and it’s allowing us to reduce carbon dioxide. So we need to do more of this basically. And ultimately, I think this is the key thing. Like there are a lot of people who think that what’s driving this is a conspiracy of people that want to impoverish the world, that wants to destroy the planet, that want to turn everybody into slaves. The more you realize it’s really not it’s these people actually genuinely believe this stupid f**** bullshit, like morons, like bill Gates genuinely believe in this garbage, you look at Bill Gates.
[00:46:01]My tether to sanity is to always just look at Bill Gates, look at how disgusting he looks like he’s somebody who eats garbage all day everyday, clearly, because he believes in this idiotic hysterical nonsense, which is the philosophy that drives these people. And this is why it’s not like he’s out there eating meat and telling poor people, Hey, poor people you should be eating soy and insects. No, he’s definitely out there eating soy and insects himself. Look at him. He is definitely eating soy and insects. He’s eating industrial waste. His diet is composed of industrial sludge.
[00:46:39]And it shows on him and with all of the money in the world, like he has no reason to be eating peasant food, but he does eat it.
[00:46:48]Why? Because he genuinely believes it’s better. He genuinely thinks that if you eat meat, it’s bad for you. It’s going to raise your cholesterol and it’s going to cause you problems. And he genuinely believes that cows are destroying the planet and he genuinely believes we need to reduce carbon emissions.
[00:47:04] And of course he is a hypocrite when it comes to carbon emissions, because if you worry about carbon, the only way to stop being a hypocrite is to kill yourself because you’re emitting carbon dioxide every moment that you’re alive. Carbon dioxide is coming out of you.
[00:47:15] And your only way of stopping being a hypocrite is to kill yourself. So he’s clearly a hypocrite on that because he can’t kill himself. And he’s got hundred plus billion dollars. So obviously he’s going to buy a big mansion and a few cars here and there. But he convinces himself that he’s going to fix that by investing in green energy or something or the other.
[00:47:34] So obviously of course, all the fixes happen to make him rich. And of course there’s a lot of hypocrisy there, but I don’t doubt for a second that he does believe the stupid bullshit that he markets. He really does believe that we are destroying the planet by eating meat and he’s trying to find a solution for it.
[00:47:52] And he also thinks we’re destroying the planet by driving cars. And he also thinks we’re destroying the planet by getting into airplanes. Now, of course he is a very important person, so he needs to get into airplanes because he’s irreplaceable. There is a little bit of hypocrisy about it, but it’s not the kind of hypocrisy where he’s out there thinking, how do I impoverish and destroy the lives of others? So that I’m the only one who eats meat. And I’m the only one who’s rich. It’s not, I think ultimately. And I really liked Alex Epstein’s book, we’ve hosted Alex here on the seminar before, and I always recommend his book. His book, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels is really eye opening because you realize you’re not dealing with a conspiracy here to impoverish the world.
[00:48:32] You’re dealing with a mental illness. That is an ideology that is anti-human. You’re dealing with people who are sick, probably because of malnutrition to a large extent. You look at somebody like Bill Gates, he’s clearly malnourished and his brain can’t function normally because of all the shit that he eats.
[00:48:47] So there’s definitely a mental illness there where people look at the world, they look at humanity as a burden, and they look at the end of the actions that they discuss. The end of their activity on earth is essentially to free the planet earth from the burden of these parasites that are human beings.
[00:49:08]There’s this pristine earth, our mother Gaia, it’s kind of leftover paganism. It is pagan religion, essentially in many ways that there’s this beautiful, pristine earth and humans are out there ruining it. And we need to figure out how to reduce the human impact on the planet.
[00:49:28]The planet is this pristine thing that we need to impact as little as possible. This is the underlying assumption of a lot of people in the planet. This is the underlying assumption of the media. It’s underlying assumption of governments is the underlying assumption of all environmental regulation.
[00:49:45] It’s this idea that how do we reduce pollution? How do we reduce emissions? How do we, well, actually it, pollution is not a good example of what I’m talking about. In my mind, you want to reduce pollution because pollution harms people, but in their mind, no, you want to reduce pollution because it harms the planet as if there’s this abstract planet that we need to optimize for as if the planet itself is this sentient being whose preferences we need to optimize for.
[00:50:10] We need to live our lives in order to make this planet happy. I think this is just silly animism and that there there’s no living creature with the sentience being called earth. We cannot live our life dedicated to this earth in any meaningful sense. We can only live our own lives, which are short.
[00:50:30] You know, we’re going to be here for 50, 60 years. The planet has been here for billions of years and would likely to be here for other billions of years. And we are an utterly inconsequential zit on the planet’s ass. You know, all of humanity, everything that we’ve done is just a completely inconsequential, nothing.
[00:50:46]Everything that humans have produced, everything that we’ve done. If all humans die today in 1000 years, 5,000 years, 10,000 years, which is nothing in the history of the earth, everything will have decomposed. Everything that we’ve produced will have decomposed and the earth will continue and it won’t give a shit about us and it won’t give a shit if temperatures are high or low.
[00:51:07]Really Alex Epstein makes a very convincing case that it’s a philosophical question of what it is that you care about. Do you care about this earth as this sentient entity that we need to spend our lives dedicated to serving according to what some crazy religious cults think this earth needs.
[00:51:24]The earth needs us to reduce our carbon dioxide, or do you live your own life for your own sake or for the sake of other humans. And Alex makes a very strong case for the moral case for human flourishing. The idea is no. Well, actually we as human beings, we have no ability to control the earth.
[00:51:41] We have no ability to destroy the earth, no matter how delusional we think we are, no matter how delusional we get, we can’t destroy the earth. We can’t change anything drastic in it, but we can destroy our own lives. And that’s what we’re doing out of that to some extent. And in fact the only coherent philosophy that you can have in your life is about improving your own life and the lives of people around you and the life of humanity in general.
[00:52:05] And the way we do that is by making our life better, by producing more, by creating more goods for each other, by trading with one another, by serving each other’s needs, by making our lives better, inventing new things that make life better and safer and allow us a higher productivity and allow us a safer, happier existence.
[00:52:24] It’s an entirely different way of looking at things. I think a lot of people in the modern West are, the separation from the real world and the separation from economic production that we were mentioning earlier, makes them think that they’re somehow isolated from earth to the point where they can just where they think that we can have our life, and it’s just about making the right choices, the right consumer choices, of course, buying the Tesla and buying all these cool toys that are marketed as being green. If we do that, then we can keep our pristine earth pristine. You can’t. The only way that you can have zero impact on the planet is to kill yourself again.
[00:53:01] And it’s still too late for that because you were born and you’ve had an impact, but a good start would be to start by killing yourself, but you can’t minimize your impact on the planet. All living organisms have an impact on the planet. They breathe in and they breathe out and they release carbon dioxide.
[00:53:18] The horrific horror that is destroying the planet. They eat and they shit, that’s what all creatures living creatures do. You have to have an impact you have to consume, and you have to excrete. All living things have to do with this that it’s impossible to try and have zero impact as some people like to think about it.
[00:53:37]And it’s meaningless. You have your own life. You’re only on earth for 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 years or whatever. You’re going to suffer a lot if you spend your life trying to optimize it for this inexistent entity that is the earth, you have to look out for your own self, you have to produce, and you have to take care of yourself.
[00:53:56] And really, the question ultimately that we need to ask those people is why do you care about the environment? Why do you care about the earth? This is where you can see that there is a, there’s a wedge between two kinds of green hysterics. There are the green hysteric that can be saved that are not entirely insane.
[00:54:15] Who will tell you, we’re concerned about the planet because if we emit carbon dioxide, then you know, the planet will burn down and we won’t have an inhabitable environment. And this is completely delusional obviously, but these people are at least not entirely insane because they think that end goal from saving the planet is rescuing human beings.
[00:54:35] That end goal is making sure that at least human beings are fine. So the reason that we don’t want to emit carbon dioxide is because if we do it, then earth becomes uninhabitable or sea level rise is going to flood. And it’s going to destroy the houses of billions of people around the world. These people you can reason with them, because you can explain to them that no, actually let’s look at what the evidence shows us about the implications of raising carbon dioxide.
[00:54:58] What is there to suggest that if we raise it from 400 to 500, if we do another 100 particulates per million in the next 20 years, what can we confidently predict is going to happen? Will temperatures actually rise? We have no idea. And anybody who tells you they know is not true. Nobody really knows if temperature drives carbon dioxide of carbon dioxide drives temperature, or even if it’s just the correlations that we’ve seen between the two are spurious.
[00:55:24] We have no idea if our increase in carbon dioxide is going to cause the temperature in the planet to change, the earth is a far more complex system. Maybe seas become more acidic and then there’s no difference on temperature. There are all these many, many, many different considerations, but there is another group which is really the small minority.
[00:55:42] And this is the kind of the louder minority. And they’re usually the ones that are actually driving this. These are the people that are completely lost, who don’t think of the question in terms of humans, they don’t think of the problem of carbon dioxide or all of those things in terms of the impact that it’ll have on humanity.
[00:56:00] It’s not about what’s going to happen to human being. This is about saving the earth. And in many of those people’s minds, the earth needs depopulation. We need to get rid of six, 7 billion people on the planet earth because we have too many of us, as if there’s a carrying capacity to the earth, which is completely ridiculous concept.
[00:56:17]So in their mind, human suffering is inconsequential because what really matters is the earth. And this is a dangerous cult. People who think like this are dangerous and there are a lot of them. And there are a lot of them and a lot of very heavily influential positions of power. They’re driven by this kind of messianic vision of the earth being pristine without human beings.
[00:56:39]If that’s the goal and if you discount human suffering, if you discount human preferences, if you discount human flourishing, if you discount human prosperity as being important, then you can do all kinds of crazy things. The majority of people that are worried about this stuff are well-meaning but misled into believing these ridiculous, hysterical ideas about the planet getting destroyed, but there is a small mental illness group these are like the real fanatics that actually enjoy the notion of humanity suffering for the sake of earth.
[00:57:11]I think the important way to deactivate this kind of movement will be to just try and ask these people, where do they fall on this question? Like, are you concerned about humans or are you concerned about earth? And, if you’re not concerned about humans, why not just begin by killing yourself?
[00:57:28] Really. This is the question that I always ask. Why are you alive now? What is the point? You woke up today and you decided to eat and you decided to stay in your home. You decided not to jump from your window. You decided not to kill yourself. Staying alive is a decision that you take with every second.
[00:57:46] Every time you look when you cross the road. So why, why do you look when you cross the road? Why not just, you know, go ahead. Because even suffering doesn’t matter. So why not? Why not just kill yourself? You’ve reduced the impact that you’ll have on the planet.
[00:57:59] Daniel Prince: These guys are so good. They’re very adept at making it all our fault. Have you noticed, I’m sure you have like, it’s our fault. Like, you know, if there’s, if there’s a drought, it’s our fault that we’ve been working too many times or if there’s too much plastic in the oceans. It’s our fault that we’re not on top of our recycling in the household.
[00:58:18] You know, you’ve got to take it one step at a time and it’s got to be on you and it’s got to be, you’ve got to change your shopping habits. And you’ve got to pick up the loose tomatoes rather than the ones that are wrapped in cellophane. It’s your fault that you’ve not sorted the recycling correctly, and it’s your fault that there’s CO2 in the air because you’re driving the wrong kind of car or the car’s too old, or you’re taking too many trips.
[00:58:38] You’re not maximizing your trips. You’re not carpooling. You’re not blah, blah, blah, car in whatever it is. Or you’ve taken too many holidays and it is always pushed. This is always the narrative. And it’s just, I mean, listening to your epic rents, always great Saif. And it definitely gets me thinking, and I can’t wait to listen back to this and play it to my family because it might help alleviate some of their worries and anxiety, because this is all the shit that’s pushed across every platform that the world’s going to blow up.
[00:59:08] And by the way, it’s your fault because you did this.
[00:59:13] Saifedean Ammous: Yeah. And of course you can see how this ideology is very, very convenient to be utilized for control. Like if you want to make money from people if you want to control people, scare them and then make them think it’s their fault and then convince them that salvation only lies by listening to you and doing what you want.
[00:59:30] It’s it’s, uh, you know, once you see it that way, it’s, it’s so pathetically predictable and it’s pretty sad. Like garbage is a serious problem in a lot of the world, garbage disposal. And yet all of the focus of the environmentalist is not on solving the problem.
[00:59:46] The focus on the environmentalist movements usually is on making you suffer for it. It’s not about salvation. It’s about suffering. It’s about you suffering. So for instance, recycling is a great example of this. Everybody has to sift through their garbage and run with their garbage, according to a schedule, but you know what? Actually recycling plastic is an extremely expensive and inefficient and stupid way of producing plastic.
[01:00:11]The economics of making new plastic out of oil is just so cheap. Making plastic bottles, a little plastic trinkets. There are gigantic factories in the world that take in enormous quantities of plastic and produce millions of little, tiny little trinkets. Now, most of them are in China today.
[01:00:28] All of these tiny little plastic trinkets that we have, the marginal cost of producing one of these is practically zero. It’s made out of oil, and the oil has a million byproducts. So you make the gasoline and then you make the plastic and you make all of those things.
[01:00:41] So a lot of things come out of the oil. So the cost of the raw material that goes into making the plastics is very, very, very cheap. It’s much cheaper for plastic factories to get their plastic straight from suppliers than it is for them to get it from recycling. So what the process of recycling ends up doing is that wastes a lot of everybody’s time and it makes everybody suffer.
[01:01:05]And it gives everybody that feeling that it’s your fault and you have to do things. And if you don’t do things, you should feel guilty and you should feel like shit about it. But the reality is modern waste disposal makes all of this completely ridiculously pointless. If you look at modern incineration… I was talking to somebody, he works for a company that owns one of these massive incinerators and, they get garbage from all over the state where they are in the U S and they were getting into Bitcoin mining because of the enormous amount of heat.
[01:01:33] And he was telling me, you know, you could actually throw an entire car into their incinerator, and it will be gone in seconds. Like an entire car will burn down into ashes within seconds. It’s an enormous, enormous fire at a very, very high temperature. And it collects the garbage of millions of households and it burns it all out.
[01:01:57] And it causes exactly zero pollution. Like you could stand outside this facility, you wouldn’t smell anything. All of this smoke is treated so that it doesn’t go out. And then the only thing that you’re left with are tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny little amounts of ashes. You burn everything through so thoroughly that you put in tons of trash and you come out with few kilograms or ashes, or I don’t know what the exact ratio is, but you come up with very tiny quantities of ashes, which are very easy to dispose of. So everything that comes out of our houses as garbage could just be put on a garbage collection truck, sent to that incinerator, burned into nothingness.
[01:02:40] There’s no pollution, there’s no problem with any of it. And this is what the market would do. Do you enjoy a sifting through garbage every day? No, nobody enjoys it. If there was a solution where you could just put the garbage and then somebody comes and picks it up and then burns it, incinerates, it, it would happen.
[01:02:57] And in fact, what we’re seeing now is these people can utilize that energy in order to mine, Bitcoin. So now there’s an even stronger incentive for people to want to collect more and more of your trash in order to use it to generate heat to mine Bitcoin with it.
[01:03:11]But it’s not the kind of solution that environmentalist what. They want you to suffer through recycling, and they want to take the plastic and then put it in plastic factories where it’s an extremely inefficient way of making plastic.
[01:03:23] How do we know it’s inefficient? The market wouldn’t choose it on its own. We have to pass laws to force people to recycle. If it wasn’t efficient way of doing it, if plastic was so valuable, then plastic factories would be out there telling you, bring me your plastic bottles, bring me your plastic waste, and I’ll pay you for it because it’s worth it, but it’s not.
[01:03:43] And so what you end up doing when you’re engaging in this is you’re wasting your time. You’re making your life of the lower quality by having to sift through garbage every day, which is not a pleasant experience. And you’re not doing anything for the environment. You’re just paying a lot of money in taxes to go toward inefficient mechanisms of collecting garbage.
[01:04:03] And you see this over and over again in all of those things, like what it comes down to is that these people are just angry at humanity and they want to make humanity suffer. It’s not about the plastic. It’s not about the cars. It’s not about the CO2. It’s about you are born with the original sin of you as a human being.
[01:04:23] You’ve polluted and you’ve made the earth dirty and bad and you have to be made to pay. It’s really perverse.
[01:04:33] Coach Kiki: Saifedean. I wanted to speak to that very interesting point that you made about this kind of animism paganism that the earth is this living pristine being, and we must serve her.
[01:04:46] And I see that makes a lot of sense, but I also see it through a kind of Hindu new age-ism like Orientalism when all of the Sanskrit texts were first being translated into European languages and into English. These ideas of this living earth who’s seen as a goddess were taken up through like Emerson and Thoreau and the Orientalism and then this influences this kind of new age-ism and in India the earth is a goddess.
[01:05:20] And then the cow is the earth. So, you know, you can’t harm the cow because then you’re harming the earth because the earth is limitlessly generous as is the cow. And then this gets into this whole new age-y thing, and then it’s further popularized by all the hippies on the hippie trail, kind of all the acid droppers, who went to India on the hippie trail, in the sixties and seventies, and then everyone that jumped on that with the Beatles or whatever celebrities did.
[01:05:51] And that just strengthens this idea. And that’s the period of the birth of ecology that this earth is a living mother and that we are harming her. And it’s our duty to look after her because ultimately she looks after us, not innovation, not entrepreneurial-ism, not the marketplace, not goods and products.
[01:06:15] So yeah, I think these are very influential growing ideas for young people and vegans and impressionable, want to be social justice warriors.
[01:06:28]Saifedean Ammous: There’s this Western susceptibility to anything that comes from any tradition outside it’s treated as if it’s just universally good. But I wonder how much of that is mechanisms of control. It’s the way that the rich powerful priests in other societies control the peasants. Don’t eat the cow, don’t harm the environment, stay in your pod, eat the bugs. This kind of rhetoric of just, I mean, it’s, it’s a great mechanism for control.
[01:06:57] Let’s just make people think that everything that they do is destructive for the earth. And then you get to eat the cow. I think, you know, a lot of vegetarianism probably derives from that. It’s a way of managing resources to stop the peasants from eating the cows and then managing it in a better way.
[01:07:16] And I think maybe, maybe this drives us. Of course a lot is lost in translation as well. I don’t claim to be an expert on these spiritual traditions, but of course, when they get transferred to the West you can see the kind of people that carry out these messages.
[01:07:28] There’s a lot of nice feel-good stuff about it, but there’s a lot of hypocrisy as well. John Lennon wrote about, imagine a world of no possessions and he had an insane amount of possessions in an insanely ridiculous way. I read it somewhere, but I can’t remember the details, but it was, what was it like 10 Rolls Royces or, hundreds of… just some insane things that, you know, normal person, no matter how rich,
[01:07:54] Coach Kiki: I think he and Yoko Ono owned eight apartments in the Dakota, apartment buildings .
[01:08:00] They didn’t have one, they didn’t have three. I think they had it’s either five or eight, but they had a lot.
[01:08:05] Saifedean Ammous: Yeah. Yeah. And I think it was one of them like for their pets or for their coats or something like that, they needed all these apartments to keep all of their, basically stuff, you know, all of the possessions that they wanted to imagine that they didn’t have.
[01:08:18]You can see how this works for people like John Lennon and Yoko Ono and how it can work. And in many cultures, in many places this kind of arrangement where you get to keep all this stuff and then you tell the poor people about how much better life would be if they didn’t have possessions.
[01:08:35] Um, sounds like it’s insane that anybody could get away with it. But here we are, you know, 50 years later, people are still listening to John Lennon’s songs about no possessions. So it worked and Yoko Ono is still buying possessions from the royalties of the song about imagining no possessions.
[01:08:54] It’s not like we are saying that people from other cultures are in any way inferior because they believe this bullshit because people from all cultures believe it, people listen to Bill Gates telling them that they shouldn’t eat, that they shouldn’t fly when he has a private jet.
[01:09:10]People are waiting for John Kerry to get on his private jet and fly to China and India over the last few months and explain to them how they need to reduce their carbon emissions. There’s a lot of stupid out there and a lot of people are very easy to manipulate and fool at, if you choose to have a TV in your home, then that’s 90% of the battle lost for you.
[01:09:38]Daniel Prince: So what did you want to talk about?
[01:09:46] Oh, can you do any Bitcoin stuff? Well, I mean, does Bitcoin fix this? There you go.
[01:09:54] Saifedean Ammous: Yeah. Bitcoin does fix this. Bitcoin definitely fixes this because I think the more that they keep pushing this narrative against Bitcoin, the more that this narrative cracks and Bitcoin doesn’t give a shit.
[01:10:05] And Bitcoin continues. I think this is really the key thing. People are going to start really very vividly understanding. It’s easy to think about, well, you know, um, let’s yeah, sure, let’s pass a law that says let’s shift to electric cars because of the environment and let’s ban aviation or let’s use biofuels… All of these stupid ideas, they’re massively destructive and they’re very stupid, but they don’t appear initially destructive and stupid to the people manipulated into thinking that they’re good ideas.
[01:10:34] But Bitcoin. Basically puts it right in front of you. So yeah. Bitcoin is burning energy. Bitcoin is consuming energy. Bitcoin is making emissions.
[01:10:46]Bitcoin definitely incomparably consumes more than the banking system in terms of energy. It’s not even close. Well, the comparison shouldn’t even be with the backing system should be with the central banking system. So you’ve got a couple of hundred central banks.
[01:10:59] Each one of them has, let’s say on average 10 buildings. So there’s maybe 2000 central bank buildings in the world that their energy consumption is zero. When compared to Bitcoin. There’s no question that it is less. So it’s putting people in front of this simple question, if you want number go up then, you have to come to terms with the fact that there is consumption taking place there’s energy being consumed, and there are emissions being emitted.
[01:11:27] And so if you don’t like it, feel free to get rid of your coins and basically let somebody else have them. But guess what? Whether you do it or not, Bitcoin is going to continue. It’s gonna expose the absurdity of this hysteria in two ways.
[01:11:41] First of all, you’re going to have fun staying poor. When you get rid of your Bitcoin, because of these hysterical reasons, you’re going to just witness the Bitcoin price, go up without you. And you’re going to start getting deranged, like all these crazy people who sell their Bitcoin and then get deranged about you didn’t know it was supposed to go down and it’s not a real, a store of value and it’s not the real currency.
[01:12:02] And so you’re going to get deranged because the value keeps going up. And you don’t have it and Bitcoin doesn’t need you or your sanctimonious, hysterical science in order for it to function. And also I think the really powerful thing is the earth is going to go on. So, like, you know, you dumped your Bitcoin thinking that you’re gonna make a difference and save the planet.
[01:12:24] Well, Bitcoin continues to grow. Bitcoin continues to consume energy and continues to emit more emissions, and yet the earth continues to continue. So what have you exactly achieved? You’ve just achieved poverty for yourself. So congratulations. So, it’s just going to teach people this lesson.
[01:12:40] People are going to have to come to terms with it that I could choose to jump on the Bitcoin band wagon or not. It’s not going to matter. Bitcoin’s going to go on and the earth is going to go on. So I can either spite myself and impoverish myself and then try and make myself feel good about the fact that I’m not one of the bad people. Or I could achieve financial independence and freedom and have a house and live the life that I want to live.
[01:13:06] It’s going to force that choice on everybody. And it’s going to force everybody to come to terms with yep. Actually in order for me to survive. And in order for me to get the things that I want. And in order for me to live the life that I want before I die, there’s no alternative for me to, but to consume.
[01:13:19]A lot of Bitcoiners make the mistake of seeding the ground for the hysterics on this question of, you know, Oh no. Uh, well, you know, Bitcoin is going to be mined by renewables is going to be mined by solar and wind. And Bitcoin is going to reduce emissions because it’s going to shift to renewables.
[01:13:38]I don’t think that is the case. First of all, solar and wind are completely useless for mining Bitcoin, almost completely useless. They’re intermittent. So if you are going to mine with solar and wind, you’re not mining 24/7. And if you have mining equipment that you’re not using 25/7, you’re going to have fun staying poor as the Bitcoiners, say, it’s not going to be profitable.
[01:13:59]If you want to compete in mining, if you want to be profitable in mining, everybody thinks that they can mine and they want to mine. And they think mining is a cheaper way of making Bitcoin. Mining is the harder way of making Bitcoin. The cheapest way of securing Bitcoin is just buying it on the market.
[01:14:12]The only way you’re going to make money from mining is if you are able to get electricity 24 hours a day, reliably at a very low cost of about maybe three to five, six maximum cent per kilowatt hour. If you have that, then you can consider mining. If you don’t, then you shouldn’t.
[01:14:29]That means basically wind and solar are out of it. Mining is going to continue to happen, but it’s not going to happen also on grid. So it’s not going to be connected to grid. It’s going to happen with energy sources that are isolated. So in a sense, yes, Bitcoin can reduce emissions because in isolated energy sources, well, it’s not an isolated energy sources like, methane flares you have a gas plant or a gas well, or an oil well, and then we make some methane as an extra by-product, which can’t really be sold because it’s very expensive to move the methane relatively. So you can’t just put it in containers and ship it. It won’t be worth it. So they will just release it into the atmosphere or they will burn it.
[01:15:09] That is releasing emissions. If you do what Upstream Data does, and we’ve hosted the Steve Barbour, the CEO of Upstream Data here on the seminar before. What they do is that they build you a Bitcoin miner that’ll go straight to the gas flare and run on the gas that is there, and then use it to run the miner. That will reduce the amount of emissions that come out of the flare, because methane has a heavy CO2 equivalency.
[01:15:36]Each particle of methane counts as several particles of CO2. So if you burn the methane, you’re going to get a reduction in emissions in a sense. So there is something to that which Bitcoiners can pounce on. Of course there’s a lot of Bitcoin energy development that’s going to happen. Bitcoin mining that’s going to happen on a hydroelectric dams. That’s ideal for Bitcoin as well because hydroelectric dams have a lot of energy and usually they don’t have enough populations around them to run it on. And so you have surplus energy and you can run Bitcoin on it.
[01:16:04] Daniel Prince: Can I just jump in, Saif?
[01:16:05]Before we move on from this point, because you were talking about your friend earlier that you spoke to that had this incineration plant, would there be a possibility there then if we can burn all of our waste essentially to the degree that you were explaining and then use that harness that energy to mine, Bitcoin, that way, is that a possibility like Steve’s doing with, with Upstream?
[01:16:27] Saifedean Ammous: Yeah, I think so. I think they are mining there. There are people who are mining based on trash incinerators. I’m sure it’s happening because you can generate energy from the heat and then you can use that for mining and I’m sure it’s happening, but I’m not sure how wide scale it is. I genuinely think that all of these restrictions on trash processing and recycling probably hindering the development of these kinds of glorious incinerators that would make life so much easier.
[01:16:53] We’d probably have more of them. And I think garbage collection would be a far more efficient business where, two, three times a week, a truck passes by your house, picks up the garbage, drops it off in certain locations and then gets it burned. So yeah, I think these kinds of sources of energy are going to be important for Bitcoin, but still there is I think the majority of Bitcoin energy is essentially energy that would have been wasted. Nonetheless, it’s still a lot of energy that we’re going to be consuming and all energy would have been wasted if we done off consuming. So we’re still consuming energy for Bitcoin.
[01:17:24] We are still guilty of the original sin that is consumption. I think there’s no way, but to come to terms with the issue that energy consumption is important, energy consumption is good. Energy consumption is not a bad thing. And energy consumption is why you’re alive. Every living creature consumes energy.
[01:17:43]You get it from the sun or you get it from a fire or you get it from oil or gasoline or gas or a wind or whatever it is. But energy is what drives all of life. And the only time that you’re going to reduce your energy consumption sufficiently to make environmentalist’s happy is when you die.
[01:18:02] So I think we need to, instead of being apologetic about the fact that, well, you know, actually we’re, some of the energy is not, uh… no, I think we need to be just, I, well, I, I don’t think we, I, I won’t speak for anybody, but in my mind, I’m unapologetic about that.
[01:18:18] And I just opened them. Yeah. I like my Bitcoin to consume energy for the same reason that I like my washing machine to consume energy, because the alternative to the washing machine is that every time I want to wear a nice shirt, I need to spend a half hour washing with my own hands and that’s just not how I want to live my life.
[01:18:35] I like having a washing machine. I like having a car. I like moving around faster than the speed with which I can walk. I like having a computer because it increases my productivity massively. All of those things consume energy because I’m not an idiot. I am able to come to terms with the fact that I do consume this energy, that it is good.
[01:18:55] And I am not a hypocrite. This is something that is natural and it’s a part of my life and I’m happy to do it. And I make no apology for it. And anybody who is unhappy about it can feel free to express their opinion about their unhappiness, about me consuming energy. But, you know, it’s extremely important that they make sure that they do that only using means that don’t consume energy at all.
[01:19:20]And the only way that they can do that is to kill themselves first. So basically you’re not going to be able to live without energy and you need to get out of this mental frame of oh no, but energy is bad because you have to consume energy. And I think particularly people who get online and talk about others, consuming energy are so f**** laughable because enormous amounts of energy had to be spent to make your laptop, to make the servers that you connect to, to make all of the infrastructure that is needed in order to build the servers and to build the laptops and to build all of those things, to build the websites that you frequent.
[01:19:54] There’s an enormous amount of energy that is being spent in order for you to get on Twitter and shit posts and to tell people that they’re wrong. If you want to go and be sanctimonious on Twitter about other people’s energy consumption, you need to come to terms with the fact that you are consuming energy by just being on Twitter.
[01:20:11] There’s no escaping that. So once we establish that we are consuming energy, and there’s no escaping that the question then becomes: Who gets to decide who gets to consume the energy? So should the crazy environmentalist get to have washing machines or should the crazy Bitcoiners get to have their crazy Bitcoin money?
[01:20:31] Who decides? What’s more important? Replacing central banks with software or replacing hand-washing with washing machines? What do you guys think? Let’s take a vote here. There’s 17 people here right now. Let’s vote. Who believes washing machines are more important? What would you give up? If you could only have Bitcoin or washing machine in your life, what would you choose?
[01:20:55] Daniel Prince: I think the silence says it all mate.
[01:20:57] Saifedean Ammous: Bitcoin, Derick says Bitcoin, I’m guessing Bitcoin, everybody here would anybody here to give up their watching machine for what anybody here give up their Bitcoin for so they can keep their washing machine? No. Yeah. I mean, you know, eventually with Bitcoin you can hire somebody to do your washing, but no matter how many washing machines you have, you can never buy number go up technology with it.
[01:21:23]this group we’re going to find more of focus on Bitcoin. I’m sure there are people who believe washing machines are more important to them than Bitcoin. And I have absolutely no problem with that, this is a perfectly coherent and normal thing for them to believe, and I believe they should have a choice to do whatever they want.
[01:21:40] Then, you don’t want to use Bitcoin. You don’t have to, you want to wash your clothes by all means. What Bitcoin is going to bring into people’s mind is that you have to be mentally ill to go around and harass other people about what they’re doing with the energy that they’re consuming.
[01:21:57] You are consuming energy, every moment that you’re living. And so you’re making choices about what energy is important for you and what energy is not important. And if you think that you were in a position where your computer and your washing machine and your electric car are an acceptable use of energy and an acceptable source of emissions, but other people’s digital, magic beans and digital money on the internet are not, or other people’s steak is not, and we shouldn’t have to be eating meat.
[01:22:28] Then you’re just a mentally ill loser and nobody should ever listen to you ever. And, you should not be accepted as a part of adult society. You are with the kids you are with the children. In the same way, a child tells you, you want to go to Disneyland, you tell them, all right, let’s get into the car.
[01:22:43] There are children who say, no, I don’t want to get into the car. I want to go to Disneyland. Well, you have to get into the car to go to Disneyland. It’s possible that you’ll have children that will be so angry and so high on sugar that they won’t want to sacrifice one hour in the car, in order to get to Disneyland and they’ll throw a tantrum about no, don’t put me in the car, take me to Disneyland.
[01:23:04]This is what children are like. And this is exactly what people who use the internet and complain about anybody else using energy are like. You’re using the internet, which consumes all of this energy. And you’re sitting there and trying to tell people. Your use of energy is not correct.
[01:23:18] Well, no, that’s just absurd and it’s ridiculous. You can’t have the internet. It’s like the car ride because you wouldn’t even have an internet if we had you or somebody like you in charge of determining who gets to consume energy.
[01:23:34]If we had any of these hysterics in charge of society to determine who gets a washing machine and who gets to use what, and who gets to use what, when we would not have an internet, we would not have computers. We would not have televisions. We would not have cars. We would have a very, very primitive slave society where the most advanced technology we have might be a horse drawn carriage.
[01:23:59] Really. This is the extent of the division of labor that you can get if you don’t have a market. And if we have one of these people in charge able to decide everything about energy, able to decide about the market for energy. Well, the market for energy is the market for everything. Energy is in everything.
[01:24:14] Every, every everything, apples, it takes energy to make apples. It takes energy to make computers is takes energy to make cars. So if you have someone in charge determining who gets to get how many apples and who gets to get how many cars and who gets, how many, then you just have a communist system and you have a central planning system, and you have a system of mass slavery.
[01:24:35] And the only possible outcome from something like this is the complete destruction of civilization and our return into a very primitive form. So if you want to live in a place where nice things are possible, if you want to live in a place where food is abundant, if you want to live in a place where technology advances, you need people to have the freedom, to be able to act, to improve their own lives and to serve others, to profit from it.
[01:25:00] So if you don’t have that, if you don’t have a market system, as we discussed in the courses, if you don’t have that, you won’t get the division of labor that’s going to give us all the nice things that you take for granted. This is the power of Bitcoin, by continuing to drive this point home, you can’t stop Bitcoin. You can’t stop markets unless you want to destroy a civilization. And that’s not something that you’re going to be able to do because civilization is always going to find a way around you. It’s just far more profitable for people to be civilized.
[01:25:26] It’s far more conducive to their survival and to their wellbeing that people who will choose civilization will inevitably be able to quash the barbarians and the idiots who choose barbarism. There is this idea that if you have a society of slaves, then everybody will fight and we’ll win Wars.
[01:25:44] No, if you have a society of slaves, you’re going to have a starving society of people, at each other’s throats and constant power struggles and a civilized society where people specialize and produce and have capitalism will find a trivial to develop the weapons, to protect from you or to destroy you, even if they choose to.
[01:26:04]The Soviet union collapsed out of its own weight because it was a communist system. Free markets will always end up building stronger armies than collectivist systems because free markets produce, whereas collective systems are simply systems of praying on others.
[01:26:20]Coach Kiki: I want to add, I know that we’re talking about washing machines and, it can sound like a bit elite, but actually Bitcoin doesn’t care what we do with the Bitcoin and Bitcoin is for everyone. And so at least 60% of our population is unbanked. They can’t get credit, they can’t get a loan.
[01:26:39] They can’t get a credit card, things that we might take for granted, but Bitcoin gives them an opportunity to get into the marketplace. For people that are unbanked and they’re doing trade, there’s a lot of robbery because they’re just carrying their cash on them all the time. And Bitcoin gives people an opportunity to store their income, store their capital.
[01:27:05] And also, international trade is very cost prohibitive because of all these different fees relating to trade and all these different fees relating to money wire and Bitcoin fixes all of that. So, the people that are not benefiting from cheap energy, with no electricity and no running water, as this point came up in here in the chat, they can with a cell phone, get Bitcoin.
[01:27:37] And with a bicycle that’s running and old fashioned, some kind of engine converter, charge that phone and maintain their Bitcoin and alter their lives and the lives of their family community, and actually come into multi-generational wealth as opposed to being left behind. So Bitcoin is there for everyone to alter their lives and the lack of their family.
[01:28:06] Saifedean Ammous: Absolutely and my book and my forthcoming books and all these seminars, we spend many, many, many hours talking about all the wonderful things the Bitcoin can do to people. But I think, at an even deeper level, you don’t even need to invoke any particular nice thing that Bitcoin does.
[01:28:23] It’s just simply understanding that when people are free to go out and look out for themselves, good things come out of that. Good things come out of that when they’re working and being productive and making good things. On the other hand when people are enslaved and controlled and when their will is not in charge of their lives, when their lives are controlled by the wills of others, then we know what happens, what happens is suffering, misery and destitution and conflict and death, and all kinds of bad things happen.
[01:28:51] So philosophical perspective, you don’t even need to illustrate the benefits of Bitcoin any more than you need to illustrate the benefits of washing machines. If people want to use washing machines, that means that paying the money, that’s required to buy the machine and to hook it up and to pay the electricity and the water that it consumes is worth it for them.
[01:29:10]The benefits that the washing machine gives you are larger than the cost. If that’s the case, if you’re a sane adult, you just learn to accept that this is how the world works. I don’t have to like washing machines. I don’t have to like baseball. I don’t have to like laptops. I don’t have to like iPads, if people happily pay other people to make those things for them, it’s none of my business. There must be something that they’re seeing in it. There must be something about this laptop that is getting people to pay $2,000 to Apple computers to make it and give it to them. You may not understand it. You don’t have to understand it. And I think being a mature adult, being a fully individuated individual who understands how the world works is coming to peace with the fact that I don’t get to decide what other people do.
[01:30:01] I don’t even need to know why people are using this. You can come across things online that you don’t understand. Why are people doing this thing? Why are people spending this money on that thing? As long as it’s peaceful then it means somebody seeing value in it, as long as it’s peaceful, somebody’s finding value in it.
[01:30:17]You may not like it. You may not think that it is an optimal use of resources. You might have better ideas for it, but if we lived in a world in which you, and your opinion counted for what other people need to do, there’s no end to the disasters that would unfold from that. And if we just decide, well, you know what, I’m very powerful.
[01:30:38] And I don’t see the point behind washing machines. So I’m going to be banning washing machines. It’s just opening us up into an entire world of pain where everyone’s decision is open to being determined by everybody else at the decisions. And that’s just unworkable. And this is the problem that a Bitcoin haters need to come to terms with.
[01:30:56] You don’t get to decide for me, what I do with my money. I’m not taking your electricity when I’m running Bitcoin. I’m taking my money, I’m paying for it in order to hold Bitcoin. And that money is going to the miners and they’re paying for their own electricity. They’re not robbing electricity, they’re paying somebody, who’s producing it.
[01:31:14] So someone’s making the electricity, someone’s buying it. And someone’s buying the Bitcoins that come out of that electricity. And everybody’s happy. If you don’t like it, and you think that you not liking it somehow is in any way relevant to the people that are dealing with this, then you’re essentially asking to be a slave master.
[01:31:32] So you don’t like it. Well, why is it that you get to not like it? And why is the Bitcoiners don’t get to tell you, you can’t get on an airplane. You can’t have your own washing machine. Some of these environmentalist hysterics who have been going after Bitcoin, it’s quite amazing.
[01:31:48] Bitcoin is really going to change the discussion around the environment because, Bitcoiners are really getting this and they see… there was this essentially paid goons of the environmental movement who is paid goon is my code word for environmental climate scientist.
[01:32:04] Essentially. Climate scientist these days means you just get on TV and social media and you harangue other people for doing things. That’s what it really means. You’re just shouting: the end is near and repent and give me more money. So one of those people was going on about how Bitcoin is boiling whole planet.
[01:32:20] And then the Bitcoin plebs of course started digging through his own Twitter. And what do you find? It was Minneapolis in February where he got on his building’s rooftop to sit in a jacuzzi. And he was tweeting about how he’s in his jacuzzi in February, in Minneapolis. February in Minneapolis is colder than anything you will probably experience in your life.
[01:32:42] It’s one of the coldest places in the U S, so we’re talking about maybe negative 20 degrees, Celsius or Fahrenheit, something or 30, 40, or something like that. Extremely cold weather. And he sat in his jacuzzi. And so this is the guy who wants to shut down Bitcoin. He thinks the money that has saved millions of people from destitution and from inflation and all over the world is not a good use of energy, but him turning up jacuzzi in freezing weather in Minneapolis in February is a good use of energy.
[01:33:11] Then there was this other guy who is into hockey and think about just how much energy goes into making ice rinks for hockey all over the world. Like in order for you to be able to play hockey, a lot of people need to build all of these ice rinks and they need to keep them cold and they need to keep running the energy through them.
[01:33:30] And it’s not just one ice ring for the whole world. We need a lot of them in order for the game to exist in any thousands of rinks, all over the world for people to be playing constantly and practicing and playing against each other. So, f**** hockey. Why should you get to play hockey?
[01:33:43]I’ve never played hockey. I’ve never watched hockey. Why don’t we shut down hockey? These same people also use computers. Why should they get to use computers? Why should they get to use their computers when we can’t use Bitcoin? So who decides if the jacuzzi is acceptable or airplane rides are acceptable or Bitcoin’s acceptable? There is no objective way of deciding, and that’s what these idiots need to get through their thick skulls.
[01:34:11] There is no objective way where we can get together and have a system where we all agree. All right. Yep. You get to do jacuzzi once a year, we get to do Bitcoin, but not too much Bitcoin. And you get to wash your clothes only once a month. We can’t arrive at something like that. The only mechanism for allocating energy, if you like any other scarce resource is through individuals making their own choices.
[01:34:33] And if you want to break that, if you want to influence, if you want to take over individuals choices. If you want to replace individual sovereignty as a mechanism for determining energy consumption choices, then really wow. Essentially, you’re just calling for a system of slavery.
[01:34:49] You’re saying that I get to decide what you do with your things. That’s called slavery. And of course the pathetic thing about these little marshmallow grains is that in their stupid little brains, they always think of this kind of system. As in, you know, all of us, the scientists are going to get together and we’re going to figure out what are the bad things.
[01:35:07]We’re going to turn off the Bitcoin and we’re going to turn off the ice hockey rinks in the summer. So you can only play hockey in the winter and we’re going to make airplane flight only for extremely important reasons. And then we’re going to get the emissions down by 60% and everybody will be happy.
[01:35:22] And this is completely f**** delusional. That’s not how the world works. If you give somebody the power where they’re able to turn off Bitcoin or wait, you can’t turn off Bitcoin, but good luck trying. You can turn off hockey though. If you give somebody the power to turn off hockey or to decide who gets to fly and to decide how many times you get to watch your washing machine.
[01:35:41] They’re not just going to use that for good, the kind of sick people who are attracted to that kind of power are never in it for the public good. And of course, even if they were they have no mechanism for centrally planning economic activity. So all that you’re doing is just, you’re creating a system of slavery.
[01:35:57] That’s what it ultimately comes down to. If you give yourself the authority to say you can’t send and you can’t receive and I can do this. You can do that. Then you’re just essentially calling for a system of slavery.
[01:36:09]So what else is going on?
[01:36:11]Coach Kiki: I’m up in the countryside up in upstate New York, just putting some of my life in order. And this is like the whole growing area for New York state, it’s the famous apple growing area. And this precious farm land that is supposedly being wasted for cows is actually now all covered with solar panels.
[01:36:33] So in order to pay I think it’s probably mostly these gentlemen farmers, New Yorkers who buy their weekend houses and they want a lot of acreage. They can get subsidies by putting fields of solar panels all over their farm. So you can see the rolling fields of Chinese made solar panels throughout the countryside.
[01:36:59] And you can also see where the ready Roundup, this glycosphate, where everything is green, and then you have these big brown fields where they grow corn and soy because it kills everything. So farming is not whatever, there’s more to the farming landscape then we know about in these kinds of broad farming, agricultural conversations.
[01:37:23] So that’s, what’s new here.
[01:37:26] Saifedean Ammous: Yeah. The solar panels are a wonderful example. People really think solar energy is free because it comes from the sun and, remember economics 101 at Economics11, the course that we had, everything is free if you ignore the costs involved in providing it.
[01:37:44] And so, you know, ultimately oil is free. It’s just look, it’s just a bunch of oil that sits in the ground and it’s free. Your laptop is free. Like one day your laptop was just a bunch of nickel and sand and oil and silicon in the ground. And now they’re selling it to you for $2,000. Everything is a scam except solar energy, solar energy is the only thing that’s free.
[01:38:07] But yeah, it’s absolutely insane. People think that it’s free when they don’t consider the cost of building the stupid solar panels and the cost of the land that is being consumed by it. And of course, now it’s beginning to become a real problem and it’s going to be an even much bigger problem than 20 years from now, which is how do you dispose of this toxic stuff?
[01:38:27]It’s very expensive to produce those things. I mean, look, there are uses for solar panel that are useful. Like you can have a couple of solar panels on top of your rooftop and they’ll help you save on your energy bill. There’s no question about it. But you can’t live on it only because then you’ll freeze to death when the sun is not up and you kind of need the heating when the sun is not up mostly.
[01:38:47]So. You’re going to be in deep, deep, deep trouble with that. So you need fossil fuel energy. There’s no alternative to maintaining fossil fuel energy. And then, you’re just paying an enormous amount of costs for these things and shipping them and producing them and utilizing them and taking up a lot of land.
[01:39:03] And so you realize, of course the only reason these things are becoming more and more popular is subsidies. And now all of these things are being decommissioned. It’s a massive problem because how do you dispose of them safely? Because they’re very fragile. And if they break down, then they’ll seep all kinds of dangerous chemicals that shouldn’t be around a living environment.
[01:39:26] So of course, you’re putting them out in the fields out there and it’s raining and snowing and there are birds and animals jumping on them. So they’re obviously all getting broken. And destroyed. And then hail can destroy them as well. And of course when it snows, they stop working because they get covered with snow.
[01:39:41] And so they don’t absorb the sun and they get too cold and you have to go and wash them and think about just how much land you need. All of that can be done at least with one beautiful, powerful, wholesome diesel engine. That takes very, very, very little space and only emits, tiny, tiny little imperceptible, particulates of smoke.
[01:40:04] That can be very, very, very easy to handle. It’s amazing how stupid people can be. And it’s just, it’s insane. This is of course peak Fiat, and this is all going to be in the forthcoming chapter on Fiat fuels and Fiat energy in the Fiat standard.
[01:40:20]What happened in the 1970s, similar to what happened with food. You know, when food prices went up, the U S government did everything it could to start producing cheap industrial sludge and convincing Americans that it is actually food because it was cheap. And also they did something similar with energy, where they started believing that, if we could just make all of these new sources of energy, and then we won’t have to buy oil.
[01:40:43] Cause you know, oil has gotten so expensive because of evil oil producers. When, of course it wasn’t, the evil, old producer it was the inflation that made it expensive. And so since then we’ve had 50 years of subsidies for all of these essentially delusional kinds of energy. They feel good, they feel nice, but really you have to be delusional to think that you could run an economy on solar and wind, you can’t and you won’t and these are intermittent unreliable.
[01:41:11] They’re not there. You will always need to have your maximum peak capacity be provided from a reliable source of energy, which is coal, gas, nuclear, oil or hydroelectric if you have one nearby. So you need one of these five because it’s always reliable on tap energy. So if you’re gonna need one of these to cover 100% of your peak demand, then you’re going to be building a plant that covers 100% of your peak demand.
[01:41:36] Then everything else that you’re spending on wind and solar is just a stupid waste of money and resources. You’re incurring enormous costs and there’s a very good reason why these things don’t get deployed without subsidies. They make no economic sense. And so we’ve had 50 years of this.
[01:41:51]When I wrote my PhD about this stuff in 2009, I’d started reading about it and I came to the conclusion: this is all one big corrupt scam. But in my mind back then, it was all right. Well, it’s a corrupt scam. So a whole bunch of con artists like Al Gore and all of the green scam industry, they’re going to get rich from it and there’s not going to be any real products to come out of it.
[01:42:12] But now I realize no, it’s actually much more dangerous because what it’s doing right now is that it’s destroying the power grid and it’s destroying modern society’s ability to have reliable power. We’re seeing the price of electricity rise. And if you really want to think about human progress, human progress has been the progress in reducing the cost of energy.
[01:42:33] And I discussed this in the chapter on energy, in Principles of Economics, which is sent out to subscribers a couple of weeks ago, human progress is just constantly finding ways of making energy cheaper. And that basically stopped in the last 20, 30 years. We’re now moving into a world in which energy is becoming more expensive.
[01:42:50]Why? Because we’re basically making cheap energy illegal. We’re criminalizing it, and we’re taxing it heavily. And using that to subsidize unreliable energy and that’s causing massive costs for the grid which gets passed on to consumers. So you look at places like Britain and Germany right now, power prices are rising because they need to accommodate all the stupid renewables that they’re including in their grid.
[01:43:14] So they still have all of the regular sane sources of energy that are reliable, but they need to make more and more and more of the unreliable stuff, which is raising the cost. And then you start looking at things like California and Texas over the last year, getting blackouts during extreme weather.
[01:43:33] And this is stuff that didn’t use to happen when you have reliable grids. But now, and I recommend the work of MD Shellenberger who wrote a book called Apocalypse Never. And he talks about this and Alex Epstein as well. These power companies in these places have become ideologically captured by this death cult that wants to promote all these unworkable romantic forms of energy, because somehow solar panels are going to make the earth cleaner and nicer. They’re not building infrastructure that can handle more and better energy demand. I think it’s quite concerning, but yeah, but Bitcoin fixes this to end on a positive note.
[01:44:10] Bitcoin fixes this because basically Bitcoin is a global subsidy for all cheap forms of energy. So governments are a global subsidy for all inefficient forms of energy and attacks on all forms of energy. Governments are essentially dialing back civilization. Governments are pushing us back into barbarism.
[01:44:28] Governments are destroying the technological progress that humanity has made over millennia. They’re trying to move us back to living with stones and sticks with their stupid policies. Bitcoin is doing the opposite. Bitcoin allows anybody who has a cheap source of energy, anywhere in the world.
[01:44:45] That’s cheap and reliable. It allows them to get rich by monetizing it regardless of where it is. So the more Bitcoin grows, the more cheap and reliable energy sources are going to be monetized. And the more that people run, those things will have money and will have capital. And so they’re going to invest more in them.
[01:45:03] They’re going to produce more of them and it’s going to make, I think the world a much better place because we’re going to have a lot more cheap energy because of that. And on that positive note, that’s about enough for today. Thank you very much guys for joining. I will see you on Monday. Take care.