‘It Cannot Get Any Worse’: Cornell Professors Decry Energy Costs of NY Bitcoin Mining

The next time someone invests in a fraction of a bitcoin, they can thank the thousands of computational devices guzzling energy to solve a math problem at a Finger Lakes power plant. A former public coal-powered plant turned private Bitcoin mining operation located just off the shore of Seneca Lake, Greenidge Generation, is currently vying to renew its license to continue operations. Cornell professors are arguing that this renewal could bring millions of tons of carbon emissions to the state. 

With the facility on the cusp of receiving a license renewal, faculty like Prof. Eswar Prasad, applied economics and policy, insist that allowing Bitcoin mining in power plants would be an unbefitting use of energy as the increasingly detrimental effects of climate change continue to take shape. Bitcoin mining, explained

“Bitcoin is a decentralized cryptocurrency,” Prasad said. “In other words, anyone with a computer could conduct transactions without relying on traditional paper currency or having a credit card or bank account, and without having to reveal their real identities.” 

As volatile as the currency is, the value of bitcoin has skyrocketed over the course of the last 10 years, jumping from just a fraction of a penny to well over $45,000.

Cornell Experts Dissect Football Concussions, Helmets, Athlete Safety

The American tradition of Thanksgiving is one filled with food, family and football. With eyes glued to the screen to watch the next touchdown, the dangers of football are often overlooked. From the National Football League to Cornell’s football team, concussions pose a great risk to football players.

Delayed First Snowfall in Ithaca Reflects Changing Climate Patterns

On Monday, Ithaca received its first flurries of snow of the winter season — almost two weeks later than last year. Cornell experts explained that this delayed start could be an indicator of the season to come, with more precipitation falling as rain instead of snow reflecting broader changes in climate.

Warm and Rainy Weather Delays Ithaca Fall Foliage

This season has seen peak fall foliage well past October, which is two weeks later than the peak season of last year. Prof. Taryn Bauerle, plant biology, explained that while warmer temperatures and increased rainfall contributed to the delay in the leaves changing color, minor variations in weather can be expected year-to-year.

Contribution From Cornell Prof. Catalyzes the Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The 2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to David MacMillan and Benjamin List, who are credited for developing asymmetric organocatalysis — a way of catalyzing reactions using organic molecules to form specific copies of a compound. This tool increases the capabilities of medicinal chemistry. MacMillan and List, director at the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research, came across the concept simultaneously yet an ocean apart in the late 1990s.