Move over, Bitcoin FUD: The real greenhouse guzzler is stationed at a military base near you, both foreign and domestic. New research has shown that the U.S. Military surpasses a myriad of countries in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, and even that of Bitcoin mining.
Big, Bigger, Baddest – There Are Much Bigger Climate-Affecting Culprits Out There Than Bitcoin Mining
So far it concerns the environment, a familiar new trend is doing the rounds. It equates the energy consumption of a particular practice (think Bitcoin) to a particular geographical set (think, most recently, Las Vegas). But laying blame at the feet of small fry without arming ourselves with cold hard facts about what’s really going on isn’t doing us any favors.
Research undertaken by UK’s Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers indicates that the US military produces as big a carbon footprint as 140 countries. Leave Bitcoin mining alone. There’s a bigger climate villain out there.
One Military Fuel Budget Equals Whole Countries’ Greenhouse Gas Emissions
To put this military data into context, let’s consider the countries that flank it on the expenditure scale. The US Military’s fuel usage alone matches the total greenhouse emissions produced by Peru and Portugal. Peru is the fourth largest country on the South American continent, home to 32.5 million people. Portugal houses 10.3 million citizens. Together, nearly 43 million people produce carbon dioxide on the same level as less than 1.4 million people (those in active service). Their primary responsibility is to wage the so-called “everywhere war”. Supposedly to protect its own against perceived threats directed at citizens of the United States of America. And, even more important, to safeguard the continued domination of the almighty dollar.
In ecological circles, unsustainable human consumption is measured using Earth Overshoot Day. This marks the day, annually, when we hypothetically deplete our given allocation for that year in terms of the earth’s biocapacity to carry us en masse. In 2018, this date was August 01. While the index provides a global mark, individual countries have their own entries on the scale. Some countries reach overshoot day faster or slower than the norm.
In terms of Country Overshoot Day, Portugal’s 2019 event fell on May 26. Peru will likely mark its national representation of unsustainability on September 23. The U.S. was on March 15 this year. The world would need 5 of planet Earth to sustain human life for a single year of everyone lived the way people in the United States do. Data from 2015 shows that US electricity usage during the Christmas holidays alone is as much as countries like El Salvador and Ethiopia use in an entire year. Even then, lighting up everyone’s favorite holiday contributes only 0.2 percent of the US’ annual energy consumption.
Bottomless Money Spending
According to The Balance, the United States estimates spending $989 billion on its military from October 1, 2019, to September 30, 2020. It’s also the largest military budget on the planet. The United States is the world’s top economy by nominal GDP, hitting $20494.10 billion in 2018, reports TradingEconomics. Portugal’s annual nominal GDP is $237.962 billion. That of Peru, $222.24 billion. The US’ armed forces spend over three times that just on oil and fuel.
The US government was exempted from reporting military emissions in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. This was corrected with the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015. Now Trump has withdrawn the country from further participation starting in 2020. So soon it’ll be back to guesstimating how much fossil fuels the world’s largest war machine burns through. Only, most people won’t be counting. Because of incomplete data, researchers often leave the military out of such studies. Meanwhile, Trump wants more weapons spending. Having it all is not enough.
Cryptocurrency is an Alternative Solution to a Pervasive Societal Problem – Not The Reason The Ice Bergs Are Melting
Everyone should be more planet-friendly. A lot more planet-friendly. Bitcoin mining does contribute to our overall carbon footprint, despite what some may think. But Bitcoin is finite and it will only be so long before we have mined all 21 million coins. Yet, how long will the Christmas Lights Society keep pointing fingers at the cryptocurrency industry while the military-industrial complex keeps going unfettered? The mainstream media is focusing the majority of its attention on numbers that contribute a comparative minority to global warming.
All’s fair in FUD and war. But the war on decentralized currency is fighting this battle in a way that would make Lao Tzu proud. “In war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.” Here, it’s going right for the jugular, knowing the world currently has a soft spot for climate change.
The cost difference between a finite, immutable resource and a debt-ridden financial system bound to erupt, is obvious. One requires, for argument’s sake, electricity consumption the size of Las Vegas. The US dollar, on the other hand, involves 1.4 billion people to keep it stable and secure.
How does this data fit in with the narrative that Bitcoin is a climate change driver? Give us your view in the comment section below.
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