OPINION: NFTs – The Climate Change Controversy


If you haven’t been living under a rock, you know that climate change is our biggest enemy that’s taking a toll on the Earth. For years, humans have taken advantage of the Earth we live on. I’m sure you get anxious like me when you hear about how we can’t reverse the damage we’ve done because of how careless people are when it comes down to the environment. While we all have a basic understanding of what climate change is, a lot of people don’t know what NFTs are and why they’re so bad for our planet. 

NFTs (Non-fungible token) is a unique cryptocurrency token that can take the form of anything digital (art, GIFs, songs, etc). NFTs can either be one-of-a-kind, like a real-life painting, or one copy of many, like trading cards, but it keeps track of who has ownership of the file. Because of NFTs, there’s a lot of discussion about the massive electricity use and environmental impacts. An NFT uses the same amount of electricity that an average American family uses in 2.6 days. NFTs may be the future of art, they are threatening our earth.

Image Source: @Freddiemerucy on Instagram.

Recently, an artist that goes by the name Blake Kathryn has been under fire for promoting NFT inspired art for none other than the iconic Freddie Mercury. In honor of his 75th birthday, the official Freddie Mercury Instagram account came out with 4 NFT models that were sold in an auction on September 20th, and the proceeds from this auction all went to the MPT (an AIDS/HIV organization). Many fans of Mercury have called this disrespectful and claimed that Queen will continuously profit off the singer for money even 29 years after his death back in 1991. Guitarist and climate change activist Brian May has not commented on the NFT project, along with drummer Roger Taylor. 

However, there is an experimental alternative to this NFT frenzy that many digital artists thrive on. HEN is an open-source project founded by Brazilian developer, Rafael Lima. It runs on the Tezos blockchain, which enables it to keep minting prices low, making it more approachable to users across the world. The whole point of the platform was to join the #GreenNFT movement, which is a more Ecologically Friendly NFT.

I genuinely hope more people, young or old, realize that climate change will be a never-ending battle if we don’t start fixing what we can. The #GreenNFT movement is a great movement for many artists to join. They can continue making digital art for people to enjoy without harming our environment while still being able to profit off of their projects.