Related: Yesterday, Czech President Václav Klaus gave a talk in Cambridge, U.K.:
Microsoft has just bought Skype just like if it were buying an ice cream - for USD 8.5 billion - but Bill Gates finds it important to talk about climate change (that's how the hosts want to frame it) and alternative energy sources (that's how he wants to frame it) in this Grist video of a dialogue during a Climate Solutions fundraiser breakfast in Seattle two days ago:
The dialogue begins at 6:30 (unless they have already removed the beginning from the video), after the green folks are encouraged to invest dollars to the green lobbyists so that the donations are inflated by 50% and they return to them so that they have even more green dirty money in the future, and so on.
The host wanted to improve the efficiency of his Prius by inserting his skull to the motor. He broke his skull and got some stitches. So Bill Gates also took a hat in an attempt to pretend that he is an idiot, too. Both of them have "caps" but only one of them is also good in "trade". ;-)
Well, it's kind of a bummer. :-)
But what Bill Gates is saying is not really offensive to me in any substantial way. He likes the challenge to find new energy sources and because the condition that CO2 shouldn't be produced makes it even more challenging, he says why not. Unlike the green folks, Gates wants to help the poor nations so his new energy source should be cheap. He sensibly thinks that only technological innovation may substantially change the CO2- and energy-related numbers (and that this activity should ultimately be controlled by the invisible hand of the free markets!) which some green people may already find heretical.
When Gates is asked what he has done to learn about climate change, he mentions that there are good sources and the best one is by Mr Václav Smil. The green audience gets scared because Czech names and global warming hysteria don't get along too well.
However, Mr Václav Smil, a Czech Canadian (Gates' Czech pronunciation is very good), isn't really a skeptic. The main reason why I am not actively aware of this unskeptical but not too hysterical man focusing on new energy sources is that he is less important than your humble correspondent in the climate science. But it's apparently enough for Bill Gates.
Bill Gates then says lots of boring bureaucratic stuff about his meetings and negotiations with deluded politicians and entrepreneurs. Around 12:40, Gates says he was begging to get more money but he didn't get anything. It's indeed very natural for Bill Gates to beg for money! ;-)
He complains that there is no bipartisan support for spending of hundreds of billions of dollars for R&D in this business. There's already lots of money being wasted in this way and the results are extremely modest, to put it optimistically. That's despite the fact that many competent people are already working on it. Adding much more money could only mean adding lots of incompetent people who could drive not only the average quality but even the overall research results to the South.
It seems to me that Bill Gates doesn't appreciate how huge amount of money he wants to be wasted. If the main guy in the largest software company doesn't have enough money to do any of these things, it's just not cheap. The society doesn't have thousands of Microsoft companies to be wasted for fruitless research.
Gates is being "praised" for saying that we can't just lower CO2 in energy production by 80% - we have to reduce it by 100%. No comment. ;-) At some point, Gates also says that in a formula, we don't want the population go to zero. The green folks laugh at him hysterically: you don't know us too well, Bill, do you?
Surprisingly, Gates fails to propose another clever method to improve the formula: shrink the people. If all people will be short and small, they will breathe out less CO2, need smaller cars, less steel, and so on, but they will be equally happy. The CO2 emissions will go down, won't they? Why don't we reduce humans to something like rats? The global warming activists have already done it with their minds, knowledge, and moral values. Rats are 99% lighter so they may reduce CO2 emissions by 99%, too.
The host tells Gates that Gates spends lots of time in China, a country that is "so much ahead of us" (us=US) in clean energy. I was rolling on the floor, imagining the dirty chimneys covering China where the desire to make a plant clean is exactly zero.
China is so much ahead of the U.S. in clean energy. :-) Al Gore has already been astonished by the excellent new five-year plan by the incoming communist leader of China. Xi Jinping is just... wow! They have already made the right choice and Al Gore will spend the rest of his life to fight for the West's being controlled by communist dictators and amazing five-year plans, too (which isn't really much different from what he has been doing in his life so far).
While answering, Gates focuses on technological progress and research and he totally sensibly says that the U.S. is still well ahead of China in the development of new technologies. No doubt about it. The idea that China has become a top machine to produce the most advanced concepts and technologies is preposterous. It's just a big and cheap factory to produce and imitate what people invented and produced elsewhere. And when it's ahead, it's because of the quantity, not quality. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule but this is the rule - despite the fact that lots of people (including famous ones) got used to parroting something completely different. The universities and research places are concentrated mainly in the U.S.
At the end, the host informed us that the organizers had promised the Gates Foundation not to ask whether the foundation would get involved in climate change. Being a rat, unsurprisingly, he asked whether the foundation would get involved in climate change. Gates spends several minutes to say Nope, the foundation will continue to do things to help the poor (including those related to the availability of energy but not climate-driven).
Again, what Gates is saying and doing wouldn't be enough to promote him to the status of a climate skeptic but on the other hand, I don't see anything substantially offensive about his behavior. He's helping the poor and trying to spend his money because he has realized that what he has earned was excessive and unnecessary for him.