My New 12 Trillion-dollar Annual Budget

We’ll not have to tighten our belts anywhere.

Albert Bates
14 min readSep 2


Full fossil fuel price reform would reduce global carbon dioxide emissions to an estimated 43 percent below baseline levels in 2030 (in line with keeping global warming to 1.5–2°C) while raising revenues worth 3.6 percent of global GDP and preventing 1.6 million local air pollution deaths per year.

— International Monetary Fund

The United States is borrowing three billion dollars a day with higher interest rates we’re going to borrow one and a half trillion dollars in the second half of this year.

— Nate Hagens, Frankly #41

Three trillion per year in borrowing doesn’t seem like that much when you consider that the world spends twelve trillion to subsidize fossil energy exploration, exploitation, delivery, and use. Of course — and this is something deficit hawks will never tell you — borrowing trillions carries vastly more benefits than it may appear.

Most people, and this is how we are educated as children, think that when you borrow a dollar, pound, or Swiss franc, you are taking it out of the lender’s pocket and placing it into the borrower’s. It is like breaking the piggy bank. But that is no longer how money works. Since we all went off the gold standard and onto bank notes, all money is lent into existence. When a loan is retired, the money does not go back into the glued-together piggy bank, it ceases to exist. What had been strings of ones and zeros is zeroed out.

If the Fed were to stop lending three billion dollars a day, the economy of the US, and by extension the world, would seize up, implode and crumble into dust. Issue more money and the global economy expands. Issue less, it contracts. Try telling that to Marsha Blackburn or Nikki Haley and you’ll get a blank stare. Such ideas don’t play in Iowa like images of broken piggy banks and Joe Biden caught holding the hammer.

Every year the world subsidizes fossil energy adds 12 trillion dollars to the global economy. Take that away and you are in a fine pickle. You had better find something else to spend it on, and quick.

Here are a few items from my shopping list. All of these are steps along the way to a New Carbon



Albert Bates

Emergency Planetary Technician and Climate Science Wonk — using naturopathic remedies to recover the Holocene without geoengineering or ponzinomics.