Bill Gates on Energy: Innovating to Zero!

The major TED conference wrapped up late last week. And now the videos start to roll out. Above Bill Gates (to quote TED) “unveils his vision for the world’s energy future, describing the need for miracles to avoid planetary catastrophe and explaining why he’s backing a dramatically different type of nuclear reactor. The necessary goal? Zero carbon emissions globally by 2050.”

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  • Jane Womack says:

    There will be no world by the year 2050. I am convinced that if an asteroid hasn’t taken us out by then, the djinn we’ve let out of the bottle will have destroyed us (read: “We will have killed ourselves and our planet”) by then. Carpe diem! Ave atque vale!

  • Caspar Henderson says:

    It’s a compelling presentation. Perhaps the clean nuclear tech he describes will actually work! Even if it it does, there’s still a case to answer that social innovation is as important as technical innovation. See, for example, David Roberts on Grist:

  • Don't Fret, Reset says:

    Yes, it’s a compelling tale, IF:
    * to use Bill’s own terminology, you can rely upon his ‘WISH’ for a ‘MIRACLE’ coming true (they ARE his own choice of words!). And sorry Billy, but the modern computer isn’t a miracle, as you well know; it is the culmination of many decades’ work, or millenia’s if you include all the foundational prep.
    * you can blithely ignore all of the context within which this miracle is supposed to happen. (Hyperpopulation, peak energy, peak resources, awareness of first world bankruptcy due to fiscal misadventure)
    * You imagine that Bill Gates is an ‘expert’ who’s opinion is worth revering, given that his expertise is founded upon business models of massive wealth extraction; glamour driven development (“look at our new Shiny version!”), renowned lack of industry co-operation in favour of competition, resource consumption (would a ‘better’ Windows not run on ANY old computer and the newest then make the best of resources available?!)

    The individual and convergent effects of the issues we are now facing in the 21st Century make building further superman castles in the sky the most foolish, short-termist, techno dream. They are all predicated upon abundance which we have already squandered.

    Look elsewhere for realism.

  • KT says:

    It’s his equation that has me thinking. He mentions that vaccines, health care, and family planning will reduce the population. Should not vaccines and health care increase the population?

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