(UPDATED) Proposal to make Bright Moments a Carbon Neutral Project

:cool: tl;dr

The world is burning and the Ethereum blockchain has a substantial carbon footprint ( Comparable to the carbon footprint of Hong Kong). We should do our part to offset the emissions associated to the minting of Crypto Citizens.

:sunrise: Overview

Weeks like this one will only become more frequent and should serve as a reminder that as a global community of art, culture, and crypto enthusiasts - we must do our part to help curb climate change. Luckily, there are ways to do so using Web3 tools.

:warning: Problem

Using the Ethereum network currently uses a heck of a lot of energy (see Digiconomist report below) as it still uses the Proof of Work consensus mechanism to record transactions. This high energy consumption is largely what fuels the anti-NFT narrative and is therefore also an ethical barrier to entering the space for many.

:building_construction: Proposal

Thankfully, there are a range of tools out there to calculate the carbon footprint of an NFT collection, and associated tools to purchase tokenised carbon removals credits (offsets) that take that amount of carbon out of the atmosphere.

According to Aerial’s calculator (see link below), Crypto Citizens’ contract address (0xbDdE08BD57e5C9fD563eE7aC61618CB2ECdc0ce0) used for the Galaxy, Berlin and London collection’s has contributed to 226 tonnes of C02 emissions to date. I was informed that the contract address (0xa7d8d9ef8D8Ce8992Df33D8b8CF4Aebabd5bD270) used for the NY and Venice mints was the main Art Blocks smart contract.

Therefore, perhaps the easiest way to estimate the total C02 emissions from the Crypto Citizen collections is to multiply the C02 emissions figure from the Galaxy/ Berlin/ London mints by (5/3), assuming that the 1000 mints from each location had similar emissions on average. So, 226 * (5/3) = 376.67 tonnes of C02.

With this figure, we can use some of the Web3 tools which actually use blockchain to measure, record, verify and retire offsets in a transparent way! These tools include: Nori, Aerial, Carbonfuture, Moss, Toucan Protocol, Regen.Network.

It would be great if the community voted to offset all the direct minting emissions from the Crypto Citizen collections to date (especially ahead of the merge, after which point the Ethereum network will become more sustainable if all goes to plan)! <3

:thinking: Open Questions

:crystal_ball: Future Work

:notebook: References

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I’m very much in favor of this.

Thanks for writing this @raambo. I have some thoughts:

  1. I try to evaluate decisions through a simple lens: will this get us closer or further away from our goal of minting 10,000 CryptoCitizens?

To reach this goal, we’ll need to become proficient at onboarding new people to crypto. Concerns about climate change and the impact of NFTs on the environment are common among crypto-curious, so it would be helpful to put our money with our mouth is and have a great response to those who are concerned about their carbon footprint.

With that being said, Ethereum’s upcoming switch to proof-of-stake will reduce the energy expenditure by ~99%, so I believe that any form of carbon tax should be a one-time payment meant to counteract the emissions from CryptoCitizens minted during the proof-of-work phase.

  1. If contributing to a carbon offset will help us recruit a broader range of people to our community, what is the appropriate number we should be willing to pay? .5 ETH feels like a no brainer, and 50 ETH seems much too high. 5 ETH seems to be in the right ballpark, but I struggle to understand how much we should be valuing this relative to other potential investments. For example, 5 ETH is ~3 months of rent at our Berlin gallery. Is the carbon offset worth 3 months of rent? If not, what is the number that makes it worth it?

There’s also the question of quality. There are lots of opportunistic carbon credit companies, but I find it hard to know which ones are reputable since it’s difficult to track the lifecycle of the investment. As the amount of money invested grows, this becomes more important. As a general rule, I try to find estimates that are coming from firms without a vested interest in selling me something (i.e. if the firm telling me that I have emitted x tons of CO2 is also selling carbon credits, they have an incentive to make that number larger).

  1. Finally, this is the first time we’ve had a community proposal that involves directly spending funds from the treasury. It sets an important precedent for how the community chooses to use funds. If this passes, I expect we will receive more requests to spend money from the DAO treasury.

This feels like a step in the right direction, but without budget controls it will be hard to prioritize decisions relative to one another. What if we get 10 reasonable requests to spend 5 ETH each? What about 100? Do we need a separate slush fund that is directly allocated from CryptoCitizens? Is that the job of the SubDAOs and, if so, how should they coordinate for cross-cities proposals like this one?

I’d like to use this as an opportunity to have a broader discussion about how funds are allocated and what our framework should be for making financial decisions. As a DAO it’s important that we are capable of taking collective action, and making prioritization choices is much easier with a smaller group than a large group.

As next steps, I would propose having a public call about the proposal. I’d like to hear feedback from the community and use this as an opportunity to practice some of the governance frameworks we’ve put in place.

Thanks again for championing this.

Thank you for your input. You make some great points! My thoughts:

  1. I agree that if this goes ahead it should be a one time payment to compensate for CryptoCitizens POW emissions till the point of the merge. In terms of bringing us closer to minting the 10,000 cryptocitizens, one of the benefits of purchasing Web3 credits is that we could more easily prove that we have made a contribution, which we can then make noise about (via social media/ website/ articles/ marketing etc). I believe this could bring us closer to the goal of minting 10,000 NFTs, (especially in a DAO such as this whose intrinsic value in my opinion is dependent on the strength of the community) as it will show to potential new joiners that the existing community cares about environmental issues. It also sets a good precedent and “social standard”.
  2. The matter of opportunity cost is an interesting one and is worth discussing further. I suppose it may also depends on the percentage of the treasury we are willing to use for such an investment. But also, the beauty of DAO governance is that a decision made by the community should in theory better align with the best interests of the community as a whole. Especially if the options to be voted on have been quality checked already.

In terms of quality, web3 carbon credits intrinsically make it easier to track investment lifecycle. So we can look at the lifecycles of investments made by other stakeholders into the platforms/ nature-based projects we are looking at, as a metric to assess the quality. Also would be cool to crowdsource the existing SME knowledge that exists in the community to assess the quality of potential carbon credits.

  1. I Fully support having a community call on this to gather initial thoughts about this specific matter as well as the broader topic of how funds are allocated and what our decision making framework should be. I have seen a few posts about ‘what all citizens can agree on’… maybe these can be used to draft a set of values that the DAO should try to adhere to which can help structure the financial decision making framework. Let me know when is best to have an initial conversation and/or community call.

I think @philm raises a valid point about setting a precedent for future expenditures from the DAO treasury.

Reducing one’s carbon footprint is an important endeavor and many of us have collected from artists who purchase carbon credits to offset emissions from the minting of their work. In this instance, would it be more appropriate to undertake a review of the estimated carbon emissions resulting from minting activities to date and then allow individuals to choose to offset in accordance with that estimate? This would also allow individuals to choose the carbon credit platform that aligns best with their values, is most reputable (in their own view), etc. Bright Moments could assist individuals in this process by providing data and other information relating to the estimated carbon emissions from minting.

Thank you for your reply @HodlenCaulfield. We have already used the aerial calculator to get an estimate of the total minting activity to date associated with smart contract address 0xbDdE08BD57e5C9fD563eE7aC61618CB2ECdc0ce0 (and used this figure to estimate the total emissions associated with minting all cryptocitizens to date, because an artblocks smart smart contract was used to mint the first two Crypto Citizen collections). In your suggestion, would the individuals be deciding just to offset their own emissions associated with their cryptocitizen(s)? And would the treasury be used to fund these offsets in that case?

Thanks for the message and the details on the emissions. That’s very helpful. I think I would leave this to individuals to contribute separately to offset emissions rather than using treasury funds. (Again, to be clear, this is in no way a rejection of the concept of offsetting carbon emissions.) Rather, I would prefer to leave the treasury intact to pursue other activities (e.g., supporting artists, funding venue costs, etc), while allowing individuals to choose the amounts by which they wish to contribute for carbon offsets of their own accord.

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with proof of stack coming and 90%+ reduction of “energy expenditure” this proposal will be irrevelant…sorry better use treasory for others things

Thanks for your reply. If we did take the route you suggest, we wouldn’t be able to call ourselves a carbon neutral project. Additionally, as a result of ‘low voter turnout’, there may be certain cryptocitizen holders who will not see the proposal/ announcement and would miss the chance/ awareness to offset their individual footprint.

I agree with you and @philm that it is important to have a precedent for future expenditures from the DAO treasury. But should this precedent be set by BM employees or come naturally from the respective decision made by the DAO? In other words, to what extent should the treasury managed by the DAO? I suppose the answer to this question is reflective of how decentralized we want this DAO to be.

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I agree that post merge, the environmental impact associated with on-chain activity will be negligible. However, as Phil alludes to above, there is still a retroactive offset that could be made by the DAO (to represent its POW-activity till the merge). In general, carbon offsetting occurs retroactively.

Thanks, @raambo. To be clear, I was not expressing a view as to whether the matter should or should not be put to a vote by DAO members (although you raise some thorny governance issues in connection with low voter turnout and the disbursement of DAO funds). I suspect many of us support and fund climate initiatives in our own time and through our own funds. I only suggest here that individuals should continue to undertake such support of their own accord without compelling the use of communal DAO funds for this purpose. DAO funds are limited, of course, and my own preference is for these funds to be allocated primarily in support of art, artists and the BM IRL events associated with the arts.

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I am late to this party and a new citizen. In regards to the disbursement of DAO funds, generally, is there an annual budget being discussed and voted on that would include a line item for disposable funds that would be set aside for community proposals? In other words, wouldn’t it be more efficient to think about spending from a wholistic basis as opposed to an ad hoc basis?
As far as the carbon offset is concerned, given that this is a one-time cost that put the DAO’s money where its mouth is at, it seems like the right thing to do and will have little effect on the overall finances of the DAO.

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Great suggestion! @philm thoughts on this?

I am late to this party and a new citizen. In regards to the disbursement of DAO funds, generally, is there an annual budget being discussed and voted on that would include a line item for disposable funds that would be set aside for community proposals?

We don’t have this currently, but it’s something that we could crowdsource using a tool like Dune.

Rather than pulling from the pool of funds for operational expenses (salary, rent, etc.), it feels like we should have a self-funded wallet that is managed directly by the community or representatives (e.g. SubDAO signers).

The next step here is probably a public meeting to discuss the proposal in more detail. It will be hard to get people’s attention with the sale taking place this week. @raambo can you take point on finding a time next week that people are available to join a Twitter Space? I am happy to signal boost in the Bright Moments Discord.

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Not related to the specific discussion, but dropping some additional resources here for future reference regarding Ethereum energy consumption: Ethereum Energy Consumption | ethereum.org

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Thanks for your response.

Sounds good. I will aim for next Thursday.

What time zone(s) do BM twitter spaces usually try to accommodate for? Is there a calendar I can check to see what time(s) work best or should I simply post to either the governance-talk or general channels?

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thanks @philm looking forward to it

We have communities in LA (PT), NY (ET), London (BST), Berlin (CET), and Mexico City (CT).

Early morning Pacific Time or ~12 noon ET is usually best.

I would post in #governance-talk since that’s where the discussion is or #general if you want to get wider visibility.

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