This is an opinion piece by Zack Voell, a bitcoin mining and market researcher.

For most of Bitcoin’s short history, discussions about how much energy the global network uses to process and record transactions have been a recurring topic of discussion. But today, the conversation is reaching new levels of intensity as credentialed adversaries posing as environmentally conscious pile in to attack Bitcoin in the public arena.

These attacks go beyond subtle investment preferences, like hedge funds attribute coins or tokens that advertise “green” or “clean” infrastructure. And they can be even more direct than the World Economic Forum Tweeter about the Ethereum merger.

This article reviews several lengthy attacks against bitcoin mining last month’s energy consumption alone, and he makes the case for bitcoin investors to educate themselves and act against these ill-informed but influential environmental attacks.

The White House takes a closer look at mining

One of the most prominent documented criticisms of bitcoin mining comes from the 46 page report published by the White House last month on the supposed negative environmental externalities caused by bitcoin. A detailed, annotated version of the report was published by crypto venture capitalist Nic Carter. And even though the report is full of errors and misrepresentations, as Carter pointed out, it is important to note that the underlying ideas it represents are the prevailing opinion in political circles in Washington, as Bitcoin Policy Institute Noted on Twitter.

The amount of energy consumed by miners is criticized for potentially undermining U.S. sustainability goals, noting the historic example of China’s mining ban, which was allegedly due to “incompatibility of mining large-scale bitcoin mining with the country’s environmental goals,” according to the report. . The report also calls on the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy to work with state and local authorities to set standards for the mining industry.

“If these measures prove ineffective in reducing impacts, the administration should explore executive branch actions, and Congress could consider legislation, to limit or eliminate the use of energy-intensive consensus mechanisms for the ‘crypto-asset mining’,” the report said.

Academics pile up criticism on mining

Academics from across the United States also wanted to have their say in the discourse on bitcoin and climate change last month. Two separate studies looked at the energy consumption and estimated emissions of bitcoin mining to understand if and how it affects the environment.

From Cornell Engineering, a new study of faculty on achieving carbon-neutral bitcoin mining that was published in the September issue of the journal Energy & Environmental Science. The study suggests that states with low prices and large amounts of renewable energy in their energy mix could help mitigate “the environmental damage caused by cryptocurrency.” Like many other reports, this one begins with the assertion of a line, almost detrimental: “Bitcoin mining requires a significant amount of electricity to validate the blocks, which increases greenhouse gas emissions Greenhouse.”

There is no room for nuance.

From the University of New Mexico Economics, three professors write an article that “estimates of energy-related climate damage mining bitcoin.” Again, because it consumes energy, it must be bad. The document also measures particular measures such as climatic damage per part extracted. In the end, they come to bizarre conclusions like bitcoin contributes environmental damage roughly equivalent to all beef, and internet money looks “more like digital oil than digital gold” in light rhetoric against bitcoin and fossil fuels. Snippets of this study have made the front page of nearly every major news publication that has ever written about bitcoin, including Bloomberg, The edge, Time, Newsweek, The hill, Forbes, The daily beast and much more. He even reached the Smithsonian Magazine. In short, this bit of pop science was a hit.

Activists also criticize Bitcoin mining

Earthjustice and Sierra Club, two prominent environmental activist organizations, have also launched the latest wave of public ridicule for bitcoin mining. The organizations collaborated on a 37 page report on the environmental impacts of bitcoin mining titled “The Energy Bomb” and purporting to “break down a nebulous, opaque industry and false claims of sustainability.”

For example, the report sounds the alarm that “the mining industry already uses half the electricity of the entire global banking sector, and it will overtake the sector in two years if current trends continue. maintain”. The horror! (Just write off banking instead.) The report also claims that “bitcoin emissions” rival those of driving six million cars. These talking points were picked up in mainstream media from The edge to FinancialTimes.

What can bitcoin advocates do?

Frustration or demoralization are both unsurprising reactions to this onslaught of half-truths, biased reviews, and constant attacks on bitcoin mining. And it should be noted that all these reports, articles, studies, etc. are from last month. The fight is therefore far from over.

One of the most important steps bitcoin advocates need to take today is self-education about the power and energy markets. “What Bitcoin has done” recorded many episodes devoted to this subject. Brain mining published an in-depth series on mining and energy networks. And this subject is discussed daily on Twitter. Bitcoin investors should tap into all of these educational resources.

Another step is to simply start mining. With $100 and a few hours of playtime, anyone can start mining from home. Not only is this an educational exercise in learning the mechanics of mining, but it adds a more resilient hash rate for activists to support the network.

Even though daily mining income have declined significantly, the educational value of mining remains constant. And home-based hashing is safer in many ways than enterprise mining. Home miners are bitcoin’s miners of last resort – the backbone of the network. If all else falls outside of climate hysteria or onerous regulations, home miners will continue to chop (and possibly heat homes or greenhouses with the exhaust air).

Bitcoin will win. But its triumph will not come from inaction.

This is a guest post by Zack Voell. The opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.