Note — Feb 21, 2021

How Does Bill Gates Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis?

Quite a well balanced piece by Bill McKibben for The New York Times, where he addresses Bill Gates’ latest book by highlighting the good general direction and ideas, while also drawing attention to the areas where Gates seems to have much too shallow an understanding of the state of play. Namely, the speed at which renewables are dropping in price, how integral they must be to the first major chunk of decarbonization, and where Gates could potentially have the biggest impact if he put his mind to it; understanding political power and wielding it. (I’m not sure I would agree on the last part, unless he lines-up with McKibben or Sunrise, otherwise he might end-up as simply a rich lobbyist.)

Gates — who must have easy access to the greatest experts the world can provide — is surprisingly behind the curve on the geeky parts, and he’s worse at interpreting the deeper and more critical aspects of the global warming dilemma. […]

One wishes Gates had talked, for instance, with Stanford’s Mark Jacobson, whose team has calculated how almost every country on earth could go to 80 percent renewable energy by 2030. […]

“I think more like an engineer than a political scientist,” he says proudly — but that means he can write an entire book about the “climate disaster” without discussing the role that the fossil fuel industry played, and continues to play, in preventing action.