I’ve had it with the bashing of bitcoin, the blockchain and crypto miners for their energy usage. This is all, in one word, noise and should be ignored. 250 million people already think bitcoin is useful. In addition, the world consumes approximately 160,000 TWh / year of energy and wastes, along the way, at least one-third. What bitcoin consumes is 0.07% of that energy and 0.002% of what we waste. Most importantly, the disruption of information technology created by bits is an excellent preview of what electrons are in the process of doing, once increasingly massive amounts of excess energy compared to existing electricity demand, at near-zero marginal cost, are delivered: Entirely new business models and applications will emerge, alongside the electrification of everything. We can already see the harbinger of the electron abundance era in the increasing electrification of cars, scooters and buses as well as heating for example, and this will extend to multiple other sectors such water treatment, green cement and green steel, waste processing and many others. Bitcoin miners are just the vanguard.
This Episode is a slightly longer version of a TEDx Talk I gave at Singapore’s National Gallery on 28 April 2021 about ESG.
What Bill Gates calls the “Green Premium”, the extra cost we have to pay because most zero-carbon products currently appear more expensive than their fossil-fuel equivalents, doesn’t in fact exist. We only have a “green premium” because we have been “cooking the books,” mis-stating the earnings of corporations worldwide by letting them get away with not pricing their environmental destruction through their income statements. As a result, based on mis-stated and incorrect corporate profits, we have diverted trillions over the past 40 years which could have moved us to a safer planet much faster, but instead were spent digging and burning more coal, oil, and gas, producing more plastic and paying everybody handsomely along the way. The “cooking the books” pandemic needs to be stopped right now.
The Angry Clean Energy Guy on pretty much everything you need to know about ESG, starting with the need to be very suspicious whenever you see an ESG label on an investment product. ESG has become a huge business, with one dollar out of every 3 professionally managed dollars in the US for example labelled “ESG” (and an even greater proportion in Europe). The trend is clear and pretty much 100% of funds under management will have an ESG label soon. But in order for this to have a material impact in the fight for clean air, against climate change and against environmental destruction, we need global ESG standards and we need to divorce the “E” from the “S” and the “G”. Then, we need to price the “E”: Climate risk isn’t just a disclosure issue and should be priced into earnings, as should other environmental risks. Then we would have a chance to change the world.