Bill Gates Takes on Climate Change: ‘The Private Sector Is in General Inept’


For the November issue of The Atlantic, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates weighed in on the role of the private sector as it pertains to combating global warming. The interview covers Gates’ own willingness to pledge $2 billion to further climate change efforts, and encouraged other figures of wealth to do the same. Gates said:

“Yes, the government will be somewhat inept… But the private sector is in general inept. How many companies do venture capitalists invest in that go poorly? By far most of them.”

Gates believes that the general rules surrounding free market enterprise are not prime to encourage proper investing in challenging CO2 emissions. He says, “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”.

“The world is going to consume much more energy 30 years from now than it does today,” continues Gates, who seems to understand the role of the wealthy in furthering conversations of global change. Gates calls for a distribution of attention regarding this issue, as he says:

Here, we want to give a little bit of money to the guy who thinks that high wind will work; we want to give a little bit of money to the guy who thinks that taking sunlight and making oil directly out of sunlight will work. So there’s dozens of those ideas, and there’s enabling technologies for those ideas. That’s the kind of thing that we should be funding more of.”

Check out the above interview clip from The Atlantic.

[image via screengrab]

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