So pedantry it is then. The number that is enormous now, at this scale, is the settlement layer, the energy expended by mining. The article is clear it is referring to that. So you cast for a red herring and talk about something else, the energy expended to create transactions, that has a tiny fraction of the energy expenditure, now, and isn’t different for any payment or settlement platform. Transactions must be created for anything,It’s simply not part of this equation.
Satan will be mad at you if you keep trying to use fallacious argumentation. Engineers make a bunch of jokes about physicists too.