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Google’s sustainability efforts. The future of mining?

September 16, 2020

Wildfires in the western United States have put the climate change debate back on the table. Apparently the fires are getting worse every year. The fall fire season came earlier this year. And the fire engulfs forests and houses to the west. California, Oregon and Washington are the affected states. At least 35 people have died since the first incidents in early August. With orange skies and smoke everywhere, the nearly two million acres on fire tell us that something urgent needs to be done about climate change.

Bitcoin mining has been criticized by environmentalists. Little is said about technology companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google, however. These companies have miles of servers that consume electricity to support their systems. Every time we do a Google search, when we surf social media, and when we use the cloud, a server stores that data somewhere. These supercomputers use electricity and generate heat. Of course, it is very difficult to calculate the total amount of energy that large tech companies consume. But I would dare speculate that they don’t have to envy Bitcoin mining much.

Read on: Mining a bitcoin uses more energy than a residence in two months, according to the PwC report

Google’s sustainability efforts. The future of mining?
Google’s sustainability efforts. The future of mining?

Unfortunately, climate change has become a political issue. The scientific community has shown that the planet is indeed warming, and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that this change was man-made. However, many politicians, particularly in the United States, believe this is all an elaborate joke by the left. President Donald Trump himself is a passionate climate change denier. According to Trump, the fires are the result of poor forest management. That is, again those responsible are the democratic governors.

Of course we are feeling the effects of climate change. It is already obvious that we have a problem. Scientists don’t know everything, but they know enough to tell us we need to change our ways. Google prides itself on being the first major company to be carbon neutral in its first decade. And by the end of their second decade, they managed to use 100% renewable energy. In other words, all of the energy your data centers use is clean energy.

Google invests in sustainability like no other. They definitely put their money where their mouth is. Last year they issued $ 5.75 billion worth of green bonds. Never before in history has such a large bond been issued. This means that while Google’s data centers use a significant amount of energy, that energy is not contributing to climate change. In other words, It’s clean energy.

According to Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, Google’s sustainability plans for the next decade are even more ambitious. Google doesn’t just rely on green energy to meet your needs. They really mean it. They will continue to invest in green technology and expand. They estimate that they will create more than 8,000 jobs in the renewable energy sector in the coming years. That is, they will venture heavily into creating green infrastructure. And they will support more than 500 cities in their efforts. They will also put money into reforestation projects.

Everything seems to indicate that in the future, Google will be much more than a super search engine on the internet. It seems to me that the company is reinventing itself and taking the steps to become a cleantech giant. At the moment, this green side of Google isn’t that well known, but I’m afraid that will change in the future. Google goes with everything.

Read Next: New York Power Plant Mines Bitcoin worth $ 50,000 per day

All of this is largely possible now that Google is a centralized organization. You could say that Google is a dictatorship. The CEO and the Board of Directors approve a plan. The rest of the organization must obey. The plan can be a success or a failure. But in general, once the ringleaders have made their decision, the entire Google community must execute the plan without much questioning. This is not that easy with Bitcoin.

Bitcoin mining is said to use a lot of energy. Some studies have estimated that the Bitcoin mining process consumes the electrical production of up to 7 nuclear power plants. The intent behind a proof of work system is just that. That said, the idea is that a Bitcoin is expensive to make. However, environmental costs are not included in the equation.

Now electricity costs play a big role in deciding where to locate a mining operation. In other words, an unsustainable electricity tax would reduce mining activity there. On the other hand, producing cheap clean electricity would encourage mining. Of course, this is already happening to a large extent. Many mining operations are already powered by hydropower and renewable sources. But it’s not about green awareness as such. It is actually an economic matter. It is difficult to have accurate data on all of this. However, we can say that high energy consumption does not necessarily mean a high carbon footprint. It is important to consider the source.

Read on: They claim that the energy consumption involved in mining Bitcoin is difficult to calculate

In this sense, Bitcoin is not synonymous with unsustainability. When we talk about the fact that the power consumption of computers is not environmentally friendly, we need to take a broader look at it and include the consumption of the computers of the big tech companies. It is very easy to attack consumers. But we should all invest in clean energy. In other words, we should follow Google’s example.

Climate change, excessive energy consumption, bitcoin mining, decentralization and local government. Does decentralization always mean chaos? Isn’t it possible to create collective plans in decentralized systems?

There are major and minor problems both inside and outside the Bitcoin community. How will we overcome it? Free market fundamentalism is the prevailing doctrine. But is it the only option? Many think that there are no forms of collaboration other than commercial exchanges. That is, wild anarcho-capitalism. But is it the only alternative?

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