A Climate Change Debate with Nate Harmon and Steve Barbour

Nate Harmon is CEO and cofounder of OceanBit; Steve Barbour is CEO and founder of Upstream Data; both are Bitcoiners. In this interview, we debate climate change: the reliability of climate models, climate change mitigation, adaptation and the forecast inequality of climate change impacts.

– – – –

What Bitcoin Did has discussed both sides of the climate change debate with a number of esteemed guests. The reasoning is two-fold: firstly, one of Bitcoin’s major attack vectors is energy use and associated climate change impacts; secondly, it is one of the major issues of our time, arguably the most pressing issue. These shows have either expressed one side or another, until now.

Bitcoiners are a broad church. That is an inherent strength. But is also brings its own internal pressures. Whilst there is broad consensus on Bitcoin’s mission, there are divergent opinions on a host of other issues that this new form of money affects. None more so than climate change. Many believe in the need for fossil fuels to enable humans to continue to flourish; others argue that we need to rapidly pivot from fossil fuel reliance if we’re to avoid an existential crisis.

However, the debate is not open-ended. There is a strong argument that the framing of the current discussion falls within agreed boundaries. It doesn’t feel contentious to state both sides of the debate within the Bitcoin community agree that abundant energy is needed and that the climate is warming. The disagreement is focused on the rate of climate change and the approach to mitigation.

Obviously, whilst there is agreement that narrows the parameters of any debate, the outstanding issues are complex, contentious and critical. The stakes on both sides are high; discussion and compromise are vital. Can we within the community find common ground? Is it possible to attenuate the growing animosity around this subject? Can Bitcoiners lead the way in being open-minded, receptive and malleable to different ideas? Let’s start engaging and find out.