23 May 2022

Achieving Kardashev Type 1 Civilization

As anyone who's read much of what I've posted here over the years should know, besides Literature and Philosophy, I'm interested in things like climate change, renewable energy, desalination and potability of water, coral reefs, politics and the economy, and even Bitcoin. This article brings a lot of my interests together in a remarkable fashion, in fact reversing everything I ever thought—and more importantly read—about Bitcoin's wasteful energy usage.

When we were on the Big Island in Hawaii, I took the family to see the Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion, i.e., OTEC, facility in Kona. It was closed at the time but made a deep impression about Hawaii's unique potential solution to the renewable energy problem. If you think of the ocean, specifically the tropical ocean, as a giant solar panel, the technology makes incredible sense. And now come to find out there are some very bright people working on trying to bring the promise of this technology to fruition.

This article says that Bitcoin mining just might be the key to unlock this nearly infinite source of renewable energy. It's a technology dating back well over a century. The problem has always been the cost of scaling production: the energy it produces is only profitable at scale. However, if the naturally cool deep water it pumps to the surface is routed to cool Bitcoin mining rigs, the operation can be profitable in the modeling stages: FREE COOLING!

It's a brilliant solution, bringing together many diverse problems into an elegant solution. And it puts our civilization on a glide path to achieving a Type 1 Kardashev Civilization—with Bitcoin paying the way.

Check it out!


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