- Our laws and regulations are outdated, those should be updated. We have a goal to get to zero. The goals should be paired with specific plans.
- We should build a climate consensus and raise awareness.
- To tackle climate disaster, we need to invest more in R&D, science, and engineering. Bill Gates suggests making bigger bets on high-risk, high-reward R&D projects.
- As a citizen, a consumer, a voter, you have the power! Take an initiative to attract the attention of local, national, international politicians and public servants to do more on climate change and energy transition. The market is ruled by supply and demand, do not forget your power as a consumer.
- Nuclear is the only carbon-free energy source that we can use almost anywhere, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. The industry did not stop its R&D activities when some people have lost their lives in car accidents. They did more to boost the security of passengers. Hence, we should work more on nuclear energy and improve the security of nuclear facilities.
- I will finish with Gates’ recommendation: try a plant-based burger.
What I learned from Bill Gates?
Reading a book, like having an interesting conversation with a person that you do not know. That is why the most difficult part of the reading activity is to reach the first 50th page of a book, many argue. I have to admit that I had enjoyed reading ‘How to Avoid a Climate Disaster’ and it was great to chat with Bill Gates. Why I have started with those sentences to my blog, could be questioned. Gates has clearly made his points and presented some sort of solutions to some tricky challenges that we are trying to cope with. Before anything else, I wanted to state that.
He wrote a book that smoothly flows and gives the taste of a long-awaited conversation with a friend who comes from a long distance. During my life, I have observed that when somebody mastered a topic or a business area, things became far more complicated with the dense flow of information. Thus, it is not an easy task to present that complicated information that is coming from the bottomless font of knowledge with an audience which is consisted of different levels of society. When you wrote a book it becomes a public good, it frees itself from the author and goes into the arms of society. I do believe, this book is welcomed and will be welcomed by a wide range of groups who are concerned about the future of our planet.
Journey to ‘’get to zero’’
He starts with numbers. Currently, we, the nations of the world, are generating 51 billion tons of greenhouse gases per year. And 0 (zero) is what we need to aim for, therefore it will be our goal in the journey to ‘’get to zero’’ as soon as we can. Correct, you read and perfectly understood! We are not talking about a sharp decline in greenhouse gas emission, we are setting a goal to reach 0 emission. While he was excitedly defending this thesis, he is still realistic and admits that it will not be an easy task.
Moreover, he states that the world has never done anything like this big. I do believe, this book is welcomed and will be welcomed by a wide range of groups who are concerned about the future of our planet. If we, as citizens, consumers, voters, change our approach to climate change, we can make the change. To succeed in this process, Gates suggests, to electrify as much human activity as possible and generate that electricity from renewables. However, he admits that it will not be simple that we can change from today to tomorrow: ‘the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine and we don’t have affordable batteries that can store city-sized amounts of energy for long enough’.
Bill Gates strongly supports and actively calls for more government intervention
It was quite interesting to me to read from Bill Gates that he strongly supports and actively calls for more government intervention. Then, mentions without the support of the US Government, the personal computer business, including Microsoft, would never have been able to grow and write success stories. Fossil fuels are like water; reachable, cheap, and everywhere. We created big industries that are dedicated to working for them to develop innovations that keep prices low. Therefore, if we invest in research and development, we can create cheaper and environmentally friendly solutions.
Thanks to innovation, state-supported pilot projects like in the case of China, the US, and Germany, the prices of solar-generated electricity have dropped 90% since 2008. Tomorrow will be a world that is far more populated than today and will consume more electricity than what it consumes today. The world uses more than 4 billion gallons every day. It means that you can’t replace any product at that kind of volume overnight.
I am quite hesitant to make this blog more than one page, there is a reality that people tend to watch videos for hours but hesitant to read long texts. Therefore, I will present some key takeaways and end this blog with an attitude and a belief: we can succeed if we understand how critical climate change is.