Blain’s Morning Porridge – 22 April 2021: A Modest Proposal For Earthday
“Away, away, from men and towns, to the wild wood and the downs, to the silent wilderness…”
This morning: Today is Earth Day and the world’s leaders will be considering the theme of Restoring Our Earth. I have a very simple and modest proposal to make.
Today is Earth day… President Biden will host a virtual summit for over 40 government leaders to discuss Climate Action. He will attempt to overcome the toxic legacy of Trump’s withdrawl from the Paris Accord, and restore US leadership in environmental stewardship. That is going to prove a tough ask – but there are things he could do to achieve it..
But first….. At last some good news from Coronavirus!
One of the many unforeseen consequences of Covid-19 is a global shortage of Marmite! It’s the most binary foodstuff on the planet. You either love-it or hate-it. My mate Ian swears by it as the source of all goodness and health. In this, and many other things, he is terribly misguided and wrong. According to the Daily Star (for foreign readers of the Porridge, the Star is a British tabloid “news” paper that makes some of Murdoch’s titles, and Pravda, look sophisticated) – the shortage is due to the pubs being closed meaning brewers cut beer production, and supplies of the yeast-derived spread dried up.
Excellent. I loathe it.
Going back to Earth day. The theme is Restore our Earth.
Over the past 12 years I’ve tried to finance a number of very interesting environmental projects. These include efforts to develop and efficient tidal energy mechanisms that would be optimised for the harsh conditions of the marine environment. I tried to raise finance to fund the development of sails for commercial shipping – a project that is now happening albeit in a different form. I tried to finance ocean clean up technology based on power from wave motion. Vertical farm projects and a carbon sequestration project also feature on the list of things I’ve attempted to fund. Sadly, none of these schemes met with investor approval – they were too early stage or didn’t compare with the returns promised by other renewable sources like wind or solar.
I still champion new clean tech, climate clean up, and environmentally positive financings – but I’ve also come to realise there is another approach. It’s not just what we do that is new to restore the planet, but how we can improve our use of resources. If we can continue global growth and rising living standards, while reducing energy demands, that would be a massive positive step.
What chance Governments will achieve something positive at today’s Biden led event?
Here is a modest proposal: Ban BitCoin!
According to the excellent Almost Daily Grant’s the closure of a single coal mine in China’s Xinjiang region triggered the 14% crash in ButtCon over the last weekend. 35% of Bitcoin’s global mining is focused on the region – and it’s all driven by coal-fired coal power stations supplying the terawatts of power required. When the mine that feeds the local smokestacks flooded, the digital mines went dark.
For years Buttcoin apologists, barkers and all the other shysters, liars and conmen that make up the cryptocurrency ecosystem, have been loudly deflecting on their power sources, proclaiming how Bitcon mining is done with green renewable power, in out-of-the-way-regions where wind and hydro are plentiful.
“We now know for sure that one-third of all production runs on pure coal from a tiny part of China”, says Alex de Vries, founder of Digicomomist. He estimates 70% of global bitcon mining is on the back of fossil fuels – mainly coal. Today some 102 terrawatt hours of high CO2 emitting power is squandered on coin mining. As the equations to solve the underlying puzzles to dig coins become ever more complex to mine the remaining 2.3 million Buttcoins, that drain on energy and increased emissions will nearly triple to 281 terawatt hours in the next 2 years.
It gets worse.
Over 65% of Bitcon are mined in China, (the so-called “hashrate”), giving rise to increasing fears of a “51% attack”. Apparently, anyone who controls more that 50% of Bitcoin computing power can reorder the transactions on the B/C blockchain and spend coins multiple times. Really? And it’s supposed to be less susceptible to manipulation and bad-faith than government fiat currencies?
No doubt I shall be informed volubly later today how stupid and wrong about Buttcon I am. I always am everytime I say anything hostile to the concept. I will be told Bitcon is liberating finance, allowing anyone freedom to profit from its inevitable appreciation as digital gold and the coming collapse of the fiat monetary system. And that a 51% attack is impossible because only 10% of coins are left to mine, and the amount of gold buttcon held by B/C Whales like the Winkelvoss Twins (1% of total Buttcons apparently).
If the prospect of the biggest Buttcon holders and crypto-cheerleaders, including such luminaries as the Winklevoss twins, Michael Novogratz, Dan Morehead, Barry Silbert and former JP Morgan CFO Blythe Masters holding such power doesn’t cause you to panic – then what would? (Collectively, they may hold up to 10% of the crypto-float.) These are the ones we know about….. Look em up on Google.
The reality is Bitcoin is most likely to benefit the whales and the whales alone. When they decide to exit – having layered their nefarious scheme across the new sprung exchanges and suckered in the last fools from retail markets with the connivance of banks and hedge funds supporting the fallacious “adoption” arguments – then the sand-built foundations will crumble.
Today would be a good-day for the heads of the 40 governments to outlaw Buttcon completely as a useless and pernicious Ponzi being perpetrated on society while causing untold environmental harm through its vast and utterly useless generation of electrical power from coal!
Meanwhile… my Coinbase account is only down 18% since I bought into Crypto last week. I am delighted – it proves my investment strategy of only investing in things I don’t believe in works. Today I shall be buying EVs, streaming services, food delivery companies and maybe a couple of SPACs..
Five Things to Read This Morning
Out of time and back to the day job!