Bitcoin mine cargo container literally incinerating planet

Their argument is, "Bitcoin is 'green' because this oil well was just going to vent all that methane into the atmosphere anyway" -- or -- "It was on fire when I got here."

'Absurd' video of bitcoin mine hooked to an oil well sparks outrage

In states like Texas, where energy regulations are laxer, natural gas by-product can be vented, intentionally releasing gases, predominately potent methane, into the atmosphere. The other option is to set gas on fire in flare stacks to convert methane to carbon dioxide, slightly less dangerous when it comes to heating the planet in the short-term. [...]

"They're getting zero for this gas anyway so it makes almost no difference whether we're on that well-site or not," he said. [...] "We've had publicly-traded companies reach out to us and say, 'We don't even care if we lose money on this. We want to improve our public opinion." [...]

Alex de Vries, founder of Digiconomist which examines consequences of new technologies, and a data scientist focusing on financial economic crime for De Nederlandsche Bank, called the oil well-bitcoin mining rig set-up "absurd".

"It's mind-blowing the suggestion that it is somehow helping the environment to use a by-product of fossil fuel extraction for bitcoin mining," he told The Independent.

"We don't have a climate change problem because fossil fuel companies are not efficient enough. And if you make the operation more efficient, you are not helping the environment anyway. Intuitively it just doesn't make sense.

"Firstly, it's adding to the bottom line of fossil fuel extraction and secondly, it's still burning fossil fuels. We want to accelerate away from fossil fuels. We don't want to make fossil fuels more profitable. I can't wrap my head around it."

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9 Responses:

  1. ContextSans says:

    The only place these should be running is on the methane burn-off flares at sewage treatment plants.

    It would only be appropriate.

  2. Dude says:

    Don't you libruls understand? If we don't destroy the environment for the sake of legalised of this snake-oil currency, then the terrorists win!

    • Dude says:

      And as the US, UK, and other mega-powers do nothing to stop this environment-killing-equivalent-to-placing-real-bets-on-fantasy-football, what country is actually saying "Fuck No!" to crypto?

      Iran. Yes, really.

  3. These folks are even claiming they are helping the environment because CO2 is a lesser greenhouse gas than methane.

    • tfb says:

      Which is not clear, I think: methane is (much) more aggressive as a greenhouse gas than CO2, but it also lasts much less long in the atmosphere. The CO2 we emit today will still be there in a century, almost none of the methane will be.

      • Drew says:

        But the methane turns into... CO2

        • tfb says:

          That's what I thought, but mostly it doesn't: it's removed from the atmosphere by some complicated set of reactions starting with CH4 + OH which end up producing O2 / O3, water and I think formaldehyde. Don't think there's any net CO2 produced.

  4. Brent J. Nordquist says:

    Great opportunity for urban renewal in Centralia, Pa.?

  5. Soupdragon says:

    Didn't think it was possible I could get madder about this, but then I saw the cable-management.

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