Earth Overshoot Day - August 2 2017, and the Averse Effects of POW MiningsteemCreated with Sketch.

in news •  2 years ago

This year we reached Earth Overshoot Day on August 2, as mankind used up the last of their year supply of water, soil, clean air and other resources for the whole of 2017. This means that we consumed resources almost twice as fast as the planet is able to renew them. Earth Overshoot Day is marked by a coalition of environmental groups headed by the WWF and the Global Footprint Network, who announced that:

By August 2 2017, we will have used more from Nature than our planet can renew in the whole year. This means that in seven months, we emitted more carbon than the oceans and forests can absorb in a year, we caught more fish, felled more trees, harvested more, and consumed more water than the Earth was able to produce in the same period.

The overshoot day has been calculated running back all the way to 1986, but this is the earliest it has ever been reached in a calendar year, showing that our global footprint is rapidly outpacing the biocapacity of the planet. The rate of this shift is alarming, as shown by these historical overshoot dates:

  • 1987: October 24
  • 1997: September 30
  • 2007: August 15
  • 2017: August 2

As a species, we have well and truly crossed the carrying capacity limit of the planet. This is how species become extinct.

Why Should You Care?

When it comes down to it, we are all stuck together on a rock hurtling through space at a terrifying speed. Maybe it is time we start to take better care of our rock, because it is going to be damn hard to swap it out for a new one!

There are many ways we can all do our part to take better care of the planet, most of which you will have heard a thousand times over:

  • Drive less (or use an electric vehicle)
  • Stop consuming meat
  • Turn off your idle appliances, switch off lights
  • ... and 1000 other things

But, as we are living on the blockchain, there is something we can do that is specific to blockchain tech - eliminate Proof of Work (POW). POW is the mining system employed by many of the leading cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin. It requires miners to consume endless energy to hash data, in the hope of finding a hash small enough in value to enable that miner to mint the next block on the blockchain. The amount of power and compute being wasted is beyond comprehension - with the Bitcoin network alone using more power than the entire New Zealand hydro scheme generates.

I encourage every single one of you to support coins that have devised or adopted an alternative system to POW. There are several leading alternatives:

  • DPOS (Delegated Proof Of Stake) is employed by platforms such as Steemit and Bitshares. This system allows stake holders of the coin to vote on other members to carry out the maintenance and decision making of the blockchain. Having a very small number of nodes doing this work, as opposed to everyone competing for the job, means electricity waste is minimised.

  • POR (Proof Of Research) is employed by Gridcoin, which rewards miners for carrying out scientific research as opposed to hashing aimlessly. A combination of the user's stake in the coin and their research rate defines how often they can add a block onto the chain - at which point the user is backpaid for any research since their last stake. There is no benefit in staking every possible block, like there is in Bitcoin. Further, research includes humanitarian topics such as weather and climate change, water filtering, and curing disease.

Will it Make a Difference?

As a collective humanity, there is still time to avert the impending disaster we are bringing upon ourselves. It is critical that we are aware of the issues, and do our best to remedy them. If we don't, we will continue to see rising sea levels, reduction in biodiversity and ever increasing severity of weather patterns.


ISS Photograph as the Space Station Flies Over Super Typhoon Maysak

Lets make sure that the crypto revolution does not contribute to the problem, and is instead part of the solution.


Content credit:
Banner, NASA
POW Coins, BitcoinLead
Typhoon Maysak, NASA
Footer, @me-shell

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Really important topic @dutch. People consume too much resources needlessly. Tonnes of good food is thrown into the trash every day. This is madness! This food from supermarkets and restaurants should get to the poor people. It's time for changes!

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Don't get me started on food waste @websensei, because you are so correct! At the university cafeterias and local supermarkets, all food that may spoil is thrown out at the end of the day. It is incredibly disappointing.

Just another of 1000 areas of society that need to be overhauled to aid the planet.

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Work in a restaurant, can confirm massive amounts of food thrown out every day. That said, the reason that food like that is tossed vs given out to the poor/homeless is that all it would take is one of them getting sick due to the food actually being spoiled and it's lawsuit city for the establishment.

And, as a genuine question - not a troll - I've been mining Gridcoin now for almost a year. My gaming machine now runs 24/7 and my power bill has gone up a considerable amount since I started, more than what I make back in Gridcoin, so far. I'm in it for the SCIENCE! though so I don't mind. My question is, how is that different from mining Bitcoin(POW) as far as power savings? Am I just doing it wrong?

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Great question - you are not doing it wrong!

Whether you are mining Gridcoin or Bitcoin, your PC will still use the same amount of power. The difference is that when mining Bitcoin this power is spent endlessly hashing into the void to 'win' a block, while with Gridcoin this power is spent doing research.

The power draw is the same, but the benefits derived are worlds apart. Gridcoin will soon be back up to a level where it can easily pay for your power costs.

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Gotcha, thanks!

Also, I probably should've said above that I 100% agree that the food waste shouldn't be a thing - my comment was more geared to blaming the rules and regulations of society itself and not the establishments. Hell, where I work the guests could take the food to go, which we happily box for them, and walk quite literally 3 steps out of the restaurant to find a homeless person to hand it to. Instead I'm scraping half plate fulls of food into a trash can 99.9% of the time. @websensei "poor minds" indeed.

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Exactly. The cause of poverty are poor minds, in many situations.

Proof of research sounds like an ambitious but meaninful concept. Proof of stake is a viable environmentally friendly way of establishing a blockchain

Guys you NEED to check out Diamond coin!!!
Eco friendly coin and still like nothing in market cap -> huge potential

CHECK OUT BURSTcoin its (POC) and uses waaaaay less power proof of capacity its much greener as well!

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Now there is a model I do not know much about yet! Thanks for the information - I will have to look into POC.

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Safecoin [MAID] is also working on POC.
profiting with BURST requires alot a harddrive space i maybe make 5 BURST a day with 1tb, but im not constantly running only for like a few seconds every block

Great post about the issue of the overshoot day. I like the comparison ok POW and DPOS / DPoR. Nice 👍😎

This trend needs to be turned, but we all need to do or small part.

Thanks for the information 😉😉