Mother Pelican
A Journal of Sustainable Human Development

Vol. 7, No. 6, June 2011
Luis T. Gutiérrez, Editor
Home Page


Status of the Transition to Clean Energy
(Work in Progress - Preliminary Draft)


1. Energy Dimension of the Sustainable Development Paradox
2. Energy Transition Scenarios for the 21st Century
3. Energy Flow Through the Global Economic System
4. Status on Non-Renewable Energy Resources
5. Status on Renewable Energy Resources
6. Current and Alternative Energy Taxes and Subsidies
7. Democratic Valuation of Land & Energy Resources
8. Transition from Fossil Fuels to Clean Energy
9. Energy References and Data Sources

Due to the rapid succession of events related to sustainable development worldwide, the entire SDSIM simulation project is under review. It has been determined that the basic structure of the Version 1 series must be reworked to focus on the two sets of feedback loops that matter the most: human development (including gender equality) and the replacement of fossil fuels by clean energy. This will take time, and therefore there will be a hiatus between SDSIM 1.5 and the next series of simulations to start with SDSIM 2.0. This revision of the SDSIM model will be based on the series of editorials from November 2010 to May 2011:

During the SDSIM model reformulation, this supplement will serve to keep track of significant social, economic, and technical developments related to clean energy. The latest SDSIM 1.5 documentation is available here, and the web-based version of the simulation model is available in the FORIO server. Please share any ideas or suggestions for SDSIM 2.0 via email to the editor.

1. Energy Dimension of the Sustainable Development Paradox

Sustainable development is a paradoxical undertaking. Ceteris paribus, continued population growth and economic development (in the sense of human consumption) are bound to exacerbate the process of biosphere degradation and climate dislocations. But, limiting population growth and economic development in order to mitigate - let alone reverse - environmental degradation are bound to exacerbate vexing issues of financial stability, poverty eradication, and social justice:

"Our enormously productive economy… demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption… We need things consumed, burned up, worn out, replaced, and discarded at an ever increasing rate." Victor Lebow, 1955

In his latest book, Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth, David C. Koster argues forcefully for the need to redesign our financial and economic systems so that they are at the service of "Main Street" rather than "Wall Street." Another good book is the recently published The Ecological Rift: Capitalism's War on the Earth, by John Bellamy Foster, Brett Clark, and Richard York. Perhaps a new economic system can be designed so that the sustainable development paradox vanishes; but that remains to be seen.

Resolving the sustainable development paradox is a multidimensional global challenge that transcends economics, ecology, and any other specialty or human capability. An article published in the January 2011 issue of Sustainability provides a good synopsis of the scope, complexity, and urgency of the problem:

"A study of sustainability needs to consider the role of all forms of capital—natural, biological, social, technological, financial, cultural—and the complex ways in which they interact. All forms of capital derive their value, utility and application from human mental awareness, creativity and social innovation. This makes human capital, including social capital, the central determinant of resource productivity and sustainability. Humanity has entered the Anthropocene Epoch in which human changes have become the predominant factor in evolution. Humanity is itself evolving from animal physicality to social vitality to mental individuality. This transition has profound bearing on human productive capabilities, adaptability, creativity and values, the organization of economy, public policy, social awareness and life styles that determine sustainability. This article examines the linkages between population, economic development, employment, education, health, social equity, cultural values, energy intensity and sustainability in the context of evolving human consciousness. It concludes that development of human capital is the critical determinant of long-term sustainability and that efforts to accelerate the evolution of human consciousness and emergence of mentally self-conscious individuals will be the most effective approach for ensuring a sustainable future. Education is the primary lever. Human choice matters." Human Capital and Sustainability, Ivo Šlaus and Garry Jacobs, Sustainability, January 2011.

See also the article A Taxonomy and Epistemology of the Human Predicament by Paul Chefurka, posted 24 May 2011. The best definition and visualization of the sustainable development paradox may be the one created by Willard R. Fey and Ann C.W. Lam of Ecocosm Dynamics Ltd. They use both concise text and a masterful diagram to discuss this cosmic paradox:

Visualization of the Sustainable Development Paradox
by Willard R. Fey and Ann C.W. Lam, Ecocosm Dynamics Ltd
Reprinted with Permission

The loops on the left-hand side of the diagram are driven by the human propensity to consume and accumulate wealth. As Heinrich Pesch pointed out almost a century ago, "capitalism means control over economic life in the name of the unrestricted and unlimited acquisitive interests of those who own capital" (Ethics in the National Economy, 1918, page 159). Extreme capitalism seeks profits for the sake of profits, no matter what the human and ecological consequences might be; and by now it is well known that extreme socialism is nothing but capitalism turned inside out, with the state monopolizing the accumulation of wealth at the expense of both people and planet. The loops on the right-hand side of the diagram are driven by the human propensity to procreate, often exacerbated by men's patriarchal obsession to dominate women - both physically and by excluding them from educational opportunities ("let women be in the kitchen, bare footed, and pregnant"). Undoubtedly, this is the reason for the exorbitant rates of population growth that persist in the most patriarchal cultures throughout the world.

Both sets of loops in Fey & Lam's diagram require a sustainable flow of energy to keep going. No matter how economic and social policies might be reformed in the future, energy will always remain indispensable. In the current global system, most of the energy is provided by burning fossil fuels. The resulting accumulation of emissions and toxic wastes is not without social and environmental consequences: both human health and the ecological integrity of the planet are adversely affected, and lead to (impending?) climate changes with potentially catastrophic results for humanity. Two sets of strategies are possible to face this crisis: mitigation and adaptation. Mitigation entails doing more with less, i.e., developing technologies that deliver more products and services per unit of natural resource consumed. Adaptation entails doing things differently, i.e., changing human behavior to comply with the principles of solidarity, subsidiarity, and sustainability. Mitigation strategies buy time at the expense of the future. Eventually, a good dosage of human adaptation will be required. Clearly, the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy will enhance the effectiveness of both mitigation and adaptation strategies.

No matter what the future may bring, clean energy will be essential.

2. Energy Transition Scenarios for the 21st Century

Energy scenarios for the 21st century are about how to migrate the global economic system from fossil fuels to clean (and renewable) energy. Even if additional reserves of crude can be found (check this out), the increasingly increasing environmental deterioration and probable climate change repercussions make the continued use of carbon fuels intolerable. The following chart is a reasonable visualization of how the gradual substitution of oil, natural gas, and coal by various sources of clean energy should unfold over the next 50 years or so.

Source: The Energy Report: 100% Renewable Energy by 2050, Page 92
Published by the World Wide Fund for Nature, January 2011. Copyright 2011 WWF.

It is not "simply" a matter of using fossil fuels more efficiently. Managing the huge accumulation of GHG already in the atmosphere, and containing further accumulation in the decades ahead, is not possible by increasing energy efficiency alone. Mitigation by technological means is helpful to buy time for human adaptation. But mitigation without adaptation would merely prolong the agony for both humanity and the planet. Distractions such as climategate notwithstanding, the emergence of objective evidence about human-induced climate change is overwhelming:

Mitigation alone will not do. Adaptation will be required.

3. Energy Flow Through the Global Economic System

Another way to consider the magnitude of the task is to analyze the flow of energy through the economic system. The chart below is for the USA, but the supporting energy structure of the economic system is driven by the state of technology and economic practices which, with some minor variations, apply throughout the world. Energy from oil, natural gas, and coal constitute 78.5% of the flow. Electricity does not produce GHG emissions, but 33.7% of electricity generation is driven by coal, natural gas, and nuclear plants. The contribution of solar, wind, geothermal, and other forms of renewable energy is minute. On the consumption side, industry and transportation are the main drivers. End use efficiency is approximately 80% for the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors, but only 25% by the transportation sector.

USA ENERGY FLOW 2009 - LLNL & Dept. of Energy - Livermore, California, USA - USED WITH PERMISSION
To view a larger image, click here.

Efficiency technologies can improve these numbers, but the intrinsic physics of the energy production and consumption system would remain basically unchanged unless human adaptation minimizes the use of fossil fuels to produce electricity and support transportation; and just improving efficiency may actually increase end user energy consumption. In other words, adaptation is needed in both the production and consumption sides of energy flows. It is hard to imagine that such radical adaptations can come to pass unless penalties (taxes) and incentives (subsidies) can be radically shifted in favor of clean energy. And this is where the lack of political will becomes the most critical issue. Even in democratic countries, politicians cannot get elected without strong financial support of those who are committed to perpetuating " business as usual." Most citizens are too busy to even think about these issues, and they have to keep filling the tanks of cars and trucks, and paying for airplane tickets; there are no alternatives, and they have to keep going, so they have no choice.

The "infinite planet theory" is irrational.
"Business as usual" is no longer sustainable,
but political will is lacking to shift priorities.

4. Status on Non-Renewable Energy Resources

There is nothing wrong with fossil fuels, except that they are limited (non-renewable) and when burned release emissions that pollute the planet. Since the industrial revolution, the use of fossil fuels - and the consequent accumulation of GHGs - have grown exponentially, with consequences that probably include
Carbon Emissions from Fossil Fuels 1800-2000
Source: International Energy Agency (IEA)
impending climate changes with severe social side effects. This is just the way it is, and any form of scapegoating is pointless. It is the kind of situation in which finger pointing is politically expedient but socially useless. It would be more hellpful to seek solutions that are technically and politically feasible. What is politically unfeasible today must be made politically inevitable before it is too late. It is not possible to stop using fossil fuels overnight. In fact, significant additional accumulation of GHGs in the atmosphere is inevitable due to irreversible investments in production. But it is possible to gradually overcome vested interests and foster a nonviolent transition from non-renewable to renewable (and clean) sources of energy tu support human activity in harmony with the human habitat. Who cares whether or not we are beyond the point of "peak oil"? What matters now is to ensure an adequate supply of clean energy for sustainable human development, now and in the future. For more on the current economics of non-renewable energy resources, and the associated material cycles, see the following:

Who cares about "peak oil" anymore?
What matters now is clean energy for the future!

5. Status on Renewable Energy Resources

Investment on Renewable Energy 1995-2007
Source: International Energy Agency (IEA)
"Renewable energy sources will have to play a central role in moving the world onto a more secure, reliable and sustainable energy path. The potential is unquestionably large, but how quickly their contribution to meeting the world’s energy needs grows hinges critically on the strength of government support to stimulate technological advances and make renewables cost competitive with other energy sources. Government support for renewables can, in principle, be justified by the long-term economic, energy security and environmental benefits they can bring, though it is essential that support mechanisms are cost-effective." But current levels of investment are utterly inadequate: "Renewables are generally more capital intensive than fossil fuels, so the investment needed to provide the extra renewables capacity is very large. Investment in renewables to produce electricity is estimated at $5.7 trillion (in year-2009 dollars) over the period 2010-2035. Investment needs are greatest in China, which has now emerged as a leader in wind power and photovoltaic production, as well as a major supplier of the equipment. The Middle East and North Africa region holds enormous potential for large-scale development of solar power, but there are many market, technical and political challenges that need to be overcome." (World Energy Outlook, IEA, November 2010).

Thus the crucial tradeoff between non-renewable and renewable energy is one between the short-term profits of a few and the long-term sustainability of human civilization. It is clearly a situation in which short-term profits win as long as the common good of humanity is not brought into the picture. This is not to blame those who extract and refine fossil fuels to deliver energy to the market; blaming, and looking back, serves no purpose. What is needed is a radical reformation of government institutions to embrace, and put in practice, the principles of solidarity and sustainability. It cannot be overemphasized that technologies are ready or can be developed, and other barriers can be removed, if there is the political will to do it.

Renewable power sources could meet all global energy needs by 2050

"There are no technical or economic barriers to providing all of the world’s energy from renewable sources, according to a recent study. With a concerted effort, including reduced demand and international cooperation, the researchers suggest that the world could be entirely reliant on renewable energy for electric power, transportation and heating/cooling by 2050." ( Science for Environment Policy, European Commission, 14 April 2011)

Global human well-being possible at low levels of energy and carbon

"High levels of energy consumption and carbon emissions are not necessary for high standards of living, according to a new study. In recent decades, the same human needs have been met with ever decreasing energy and carbon levels, achieving a steady decoupling of human development from energy use and carbon emissions." (Science for Environment Policy, European Commission, 12 May 2011)

Politically, the first requirement is democracy. As Reinhold Niebuhr succinctly pointed out: "Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible; but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary." But we are going more. In addition to democracy, we are going to need homo economicus to become homo ecologicus and embrace a mentality of solidarity, subsidiarity, and sustainability. This is the splendid challenge we face at this turning point in human history.

For more on the current economics of renewable energy resources, and the status of pertinent technologies, see the following:

Humanity needs both energy and the human habitat.
Clean energy is the way to rebuild a clean planet.

6. Current and Alternative Energy Taxes and Subsidies

It is time to stop subsidizing fossil fuels. It is time to start taxing fossil fuels and subsidizing clean energy. The urgency of this fiscal reform is well stated in the IEA WEO 2010:

"Fossil-fuel subsidies, which remain commonplace in many countries, result in an economically inefficient allocation of resources and market distortions, while often failing to meet their stated objectives. Subsidies that artificially lower energy prices encourage wasteful consumption, exacerbate energy-price volatility by blurring market signals, incentivize fuel adulteration and smuggling, and undermine the competitiveness of renewables and other low-emission energy technologies. For importing countries, subsidies often impose a significant fiscal burden on state budgets, while for producers they quicken the depletion of resources and can thereby reduce export earnings over the long term."

"Fossil-fuel consumption subsidies, comprising subsidies to fossil fuels used in final consumption and to fossil-fuel inputs to power generation, worldwide amounted to $312 billion in 2009. The annual level fluctuates widely with changes in international energy prices, domestic pricing policy, exchange rates and demand. In 2008, when international energy prices spiked, subsidies amounted to $558 billion. In 2009, oil products and natural gas were the most heavily subsidized fuels, attracting subsidies totaling $126 billion and $85 billion, respectively. Subsidies to electricity consumption were also significant, reaching $95 billion in 2009. At only $6 billion, coal subsidies were comparatively small. The vast majority of these subsidies are in non-OECD countries, which are projected to contribute 93% of incremental global energy demand to 2035 in the New Policies Scenario.

"Considerable momentum is building globally to cut fossil-fuel subsidies. In September 2009, G20 leaders committed to phase out and rationalize inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies, a move that was closely mirrored in November 2009 by APEC leaders. Many countries are now pursuing reforms, but steep economic, political and social hurdles will need to be overcome to realize lasting gains. Eradicating subsidies to fossil fuels would have a dramatic effect on global energy balances, enhancing energy security, reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollution, and bringing economic benefits. WEO-2010 estimates that a universal phase-out of all fossil-fuel consumption subsidies by 2020 — ambitious though it may be as an objective — would cut global primary energy demand by 5%, compared with a baseline in which subsidies remain unchanged. This amounts to the current consumption of Japan, Korea and New Zealand combined. Oil demand would be cut by 4.7 mb/d by 2020, or around one-quarter of current US demand.

"Phasing out fossil-fuel consumption subsidies could represent an integral building block for tackling climate change. A complete phase-out would reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by 5.8%, or 2 Gigatonne (Gt), by 2020, equivalent to the current combined emissions of Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Italy. This amounts to over 40% of the abatement needed to be on track by 2020 to limit global warming to a 2°C rise.

"Although the stated intent of many energy-consumption subsidies is to make energy services more affordable and accessible for the poor, the reality is that only a small proportion of fossil-fuel subsidies go to poor households. In countries with low levels of modern-energy access, subsidies in the residential sector for kerosene, electricity and LPG — fuels that often support the basic needs of the poor — represented just 15% of fossil-fuel consumption subsidies in 2009. Nonetheless, subsidy reform programs need to be carefully designed as low-income households are likely to be disproportionately affected by their removal."

World Energy Outlook, International Energy Agency (IEA), November 2010.

The USA National Academy of Sciences is currently undertaking a comprehensive review of how current tax policy affect the GHG emissions of the economy. For a number of years, Earth Track has researched and published reports on the issue of environmentally harmful subsidies (see references listed below). Global warming must be limited to a 2°C rise if environmental sustainability is to be achieved. The IEA proposals for shifts in taxes and subsidies, which are politically unfeasible at the moment, must become politically feasible during this decade. For more on energy taxes and subsidies, see the following:

Minimize subsidies to fossil fuels.
Maximize subsidies to clean energy.

7. Democratic Valuation of Land & Energy Resources

If the way to foster the transition to sustainability is to minimize subsidies on fossil fuels and maximize subsidies to clean energy, then the required tax shift would be to minimize taxes on improving energy resources and maximize taxes on using energy resources. It follows that taxes on "improving" (finding, extracting, refining) fossil fuels ought to be minimized and taxes on using fossil fuels ought to be maximized. In general, taxes on improving natural resources ought to be minimized - thus providing incentive for improvement - and taxes on using natural resources ought to be maximized - thus providing incentive to conserve them.

The terms "minimization" and "maximization" are used here in the sense of either minimizing depreciation (cost), or maximizing appreciation (value), under applicable constraints due to either intrinsic physical limits of the resource or reasonable limits deemed to be required for social justice. For instance, in the case of fossil fuels, taxes ought to be minimized on revenues earned by delivering energy in consumable form, and maximized for using the energy - with the upper limit for taxing the use of energy increasing as resource (coal, oil, natural gas) reserves are depleted and costly side effects (such as global warming) become socially intolerable. In the case of clean energy resources, again taxes on earnings derived from transforming the natural energy resource (wind, solar, biomass) into usable form ought to be minimized, and taxes maximized for using the energy; but since renewable energy resources are not depleted and produce little or now pollution, the upper limit on taxing usage should remain fixed or increase only slightly. The same "min-max" formulation follows for any other kind of natural resource, such as any mix of land, mineral deposits, and ecosystem services.

Sections 4 and 5 above provide evidence that the required technologies are already available or can be readily developed. But is this kind of fiscal policy economically feasible? Is it politically feasible? Would it lead to greater social justice? These are the issues that really matter. It would not seem reasonable to assume that free market economies can evolve toward the "triple bottom line" or any other practice balance profits, people, and planet priorities by the end of this century, let alone this decade. Likewise, it would not seem reasonable to assume that "the art of the possible" can self-reform to the same end anytime soon; even in the most democratic systems now in existence, politics are driven by the oxymoron of unlimited growth in a limited planet. However, some modifications of free market economics, and some modifications of democratic structures, have been proposed that should be reconsidered for the sake of human solidarity and environmental sustainability.

Economically, there is the "Land Value Tax" (LVT) theory proposed by Henry George in Progress and Poverty (1879) and Protection or Free trade (1886). The following is a brief synopsis of "Georgist" economics:

"Most taxes, noted George, stifle productive behavior. A tax on income reduces people’s incentive to earn income, a tax on wheat would reduce wheat production, and so on. But a tax on the unimproved value of land is different. The value of land comes from two components, its natural value and the value that is created by improving it (by building on it, for example). The value of a vacant lot in its natural state comes not from any sacrifice or opportunity cost borne by the owners of the land, but rather from demand for a fixed amount of land. Therefore, argued George, because the value of the unimproved land is unearned, neither the land's value nor a tax on the land’s value can affect productive behavior. If land were taxed more heavily, the quantity available would not decline, as with other goods; nor would demand decline because of land's productive uses. By taxing the whole of the value of unimproved land, the government would drive the price of land to zero." Charles L. Hooper, The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, 2008.

George also argued that this kind of fiscal policy is the best way to synchronize economic progress with the mitigation of poverty. The subtitle of his 1879 book is "An Inquiry into the Cause of Industrial Depressions and of Increase of Want with Increase of Wealth: The Remedy." According to George, LVT is the remedy. It is a bit more complicated than this, as the interested reader can find by exploring some of the references listed at the end of this section. But the fundamental idea is that the economic system should be guided - via fiscal policy - to work primarily for people, within the physical and ecological constraints of the human habitat, by rewarding human efforts to improve - and protect - unearned natural resources. In a Georgist economy, the so-called "externalities" would cease to exist. This makes sense ecologically. Since the LVT theory is yet to be fully implemented, the jury is still out on the social justice implications.

Politically, resolving the social justice issue entails determining how to distribute the LVT revenues - over and above the cost of public services - to all citizens. In this regard, the Socioeconomic Democracy work of Robley George (no relation to Henry) should be considered in conjunction with any LVT-like reformation of fiscal policies. Basically, a "sociodemocratic society" would be one in which there is a guaranteed basic income (or "citizen's income") for every citizen:

"Socioeconomic Democracy is a model economic system, or more precisely, socioeconomic subsystem, in which there is some form of Universal Guaranteed Personal Income (UGI) as well as some form of Maximum Allowable Personal Wealth (MAW), with both the lower bound on personal material poverty and the upper bound on personal material wealth set and adjusted democratically by all society." Socioeconomic Democracy, Robley E. George, Center for the Study of Democratic Societies (CSDS), 2002.

"The Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) is a government ensured guarantee that no one's income will fall below the level necessary to meet their most basic needs for any reason. As Bertrand Russell put it in 1918, "A certain small income, sufficient for necessities, should be secured for all, whether they work or not, and that a larger income should be given to those who are willing to engage in some work which the community recognizes as useful. On this basis we may build further." Thus, with BIG no one is destitute but everyone has the positive incentive to work. BIG is an efficient, effective, and equitable solution to poverty that promotes individual freedom and leaves the beneficial aspects of a market economy in place." Basic Income Guarantee, U.S. Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) Network, web site as of 30 May 2011.

"A basic income is an income unconditionally granted to all on an individual basis, without means test or work requirement. It is a form of minimum income guarantee that differs from those that now exist in various European countries in three important ways:
  • It is being paid to individuals rather than households.
  • It is paid irrespective of any income from other sources.
  • It is paid without requiring the performance of any work or the willingness to accept a job if offered.
Liberty and equality, efficiency and community, common ownership of the Earth and equal sharing in the benefits of technical progress, the flexibility of the labor market and the dignity of the poor, the fight against inhumane working conditions, against the desertification of the countryside and against interregional inequalities, the viability of cooperatives and the promotion of adult education, autonomy from bosses, husbands and bureaucrats, have all been invoked in its favor. But it is the inability to tackle unemployment with conventional means that has led in the last decade or so to the idea being taken seriously throughout Europe by a growing number of scholars and organizations. Social policy and economic policy can no longer be conceived separately, and basic income is increasingly viewed as the only viable way of reconciling two of their respective central objectives: poverty relief and full employment." About Basic Income, Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN), web site as of 30 May 2011.

The theoretical connection and joint implementation of natural resource taxes/subsidies and supporting checks and balances is intuitively appealing but requires further investigation. The Georgist/LVT and CSDS/BIG/BIEN communities are cordially invited to provide feedback pursuant to a synthesis that could be proposed to the wider community of economists, political economists, engineering economists, scholars, and "global citizens" who are concerned about the future of humanity and the human habitat. For more on economic and political reforms to foster clean energy, see the following:

Minimize taxes on improving natural resources.
Maximize taxes on using natural resources.

8. Transition from Fossil Fuels to Clean Energy

Except for those who don't want to see, it is clear that a transition from fossil fuels to clean energy must happen, and sooner rather than later. The required technologies are mostly ready (see references listed in Section 9). The most critical factor to make it happen is human action:

Renewable Energy Report
May 2011
80% of the required energy flow by 2050 "if backed by the right enabling public policies."
Pontifical Academy of Sciences
Anthropocene Report
May 2011

"Humanity has created
the Anthropocene era
and must live with it."

National Academy of Sciences
America's Climate Choices
May 2011
"Begin mobilizing now for adaptation."

The quotations under these three reports capture the essence of the solution: "Humanity has created the Anthropocene era and must live with it" ... "Close to 80 percent of the world's energy supply could be met by renewables by mid-century if backed by the right enabling public policies" ... "Begin mobilizing now for adaptation."

How? The following table summarizes a proposal on how to forge ahead:

Phases of a Transition Concept - 2011 to 2050

There are four phases in this transition concept. The four phases will not necessarily unfold sequentially. In fact, complex recursions (iterations) between them are to be expected. It is not possible to attempt a detailed analysis of the dynamic succession of events in advance, but it is possible to envision the goals for each phase and how to achieve them.


This is the concientization (or mobilization) phase. This phase is about creating a critical mass of popular support for the required tax reforms. Now that we recognize the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), the task is to enhance CSR with Citizen Social Responsibility (another CSR!) to form a strong Corporate and Citizen Social Responsibility (CCSR) movement capable of demanding the adoption of Triple Bottom Line (3BL) practices to balance people-profit-planet priorities (people first!). The goal of this phase is to have a critical mass of global citizens demanding changes in subsidies and tax systems to support clean energy. The following are some legitimate means to achieve this goal:


The second phase (2021-2030), incentivation to enable redistribution, is about the transfer of subsidies from fossil fuels to clean energy, possibly by adopting more fully the Land Value Tax (LVT) originally proposed by Henry George (1839-1897). George's theory is that the LVT would simplify the tax code, reduce taxes on land improvements, and provide adequate revenue for governance. Properly managed, these "land revenues" could translate into "citizen dividends" to be distributed to all citizens (next phase). The goal of this phase is to put in place subsidies and tax burdens that make clean energy economically feasible and fossil fuels unfeasible. Furthermore, this goal is to be achieved democratically; else, any progress will be ephemeral. Thus it is clear that Phases II and III of this transition plan will have to unfold recursively rather than sequentially. The following are some resources that may be helpful in planning for Phase II:


The third phase (2031-2040), redistribution to enable democratization, is about democracy with social justice, i.e., assuring distributive justice by democratically adopting thresholds of Universal Guaranteed Personal Income (UGPI, or UGI) and Maximum Allowable Personal Wealth (MAPW, or MAW), with "with both the lower bound on personal material poverty and the upper bound on personal material wealth set and adjusted democratically by all society" as proposed by Robley George (no relation to Henry George) in Socioeconomic Democracy. The goal of this phase is fair UGI and MAW limits for each national and local jurisdiction. Furthermore, this goal is to be achieved democratically; else, any progress will be ephemeral. Thus it is clear that Phases II and III of this transition plan will have to unfold recursively rather than sequentially. The following are some resources that may be helpful in planning for Phase III:


The fourth phase (2041-2050), democratization with solidarity and sustainability, is about the full implementation of the principle of subsidiarity, originally formulated by Luigi Taparelli D'Azeglio, SJ (1793–1862), in the forms checks and balances to ensure that decisions are made at the lowest possible level (global, national, local) of democratic governance. It is noteworthy that the principle of political subsidiarity was subsequently integrated with the principle of economic solidarity developed by Heinrich Pesch, SJ (1854-1926). The goal of this phase is to structure three layers of governance - global, national, and local. The following are some resources that should still be helpful in planning for Phase IV:

Our finite planet is common property.
Tax the use of common property!

9. Energy References and Data Sources

The following is a list of energy and climate change knowledge resources available online:

For democracy with solidarity and sustainability,
let us tax the use of common resources
and let us have a universal basic income!

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