The green movement has found many things in modern life that cause global warming, but the latest really left us scratching our heads: Trading Bitcoins. At this point it might be easier to ask, is there anything that doesn’t cause global warming?
No, it’s not a joke. Just about anything these days (Hat tip: The Daily Caller) even remotely connected to civilization, human flourishing and comfort is, we’re told, a “cause” of global warming. It’s a crucial element of the Global Warming religion, which has only waxed even as real religion has waned.
Both Vox and The New Republic point out that in order to “mine” Bitcoins on the computer, it takes a lot of energy. The argument goes that, since most Bitcoins now are mined by Chinese citizens and since China derives a growing amount of its energy from cheap-but-dirty coal, Bitcoins are increasing the amount of CO2 in the air.
And more CO2 equals more warming, QED.
“Bitcoins are contributing to the warming of the atmosphere without providing a significant public benefit in return,” writes The New Republic’s Emily Atkin.
Of course, Atkin must possess special, recondite knowledge about exactly how warm the earth should be at all times, and also about what precisely constitutes a “significant public benefit” from Bitcoins.
Meanwhile, over at Vox, warming worrier Umair Irfan frets that Bitcoin mining on the web uses huge amounts of energy, “on par with the energy use of the entire country of Morocco, more than 19 European countries, and roughly 0.7% of total energy demand in the United States, equal to 2.8 million U.S. households.”
Sounds like a lot. But the energy estimates he uses are in dispute, as Irfan, to his credit, points out.