By Dr. Hajime Fujiwara
President and CEO, Optimax, Inc.
The world as we know it is the product of the industrial revolution and state/nation structure of the 19th and 20th centuries, but we are now facing unprecedented global problems, and state/nation logic no longer suffices. Further, though we have failed in our attempts at global organization, it is time to start thinking at the planetary level.
We can no longer afford to be constrained by the artificial boundaries of geography, to give credence to boundary lines now losing their meanings--one of the biggest illusions is the concept of sovereignty--yet political and economic relationships are determined by such boundaries. Our leaders construct real or imagined walls to try and resolve political and economic dilemmas.
There is a strong similarity between the flow of wealth, energy and information and the juices in the human body. Just as physical excess causes untold problems for the circulatory system, we are now seeing huge budgetary deficits around the world. The industrialized nations are creating their own debt and helping the developing and Third World nations by loaning them money, but there may not be safety in numbers.
Wealth and value flow through our global arteries in the form of currency just as energy circulates in us, just as blood flows through us, just as information moves through human activity and as in the body, today in the world we are seeing the process of aging and disease. The interruption or constriction of the flow of the vital forces creates problems. We can now see the disease of huge budgetary deficits everywhere in industrialized nations. Our loans to developing and Third World countries create giant uncollectable debt. Other symptoms include the substitution of means of repayment other than cash; the shrinking of global trade and transactions; a predominance of available speculative money; and a casino atmosphere in investment strategy, to "get even."
Such fiscal brinksmanship was caused by a misunderstanding of our value system. Money is only a carrier and a function. It has no direct relationship with the true value system. Money merely represents energy value; real value has been, is now and always will be the only energy.
We are now experiencing a critical monetary spasm due to the collapse of the oil standard. Most leaders are welcoming the resulting cheap energy. Some are worried about the significance of the loss of the oil standard. The world's major currencies cannot remain stable without the backing of a substantial value system. Faith and credit, the belief in a value system, is a feather in the wind. It can go in any direction. If the chosen value carrier, money, has little value, then we are headed for trouble.
I propose a standard--the Exergy system, Exergy being the total effective energy in the world, the available work in a mass. It is a special way of defining available energy, on which we should base our value system since the backing of the monetary system now exists only in our minds.
Since there must be some means to effect this change, a global organization, transcending the state/nations of the world, must be created to recognize and oversee the energy/substance value system. The new value system, the Planetary Exergy Fund, would be more powerful than such entities as the International Monetary Fund. We must have an organization that can calculate, appraise, re-evaluate and re-estimate annually the total available energy of the planet. The world's currencies and all other value systems, like SDR (Special Drawing Right) and the Eurodollar, would be phased into the Exergy Fund system during a transitional period.
Reorganization and coordination of the UN, IMF, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, etc., might occur at the same time. This kind of effort on a planetary scale could be extremely useful in overcoming the threat of potential global catastrophes. It would be a great legacy for future generations. It would mean survival. All we need to do is accept and adopt a global unit of value. And while a standard monetary unit does not necessarily mean world government, it could mean world economic sanity.