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Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Inefficiencies contributing to global warming

Perhaps as much as half of British emissions, one report recently calculated, come from inefficiencies in construction, discarded and unused food, electronics, and clothing; two-thirds of US energy is wasted; globally, according to one paper, we are subsidising the fossil fuel business to the tune of $5tn each year. None of that has to continue. Americans waste a quarter of their food, which means the carbon footprint of the average meal is a third larger than it has to be. That need not continue. 

Five years ago, hardly anyone outside the darkest corners of the internet had even heard of bitcoin; today, mining it consumes more electricity than is generated by all the world’s solar panels combined, which means that in just a few years we’ve assembled a programme to wipe out the gains of several long, hard generations of green energy innovation. It did not have to be that way. And a simple change to the algorithm could eliminate that bitcoin footprint entirely.

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