Thursday, 4 Mar 2021

Bill Gates issues stark warning about climate change – ‘Could have greater death toll’

Bill Gates says he’s ‘surprised’ by Covid-19 conspiracies

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In a recent interview with Derek Muller, host of the YouTube channel “Veritasium”, the software entrepreneur suggested global warming could create a death toll every year “even greater than we have had in this pandemic.” Now in a new book called ‘How To Avoid A Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have And The Breakthroughs We Need’, is published next week, Mr Gates sets out what needs to be done to save the world. The Microsoft co-founder argues that the only solution lies in aiming for zero carbon emissions.

Currently, the world produces 51 billion tons of greenhouse gases, so reducing that to zero is an extraordinary difficult task, as he acknowledges.

As a way of illustrating the point, Mr Gates says that the coronavirus pandemic has caused economic output to plummet and seen tens of millions of people lose their jobs.

Over two million have lost their lives, yet carbon dioxide emissions “probably dropped just five percent percent, and possibly less.”

He adds: “This small decline in emissions is proof that we cannot get to zero simply, or even mostly, by flying and driving less.

“Just as we needed new tests, treatments and vaccines for the novel coronavirus, we need new tools for fighting climate change: zero-carbon ways to produce electricity, make things, grow food, keep our buildings cool or warm, and move people and goods around the world.”

Mr Gates admits that he is the “imperfect messenger” on climate change, given his own large carbon footprint.

The entrepreneur and philanthropist often uses private jets and even flew to the Paris climate conference on one.

He writes: “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.”

In the interview with Mr Muller, he described two looming threats.

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“One is climate change. Every year that would be a death toll even greater than we have had in this pandemic,” Mr Gates said.

The other, he added, is bioterrorism.

“Somebody who wants to cause damage could engineer a virus and that means the cost, the chance of running into this is more than the naturally-caused epidemics like the current one,” he remarked.

Mr Gates has invested over $1 billion into approaches that he hopes will get the world to zero carbon dioxide emissions.

These include putting money into affordable and reliable clean energy and low-emissions steel, meat and cement.

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