What About Environmental Concerns Over Crypto Mining?

July 6, 2024   |   Tags:

I learned long ago that when institutions decide to ride a subject, they can do so for a long time. By endless repetition people are worn down into compliance, and then into defense of their compliance. I’ve seen it too many times.

And so, seeing them harping on “Bitcoin isn’t environmentally friendly,” I feel a need to defend reality, before it’s overrun yet again.

Let’s start with some basic engineering, so you can see that it isn’t people on my side who are making wild assertions, but people on the institutional side.

So Much Electricity”

You can substitute electricity for carbon, by the way. The people behind these things use whatever words will be best for attaining their goal. That’s why they moved from “global warming” to “climate change,” for example.

So, let’s look at electricity:

The first thing to know is this: If you want to do something about electrical loads (loads being things that demand electricity: anything from a light bulb to a giant electrical motor), you have to start with air conditioning. Far, far more electricity is used for cooling than it is for crypto mining. So, let’s go full stop right here:

Any ‘decarbonizing’ campaign that ignores air conditioning is a fraud.

When the impressive suits start throwing around scary terms like terawatts, claiming that crypto mining is a threat and that you may be a bad person for supporting it, please ask this:

How does that compare to the air conditioning load?

Then, after they hem and haw, you can ask:

What about the gross inefficiencies arising from the seasonality of the air conditioning load, requiring utilities to maintain supplemental generating facilities?

They won’t answer your question because they can’t... though they may do the political thing and answer a question you didn’t ask. 

Why Utilities Love Mining Customers

You should also know that crypto mining is a continuous load; the kind power companies thrive on.

What’s difficult for utilities are electrical demands that change massively. Those make their lives crazy, and air conditioning exemplifies them: These loads hit them only a few months per year, mostly for half a day, and not even every day. They have to build special generating stations to handle them… generating stations that sit idle ninety percent of the time. It’s tremendously expensive.

Crypto mining loads, on the other hand, are incredibly consistent, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.

Bear in mind also, that if crypto mining was so troublesome, the utilities would be raising their prices. And so, here are two more questions for the anti-crypto suits:

If electricity for mining is such a difficult thing, how come the miners haven't been buried in price increases?

Isn’t crypto minining a tremendously stable load? Don’t utilities prefer that?

Let’s Tax Crypto”

Taxing crypto is where this stuff is going, and it’s simply an effort to stampede people who feel they must act Green in order to retain their standing.

The argument runs that since carbon is such a threat to human life (a dogma you may wish to examine), and since crypto mining causes so much carbon, “we” must tax it, in order to restrain it.

Before I get to a few details on this, please bear in mind that we already have plenty of clean power, and we can have more of it whenever we like. (Please see here.) That much is clear.

So, the whole decarbonizing crypto show is misdirection. Its real goal is to get rid of Bitcoin’s proof of work standard. That’s the stroke of genius that allowed Bitcoin to create trust with no trusted party, overturning the dogma that centralization was inevitable.

The big alternative, proof of stake, is more vulnerable to attack. They need it to get a handle on Bitcoin.

So, “taxing crypto to save the planet” is really about capturing Bitcoin. They just can’t say it, because too many people already hold Bitcoin.

With Bitcoin out of the way, the powers that be would move on to central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), with which they can and will control you far more than they already do. (Think of what was done to the Canadian truckers, then multiply it by some number.) 

So, the next time you hear propaganda about Bitcoin mining, I suggest you respond with this:

How come you’re not addressing air conditioning? It’s a far bigger use of electricity.

If carbon was really going to kill us, an honest advocate would have to start by getting rid of air conditioning. 


For more on Green, see Denouncing The New Deity and The Two Types of Religion


Paul Rosenberg



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