Philanthropist and billionaire founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, had some pretty eye-opening things to say to his fellow billionaires on climate change: “the private sector is too selfish and inefficient to do the work on its own.”
Proving that not all billionaires are climate-change denying anarchists that love to turn the planet into a Lorax-like scenario for obscene amounts of money, Gates recently announced his intentions to spend $2 billion of his own wealth on green energy investments. Moreover, Gates wants to rid the United States of fossil fuel by 2050 (assuming there’s still even an eastern sea-born by then). And for his next trick, he plans on giving Donald Trump empathy and good hair. But seriously, Gates had some tough words for the top one percent, which he wonderfully laid out in a recent interview with The Atlantic.
There’s no fortune to be made. Even if you have a new energy source that costs the same as today’s and emits no CO2, it will be uncertain compared with what’s tried-and-true and already operating at unbelievable scale and has gotten through all the regulatory problems,” Gates said. “Without a substantial carbon tax, there’s no incentive for innovators or plant buyers to switch.”
Even though most Americans think socialism is what Hitler and Stalin were into, Gates essentially hinted that socialism might be needed in order to fully tackle this planetary catastrophe. Gates, having the balls to admit the private sector is too selfish and inefficient to do the work on its own, believes that extenuating climate change is virtually impossible without the help of government research and development. Republican Jesus is about to defriend him.
Since World War II, U.S.-government R&D has defined the state of the art in almost every area, Gates said. The private sector is in general inept. When I first got into this I thought, ‘How well does the Department of Energy spend its R&D budget?’ And I was worried: ‘Gosh, if I’m going to be saying it should double its budget, if it turns out it’s not very well spent, how am I going to feel about that?’ Gates told The Atlantic. But as I’ve really dug into it, the DARPA money is very well spent, and the basic-science money is very well spent. The government has these ‘Centers of Excellence.’ They should have twice as many of those things, and those things should get about four times as much money as they do.
Much like Warren Buffet, Gates is one of the few billionaires who seems to get it. While the entire Republican party is snorting the Koch and kowtowing to the two obscenely greedy and anti-science men, wealthy and caring individuals like Bill Gates are proving how unbelievably out of touch–and psychotic–the Republican party is to ignore such obvious history.
You can read the full Atlantic interview here.
Featured image via OnInnovation/Flickr