Gates Memo has today (Oct 17) My plan for fighting climate change.
Climate change and the 75% problem
gatesnotes.com · by Bill Gates
Bill Gates makes a proposal. I think we need to be very critical and get him to take himself more seriously. The errors and omissions of logic are representative of why we are not doing well with global heating. He is trying to maintain the capital investment leading to profit paradigm.
To prevent the worst effects of climate change, we need to get to zero net greenhouse gas emissions in every sector of the economy within 50 years
Zero gross or net (why does he put in net), even if totally eliminated now would not lead to preventing climate warming. What is already in the air and the oceans will still work its rapid destructive effects.
To stop the planet from getting substantially warmer, we need breakthroughs in how we make things, grow food, and move people and goods—not just how we power our homes and cars.
So if the planet will get “substantially warmer” (I wonder what exactly he means by substantial, uncomfortable or unlivable?) anyway we need much more than those things .Is there a sub text here? I think so. The ones he names are all problems that can be solve, maybe, by new innovations..
All of that new consumption translates into tangible improvements in people’s lives. It is good for the world overall—but it will be very bad for the climate, unless we find ways to do it without adding more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
He means prior innovations. But is it for the good of the world? It is important to know the arguments here. It produced wars, slavery, colonial empires, and a dickensonian world for many (and still does ). Could we actually stop more greenhouse gas? Solar and wind still require materials that need to be mined, or manufactured. I think the logic here is to set up the framework for more investment that can pay off to investors. Ah, so he goes on..
This is undoubtedly a tough problem. It is not obvious what the big breakthroughs will look like. Most likely we will need several solutions to each challenge. That is why we need to invest in lots of research and development, across all five areas, now.
Notice the problems become investment targets even though the sum does not equal limiting climate change and in fact each undertaken vigorously would, at least in the beginning . contribute to warming. Remember, there may not be any after the short run. We only have minus a few years to fix the system. He continues;
Personally, I’m part of a group of investors in a private fund called Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV), which is putting more than $1 billion into helping promising companies take great ideas from the lab to market at scale. We’re using the five grand challenges I mentioned above as the framework for our investments. Every idea we’re supporting is designed to solve one of them—and our mission is about to get a big boost from a new partnership in Europe.
Ah notice that these are not public service investments, they are money people investing in a future productive use of their wealth in a system that is already concentrating wealth. One possibility of course is tht the world’s wealthy unite in imposing a new paradigm of money, economy, life style, equality, and environmental remediation. Interesting to think of but nothing in what he says suggests that possibility. (If you know of any such discussions lease let me know).
Because energy research can take years—even decades—to come to fruition, companies need patient investors who are willing to work with them over the long term. Governments could in theory provide that kind of investing, but in reality, they aren’t great at identifying promising companies and staying nimble to help those companies grow.
Years? Where is he with the numbers? protecting investors’ investments in payoff but certainly not engaging with the seriousness of the problem.