Ending climate change is the latest in Gates’ self-professed crusades, coming after he paid to have 15,000 medical molecules shipped to a laboratory in Belgium to be tested as part of an effort to find a potential cure to Covid-19.
Billionaire Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, has put forward his own ideas for how the world can avert a “climate disaster” in a soon-to-be released book.
The world’s former richest man acknowledges that he is an “imperfect messenger” when it comes to the topic of climate change due to his own frequent use of a private jet and meat-eating habits. He writes in his upcoming book titled, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: the Solutions We Have and Breakthroughs We Need, that the globe needs to embrace “zero-carbon ways to produce electricity, make things, grow food, keeping our buildings cool or warm, and move people and goods around the world.”
“I own big houses and fly in private planes – in fact, I took one to Paris for the climate conference, so who am I to lecture anyone on the environment? I plead guilty to all three charges. I can’t deny being a rich guy with an opinion. I do believe, though, that it is an informed opinion, and I am always trying to learn more,” reads an extract of the book seen by The Guardian, to be released on 16 February.
Gates, whose personal fortune is estimated to be around $120 billion, also claims that flying in his private jet is a “guilty pleasure,” adding that he loves to eat hamburgers and consumes grapes all year-round.
While claiming to be passionate about the issue of climate change, Gates takes issue with eco-warrior activists, such as Extinction Rebellion, whose tactics he writes are “going to manifest in some ways that aren’t constructive.” He also swats away the prospects of the so-called Green New Deal – proposed by New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that aims for carbon elimination in a decade – as “a fairytale.” Gates argues that carbon emissions will not reach zero by getting people to fly or drive less, but by emphasising new means of producing electricity, and sustainable food growth.
“I’m also investing in zero-carbon technologies. Some things, like electricity and cars, get lots of attention, but they are only the beginning. Passenger cars represent less than half of all the emissions from transportation, which in turn is 16% of all emissions worldwide. Meanwhile, making steel and cement accounts for around 10% of all emissions. Each year, America alone produces more than 96m tons of cement, one of the main ingredients in concrete, and we’re not even the biggest consumers of the stuff – that would be China, which installed more concrete in the first 16 years of the 21st century than the United States did in the entire 20th century,” adds the billionaire, who has also pumped more than $100 million into research on Covid-19.
Gates also recently claimed that there are two main existential threats to mankind after the Covid-19 pandemic – climate change and bioterrorism. Speaking of the threats in a recent interview, Gates noted, “one is climate change … every year that would be a death toll even greater than we had in this pandemic.” But there is also another threat no one wants to talk about, according to Gates: “Somebody who wants to cause damage could engineer a virus and so that means the chance of running into this is more than just naturally caused epidemic like the current one”, he warned.