Bitcoin is just a giant energy-sapping slot machine (Opinion)

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Monday, November 14, 2022 Bitcoin mining machines at the Lancium development area in Houston. The Houston-based company is launching a platform this week that will allow bitcoin mining operations and data centers to automatically optimize their energy usage to meet tight grid conditions.Elizabeth Conley/Staff Photographer

Bitcoin miners

Regarding “Bitcoin miners taking advantage of Texas concessions;“(November 27): Texas Blockchain Council President Lee Bratcher basically expects bitcoin miners who use Texas grid power to lower prices for their “traditional load” customers without the miners. Another Bitcoin abracadabra he describes is our oil and gas industry. From mining-fueled electricity demand It is satisfied with production from marginal wells, which are otherwise closed. But the unpleasant result is the noise of enthusiasts to cool down the huge equipment used to produce Bitcoin – not to mention the carbon emissions from these oil-and-gas operations.

Despite all this rigmarole of turning natural gas into a high-value commodity — bitcoin, which is akin to “a dice with a thousand sides” — nowhere is there an explanation for any real value that bitcoin creates. There are indications that this is just a giant electric-voracious slot machine.


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Baby boomer

Regarding “Why do old politicians run? (comment)” (Nov. 25): My former White House colleague Mary Kate Kerry has done a good job of analyzing why baby boomers (of which I am one) are reluctant to give up high office or the prospect. Let me add one more thing. Look at the popular publications of the 1960s and 70s and read how the journalists of the day praised the generation of superior talent. This is especially true for those on the left who have convinced themselves that they are morally superior to their elders because they (the Boomers) are against all the bad things (Vietnam and Nixon) and against all the good things (peace and love). Since your twenties, you believed you were divinely chosen for leadership, why have you changed your mind half a century later?

Incidentally, I suspect she mentioned Virginia resident Mary Kate, Houston mayoral candidates John Whitmire and Sheila Jackson Lee in her original article. Also, at 74 and 73, respectively, they are pale compared to Joe Biden and Donald Trump!

Chase Untermeyer, Houston


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I was impressed by Mary Kate Carey’s article stating that elected officials Biden, Trump, Whitmire and Jackson-Lee are “not retiring.”

She implied that these individuals, elected nationally (Biden) and locally (Whitmire and Jackson Lee) or at the polls (Trump), had some obligation to retire, in her opinion, because they were too old to serve. Of course they have this option. Just as the citizens who voted for them and voted for them more than once had the opportunity to vote for them or their opponents. Local, state, and national laws place term limits on most offices.

Ms. Carey, an adjunct professor at one of our country’s great universities (University of Virginia), would like to see these “old” elected or early elected officials retire. It would be interesting to know how old (or young) Ms. Carey is and at what age she plans to retire.

Jim Greenwood (80+), Houston.

Breaking addictions


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Regarding “Smoking reduces stress, but now cooking is better” (November 25): Theodore R. Johnson explains how he struggled to quit smoking. While he said he continued to struggle with nicotine addiction, his growth eventually turned into cooking and preparing food. By substituting one habit for another, habit is his solution.

I started my nicotine addiction when I was pregnant. I suspect Mr. Johnson’s experience may be similar. Almost every adult male used tobacco; Smoking, chewing, dipping, sniffing. Although there are some aspects of the experience, the user’s first step must be to admit that the chemical addiction is the devil in the details.

After finally accepting my addiction, I sought help by chewing Nicorette gum, the only product available at the time. At first, I chewed so much gum that I developed mouth ulcers! I suffered because of my determination to break the addiction. I almost gave up on my quest, feeling a pain that felt like it was oozing from my lungs. After about three months, my lungs started to heal. The pain was replaced by the sweet taste of fresh air. I quit the addiction. That was July 1984.

Since, I have no desire or tolerance for nicotine, or smell. Based on my experience, I would summarize two important things: admitting to yourself that nicotine is an addiction (not just a habit) and being fully committed to breaking the addiction.

Jerry DeFoor, Jersey Village


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A missed opportunity

Regarding “Governor Greg Abbott Goes Skydiving With 106-Year-Old World War II Veteran” (Nov. 27): The Houston Chronicle staff should be ashamed of themselves for turning a charming heroic story into an anti-government Greg Abbott trope. The 106-year-old World War II veteran and the rest of the article were about Abbott’s failed school voucher plan. Your readers learned nothing about war hero Al Blaschke, but learned that the Chronicle was a journalistic disgrace that openly displayed its own anti-Abbott politics. Agenda.

Edward A. Viselli, Houston.

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