Einstein's insights, Goodbye Earth, & China's Bitcoin problem

A newsletter for people "woke" on carbon and climate.

Issue No.73

Welcome to the latest issue of Carbon Creed - a curated newsletter for people “woke” on carbon and climate. 

Using the word “woke” in the context of carbon and climate.

Last week one of our readers named Barbara, sent me the following comment:

“I hate

That word “woke”.  Prefer “Ready for

Progress” but love your


First of all, thank you Barbara for sharing your honest thoughts about the newsletter. My guess is you may not be the only reader who feels that way about the word “woke”, but you cared enough to say something.

I responded to Barbara with the following email:

As you can see, my intent in using the word “woke” is to inform and open minds to the reality that carbon emissions are a threat to all humanity. So know your carbon footprint. Support sustainable companies. Purchase an electric vehicle.

However, I don’t write for the echo chamber - I write for folks attracted to my lens on carbon and climate issues, and who understand that at times that may not be comfortable. When I write about climate justice, which may center on race or culture, it’s because that part of the climate narrative isn’t often discussed. Hopefully, my word choice will not be a hindrance to potential readers.

Barbara, you are one of my favorite readers, and I thank you for making this dialogue more rich and meaningful by being honest.

If you have an opinion on any topic covered in this newsletter, please feel free to send me an email at mcleodwl@carboncreed.com. 

Thank you for your viewpoint and the value of your time.

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Climate quotes and sayings that will inspire you

1 “To be whole. To be complete. Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from.” ~ Terry Tempest Williams, naturalist and writer

Williams is an American writer, educator, conservationist, and activist. Her writing is rooted in the American West and has been significantly influenced by the arid landscape of Utah and its Mormon culture. Her work focuses on social and environmental justice ranging from issues of ecology and the protection of public lands and wildness, to women's health, to exploring our relationship to culture and nature.

2 “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” ~ Albert Einstein

Credo: We need a new generation of ideas to solve climate change.

3 “Water is colorless and tasteless but you can live on it longer than eating food.” ~ African Proverb

Credo: We are a hydrophilic species - water is life.

Fact: Up to 60% of the human adult body is water. According to the USGS, the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%.


(source: NY Times)

Goodbye, Earth!

Written by Zayne Cowie 

Zayne Cowie is 9 years old author with a children’s book for grown-ups: “Goodbye, Earth!” He says he wrote this book to “call out” the adults who’ve failed at addressing climate change, leaving the consequences to be dealt with by younger generations. Here’s an excerpt to give you a sense of Zayne’s writing style:

“While cities burned and temperatures soared, you upped and left the Paris accord.

You chose big cars, fast food and coal. The fossil fuels, my future stole.

You think this is a fun rhyme book? With your inaction, the Earth will cook.”

Zayne is also an “accomplished” short film producer, turning out this funny but serious short video based on the book.

‘Goodbye, Earth’: A Story for Grown-Ups is a two-minute film that tackles the themes of environment, responsibility and change. In the video Op-Ed, Zayne turns the table on grown-ups, reading his children’s “Goodbye, Earth” written specifically for adults.

Creed Comments: Drop the mike...this kid is woke.


Bitcoin could derail China’s climate change targets, study says

The carbon emissions associated with mining bitcoin have accelerated rapidly in China, and they will soon outstrip the total annual emissions of most mid-sized European countries.

Analysis by Guan Dabo at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, and his colleagues suggests that the total carbon footprint of bitcoin mining in China will peak in 2024, releasing around 130 million metric tonnes of carbon.

This figure exceeds the annual carbon emissions of countries including Italy and the Czech Republic.

Some 75% of the world’s bitcoin mining is done in China, where there is cheap electricity and relatively easy access to manufacturers who make specialized hardware, according to the study.

Worldwide, bitcoin mining consumes an estimated 128.84 terrawatt-hour (Twh) per year of energy — more than entire countries such as Ukraine and Argentina, according to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, a project of the University of Cambridge.

By 2024, bitcoin mining in China will require 297 terawatt-hours of energy and account for approximately 5.4 per cent of the carbon emissions from generating electricity in the country.

Mining bitcoin relies on computers racing to solve mathematical puzzles, with miners receiving bitcoin for being the first to process a batch of verified transactions.

The number of bitcoin awarded for this are halved every four years, and the puzzles have become more difficult and require more computing power to solve. The cost of powerful computer equipment and the electricity to run it  has also increased.

The researchers predict the emissions will peak in China in 2024 based on calculations of when the overall cost of mining – the investment in computing equipment and the electricity costs – outweighs the financial rewards of selling mined bitcoin.

They used both financial projections and carbon emissions analysis to model the emissions footprint in China, taking into account factors such as location.

“Are you in Shanghai, Beijing, or other places? That does matter because it determines what type of electricity you use,” says Guan. “Overall, from all of China’s bitcoin mining activity, 40 per cent is powered by coal.”

Bitcoin miners in Beijing or other parts of northern China are very likely to be using electricity from coal-powered plants. Mining in southern provinces – especially Guizhou, Yunnan and Sichuan – is in large part powered by hydroelectricity, says Guan.

Given China’s commitment to a 2060 net-zero carbon goal, regulations to reduce carbon emissions from bitcoin mining and future emergent sectors will need to be implemented.

[This post is adapted from the originals written by Donna Lu for New Scientist, and Sam Shead for CNBC]




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