Environmentalist, philosopher, and Bitcoin mining advocate Troy Cross had a bit of a shock when his recent Carvana order arrived at his home outside of Portland, Oregon. Instead of the Rivian electric vehicle he thought he had clicked on, he had accidentally ordered a gas-guzzling Ford F-350.
"At first, I was mortified. I'm an environmentalist, and a truck like that is the antithesis of everything I believe in," said Cross in a phone interview from the campus of Reed College where he teaches philosophy.
But after driving the truck around for a few days, Cross found himself warming up to the F-350's rugged appeal.
"I have to admit, it's kind of fun to drive. And it's been really handy for hauling stuff around. I can get to a whole bunch of trails I never had access to before," he said.
The F-350 is a heavy-duty pickup truck with a reputation for power and durability. It boasts a 6.7-liter V8 diesel engine and can tow up to 37,000 pounds. The truck is also known for its fuel consumption, getting around 17 miles per gallon in the city and 23 miles per gallon on the highway.
Despite the truck's less-than-stellar gas mileage, Cross has decided to keep it, opting instead to plant a few trees to offset the carbon emissions.
"I know it's not perfect, but I'm doing what I can to mitigate the damage. And who knows? Maybe I can use the truck to haul equipment for some of the mining operations I advise," he said.
Steve Barbour, the CEO of Upstream Data, a company that creates mobile Bitcoin mining solutions, was excited to hear about Cross's purchase.
"It's great to see more people in the Bitcoin community embracing traditional, carbon producing, forms of transportation. We need to remember that Bitcoin mining isn't just about digital technology, it's about the physical infrastructure needed to power it," he said.
Barbour's company is known for its use of mobile data centers that can be transported to remote locations for Bitcoin mining, often running on stranded natural gas. Barbour even commented that Cross could now assist with delivering Hash Huts across North America because of the stellar towing capacity of the F-350.
While Cross's purchase of the truck may seem like a departure from his environmentalist roots, he now sees it as a way to bridge the gap between the traditional and the modern.
"I think there's a way to balance our need for technology with our need for sustainability. It's not a perfect solution, but it's a start," he said. "Also, I'll be planting a substantial number of trees as carbon offsets, did I mention that?"
The accidental purchase of the F-350 is just the latest example of how even the most conscientious consumers can make mistakes. But in Cross's case, it's turned out to be a happy accident.
"I never would have thought I'd be driving a truck like this, but sometimes you just have to roll with the punches," he said. "And who knows? Maybe I'll end up planting more trees than I would have if I had bought the Rivian."