Bitcoin (BTC): Climate and financial issues, the world after 2100 (1/2)

The end of the world is for 2100 », Warn many blogs, sites and forums. Some in disbelief and others in panic. The alarmist forecasts of an international team of researchers published in the journal Natureare now starting to ignite the Web: under the title “The approach of a change of state in the terrestrial biosphere“(A state of lag in the terrestrial biosphere), the study co-signed by twenty researchers belonging to fifteen international scientific institutions is, it is true, not optimistic. She points “imminent irreversible collapse of terrestrial ecosystems“. This planetary collapse is also leading to that of finance, which in turn alerts the ECB if nothing is done today. The year 2100 has become a strong symbol that often crystallizes general decision-making in terms of adaptation and limitation of anthropogenic global warming. At the end of the century, more than 216 million climate refugees are expected to move in all directions and for whom the notion of territorial limit will hardly have much meaning. And faced with the multiple human needs, we must think of a currency without state border. Bitcoin (BTC) and its many other altcoins fix this.

Irreversible collapse of planetary ecosystems

Many scientists, environmentalists and politicians have for decades warned of the risk of ecological collapse. In recent years, several bodies have not failed to warn of the urgency of the fight against climate change. Sometimes with relative success that we know: awareness ended up being done, but without the actions following at the same speed. The fact that financial bodies, including the European Central Bank (ECB), are in turn seizing the subject gives the message a new dimension.

In the very recent past, the institution undertook an unprecedented exercise by publishing the results of different scenarios to measure the impact of climate change on the European economy. The ECB regularly tests financial crisis hypotheses in order to assess the resilience of the banking sector. The idea of ​​these “stress testsIs to consider the worst to better prevent it. The initiative to integrate the environment into the risk factors weighing on the economy is a new step in raising awareness of climate issues. While the most doomsday scenarios predict widespread instability, failing to act on the climate could cripple the global economy.

As natural disasters multiply, the ECB, Europe’s largest financial institution, wants to draw attention to the economic cost of inaction. The lack of orderly measures to decarbonise the economy could cut the European Union’s GDP by 10% by 2100, estimates the institution. The central bank mentions in particular an explosion of defaults on loans granted to projects most exposed to climate risk. Continuing to finance them when the regulations in favor of the environment will quickly make them obsolete becomes a hazard that must be taken into account. This is particularly the case of coal-fired power stations, which however continue to be financed by the banks while the climate emergency would require that we come out quickly and completely.

There is a lax regulation, everything seems to remain theoretical. Despite the reassuring speeches of financial players about their desire to participate in the effort to decarbonize the economy, the reality is less idyllic. The example of the proliferation of oil and gas drilling in the Far North is edifying. Thanks to variable geometry rules, financial institutions manage to circumvent the constraints supposed to protect the Arctic, a region which helps to regulate the planet’s climate. A report published on September 23 by the NGO Reclaim Finance shows that oil and gas projects continue to prosper thanks to ever-abundant funding. Financial players are supporting oil and gas expansion and fueling the climate crisis.

Fossil fuels are responsible for 80% of global CO2 emissions

Fossil fuels are responsible for 80% of global CO2 emissions, the leading cause of global warming. Finance is an essential lever for containing the phenomenon. However, the current regulations remain lax, by granting too easily bank support to projects which only delay the achievement of the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

If the ECB’s work goes in the right direction, the institution must not be content to be a whistleblower, but it must also play its role of regulator. It is already ready to become more selective in its asset purchases according to climatic criteria. The effectiveness of the measure will depend on the implementation schedule, to be set in 2022.

Acting against climate change should not be just the concern of the ECB, it should be for any central bank. The institution could also force banks to provision more capital to take into account climate risk. Finally, the creation of a defeasance structure could be considered in order to help financial institutions to get rid of the most toxic assets. Continuing to extract fossil fuels at the same pace is environmentally suicidal, we must now realize that it is also becoming irresponsible from an economic point of view.

Two risks have been identified in particular. The first is physical, linked to the increase in the frequency and magnitude of natural disasters. Production plants located in areas exposed to natural hazards, for example near rivers or by the sea, and therefore prone to flooding, could then suffer significant damage. “This damage could interrupt the production process in the short term and potentially lead to the bankruptcy of the company in the longer term.», Notes the central bank. The second consists of a transition risk, that of the cost of introducing coercive policies to reduce CO2 emissions, in particular for certain highly emitting industries.

To make their diagnosis, the authors analyzed the work describing the biological upheavals that occurred during seven major planetary crises: the Cambrian explosion, 540 million years ago, the five massive extinctions which, for some, wiped out as many as 90 % of life on earth and the passage from the last ice age to our time, 12,000 years ago. “All of these transitions have coincided with stresses that have changed the atmosphere, ocean and climate on a global scale.», Summarize the authors.

The same phenomenon is happening now: according to researchers, almost half of the climates encountered today on Earth could soon have disappeared, giving way to conditions that have never been encountered by living organisms in 12% to 39% of the surface of the globe. Above all, this radical transition could be done with unprecedented brutality. “The latest global upheaval has brought about extreme biological changes in just a thousand years, says study co-author Arne Moers, professor of biodiversity at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. Geologically, it’s like going from infancy to adulthood in less than a year. But what is happening today is going even faster.

The pressures exerted by the human species

Massive greenhouse gas emissions are not the only ones responsible. The pressures exerted by the human species range from “fragmentation of natural habitats” at “population growth” and “excessive consumption of resources», List the researchers. Already 43% of terrestrial ecosystems are used to meet the needs of 7.7 billion inhabitants on Earth, a number which could reach 8.5 billion inhabitants in 2030 and 10 billion in 2050. The threshold that can saturate the endurance and adaptation capacities of the human species, even throwing it into a void is near: “7% more and we’ll have reached a point of no return“, Think the scientists.

The work of the intergovernmental platform on biodiversity and ecosystem services (Ipbes), the “IPCC for biodiversity” does not contradict these figures. They are already seeing that a species is disappearing from the planet every twenty minutes, and that the pace is accelerating. Over the past two hundred years, since the start of the industrial era, it has already been, depending on the species, 10 to 100 times the natural rate of extinction observed by scientists over a period of 500 million years (in big, one in a million species each year). It could soon be 10,000 times greater. Considered on a geological scale, it is an almost instantaneous disappearance.

Will our children be able to escape this “ecological supernova”? Since the poignant appeal of young Severn Cullis-Suzuki, who urged adults to “stop breaking what they don’t know how to fix»Twenty years ago at the first Earth Summit in Rio, eco-diplomacy certainly marks some discreet progress. But does the slow rhythm of his music adapt to the prestissimo tempo of biological collapse? Will it also be able to get out of the gravitational influence zone of the lobbies that disperse its effectiveness?

A more radical current suggests forcing the humility of the human species. The signatories of the anxiety-provoking articleNature, who say they are not worried, but “terrified of their own results», Believe that man now has no other choice but to operate a real revolution in his lifestyle: he must reduce his demographic pressure, rethink his social structures and concentrate his populations in already dense areas to give the Earth the means to regain its natural balances. Energy is also a participating sector in the ecological collapse. With the quantity of electricity consumed by cryptocurrencies, one wonders what their share of responsibilities is in this ecological collapse.

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Guellord Mbusa

Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain intrigue and fascinate. No offense to crypto-skeptics, they represent a monetary alternative of the future and an essential technology in this world threatened by multiple financial crises and another more violent one, climate change.

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