Bill Gates

Bill Gates Expects an 'Energy Miracle' in Next 15 Years

"World will discover a clean energy breakthrough that will save our planet and power our world."

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BillGates
aib.edu.au

Microsoft founder and big time philanthrophist Bill Gates predicts in his annual foundation letter: "Within the next 15 years—and especially if young people get involved—I expect the world will discover a clean energy breakthrough that will save our planet and power our world."

Gates accepts the mainstream scientific projections that rising global temperatures resulting from unabated emissions of greenhouse gases would likely cause significant problems for humanity later in this century. In order to avoid these problems, he argues humanity needs to shift away from fossil fuels to carbon-neutral forms of energy. Current versions of carbon-neutral energy, chiefly solar and wind power, are not adequate because the sun doesn't always shine and wind doesn't always blow. While the capital costs for both are falling steeply, they are still far too expensive for the 1.3 billion poor people around the world who still lack access to modern energy supplies. A breakthrough in battery storage would help a lot, but progress remains slow.

The "miracle" Gates thinks will happen is that a new suite of zero-carbon technologies will drive the cost of energy production below that of fossil fuels. As he explains over at the Tech Insider, "When I say "an energy miracle," I mean that there will be some form of energy whose 24 hour cost really is competitive with hydrocarbons given, say, 20 years of learning curve. You invent it, then you look at how much its costs go down over the next 20 years, that it really beats hydrocarbons."

Gates is the organizer of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition which is a "public-private partnership between governments, research institutions, and investors. Scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs can invent and scale the innovative technologies that will limit the impact of climate change while providing affordable and reliable energy to everyone." Gates is a believer in the role of government in subsidizing energy innovation and argues that such R&D spending needs to be tripled in the U.S. from $5 billion to $15 billion per year.

As examples of the type of research that might produce energy miracles, Gates cites work in which carbon dioxide is transformed into liquid fuels. The great thing about such liquid fuels, if they can be manufactured at scale, is that they are more or less compatible with our existing energy infrastructure, e.g., pipelines, internal combustion engines, etc.

TerrapowerLogo
Terrapower

So what energy bets is Gates making? One is Terrapower which aims to produce electricity by burning nuclear waste in traveling wave reactors. However, as Gates told Andrew Revkin over at Dot Earth, "The best case is that we have our pilot plant built by 2023, and that by 2030, this fourth-generation inherently safe design with all sorts of nice characteristics, including cost, becomes the standard for all nuclear builds from that point forward. That's the best case for this amazing, brilliant Terrapower design." Last September, Terrapower signed a memorandum of understanding with China National Nuclear Corporation to build the prototype of its reactor.

Of course, as I reported recently, there are is a lot of effort and excitement in the nuclear power arena nowadays and it's possible—with the right regulatory system—that nuclear power will cost less than burning fossil fuels.

In my newish book, The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty-first Century, I outlined what I called the emerging energy climate consensus. I noted:

The fourth and most provocative plank of the new energy technology consensus is that government research and development spending on zero-carbon forms of energy supply must be dramatically ramped up. …

The better course would be to establish a level playing field by eliminating all energy subsidies and incentives and letting the cheapest technologies developed by innovators win in the marketplace. Proponents of markets must continue to push policy in this direction, but given the history of pervasive government intervention in energy markets, it is unlikely that governments will suddenly step back and allow markets to decide how to innovate and produce energy in the future. Energy production, especially for electricity, approximates a government-sanctioned monopoly that has the unfortunate side eect of stifling private innovation in energy production technology. Given that situation, the new consensus in favor of government-subsidized energy production research and development that aims to make zero- carbon energy supplies cheaper than fossil fuels looks like the least bad likely policy option for addressing concerns about climate change.

I concluded:

Man-made climate change is a problem, but it does not portend the end of the world. The solution to future climate change is the same as the remedy for other environmental problems—the application of human ingenuity and technology.

Like Bill Gates, I expect that an "energy miracle" will resolve the climate-energy-poverty conundrum well before the middle of this century.

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  1. I’m gonna have to disagree, Bill. Especially if young people are involved.

    1. Phase 1: Collect Underpants
      Phase 2: ?
      Phase 3: Clean Energy

      1. Phase 2: sniffsorting?

        1. The iPhone 7 will run Apple’s next-generation A10 mobile chipset and, if previous versions are anything to go by, it should be an alarmingly powerful chipset. Apple’s A8 and A9 chipsets dominated the mobile space in 2014/15 showcasing just what was possible with processing power when you have complete control over specs, hardware and software.

          For more details please visit …… http://todaytechspot.com/

            1. When they achieve self-awareness it will make for the most annoying apocalypse of all time.

    2. Why we expect the least experienced and knowledgable to make these kinds of breakthroughs is a mystery.

      That said, breakthroughs in pure science, as opposed to applied, often come from the relative newbies.

      1. Many of the great breakthroughs in physics were the result of young people that were too stupid to “know” they couldn’t do what they are about to attempt to do.

        On the other hand, there is a certain amount of “500 monkeys typing . . . ” involved in novices making great discoveries.

        1. I don’t think there have ever been any breakthroughs because of some young person who ‘didn’t know what you couldn’t do’.

          There have been breakthroughs because of carelessness though – penicillin for example.

          *Most* of the breakthroughs in any field are of the ‘an infinite number of monkeys typing’. Especially in pure research.

        2. An infinite number of rednecks in an infinite number of pickup trucks armed with an infinite number of shotguns will eventually print the works of Shakespeare in braille on stop signs.

        3. Bailey actually covered this recently. It’s less; ‘millions of monkeys typing’ and more; “Young monkey’s learning to type while the old monkeys who refuse to believe in typing die off until the species evolves/progresses to the point where typing is just accepted.”

        4. What breakthroughs were accomplished by young people too stupid to know that they couldn’t do what they were about to do? Every single major breakthrough in physics that I can think of resulted as a matter of either careful considerations of the limitations of previous theories, applications of new theoretical tools to old problems, or measurement of new phenomena.

          1. Yeah, I don’t think that it is ever as random as implied above. There is often guessing involved (famously in quantum mechanics), but it is highly educated guessing.

      2. Presumable over the next 15 years, young people will get less young and more knowledgeable. Though I agree that it is a weird thing to say. For one thing, currently young people will be involved in pretty much everything that happens over the next 15 years.

        Anyway, a breakthrough new technology would be great. But we do already have some excellent and very safe nuclear plant designs ready to go that haven’t been put into wide use yet.

  2. Maybe Bill should build a TerraPower prototype plant to power the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation building across the street from Seattle Center. It could use it.

    (Damn but that is a nice complex, though.)

    1. I think Bill Gates should do everything he can to be like Iron Man. So I fully support this idea.

    2. Bill Gates just came out in favor of the FBI in their fight with Apple. He is now officially a fucking asshole.

      1. Bill’s been an asshole for a while, dude. The days of him getting pulled over for speeding on the I-90 bridge in his sports car because he’s a 20-something gajillionaire are long over.

        1. It is hard to imagine that this is the same Bill Gates who metaphorically and damn near literally gave the DOJ the middle finger in the late 90s.

      2. He is now officially Tony Stark – even down to the side he picks in Civil War.

  3. It’s called molten salt thorium reactors and we could have them now if it wasn’t for the enviro-whiners. But he’s probably counting on fusion, which will still be unacceptable to the e-whiners.

    1. In 20 years, fusion will be 20 years away.

      1. Ha! Probably, but they have to solve this at some point.

        1. MSR, however, is viable and could even be privately financed to be operation inside of 5 years. If Gates was serious and not just paying the liberal Danegeld, this is what he would be financing.

      2. I worked on a laser fusion project 30 years ago and we were always this close to break-even.

        They are still that close today.

        … Hobbit

      3. Fusion, success is only 5 years away… and always will be.

        1. The gigantic government-financed fusion projects are not likely to result in viable reactors anytime soon. They’re a combination of makework for plasma physicists and a means of doing thermonuclear weapons testing without actually blowing any up. NIF, for instance, is not a failure to the DOE, even though it never achieved the fusion energy goals sold to taxpayers; they can still do weapons physics tests there.

          On the other hand, there are a number of very clever, non-tokamak, non-ICF ideas without a weapons fallback being pursued by a number of private enterprises. If major progress is made, it will be be the private sector.

    2. Oops, looks like TerraPower is a MSR.

      1. No, it’s a liquid sodium cooled fast reactor.

        1. It’s a desert topping!

              1. It’s a floor wax and a dessert topping!!

                1. It’s both!
                  Husband: Tastes great
                  Wife: And look at that shine.

    3. The only thing acceptable to the enviro-whiners is for people to return to a hunter-gatherer state of existence – except for themselves of course.

      1. Well, if it weren’t for capitalism, nobody would be poor. So there’s that.

        Everybody knows that human beings were better off before the Industrial Revolution. Going back to burning down forests to stay warm and to cook our food will be vastly better for the environment than cheap fossil fuels. We might even decimate the whale population again to give us light for our log cabins.

  4. And it will be called “nuclear power.”

    1. That’s “nucular”, smart guy.

    2. And just like the original nuclear power, the new and improved nuclear power plants will be built and then allowed to slowly crumble over 40 as nobody can afford to maintain them.

      1. It’s cute that you think they will be built.

      2. Because the government overregulates the hell out of them and keeps on changing safety requirements, despite the fact that we’ve had one commercial nuclear accident in history that killed and injured not a single person.

        1. Do you mean in the US because, Chernobyl?

          1. Yes. Chernobyl was in Soviet Russia and had a faulty design that never even existed here. It is physically impossible for that to happen here. Three Mile Island didn’t negatively effect anybody’s health, except for the stress effects from the irrational fear of radiation. There have been no measurable health effects from Fukushima radiation as well, and even bad scenarios predict a few hundred extra cancers above background levels over the next few decades. Compare that to the 12,000 people died in the tsunami and earthquake.

  5. Shit in one hand and wish for an energy miracle to fall into the other. Guess which one fills up first?

    1. You’re just a shill for Big Bio-Waste Energy!

  6. I heard an interview with him today. It was kind of discombobulated. I wish he’d stop comparing the research of alternative energy to a ‘moonshot’, the description isn’t apt, and it’s been pointed out many times why, so I won’t repeat it.

    Also, while I understand it was a softball interview of a tech “luminary” where he got to push out empty platitudes, he made statements which didn’t jibe with each other.

    On the one hand, he said that liquid (gasoline) was incredibly energy dense which is what makes it such a great energy source. A few minutes earlier he said that the internal combustion engine won out over other technologies– and he said it in a way that suggested it was just some kind of marketing trick or accident that it won out over electric.

    1. We’re apparently stuck with “moonshot” as an analogy for any big R&D project, just like we’re stuck with “watergate” as a descriptor for any political scandal.

      1. Well, Republican scandals. Democrat scandals are just old and fake.

  7. Yup, more oil.

  8. Will it run on Windows?

  9. “public-private partnership between governments, research institutions, and investors. Scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs can invent and scale the innovative technologies that will limit the impact of climate change while providing affordable and reliable energy to everyone.” Gates is a believer in the role of government in subsidizing energy innovation and argues that such R&D spending needs to be tripled in the U.S. from $5 billion to $15 billion per year.

    The “public” part of the partnership is what scares me. It tends to distort and hide the inefficiencies of a particular system that often ends up costing more, doing less, but that fact is hidden because of subsidies.

    1. It also corrupts the private and when things go bad it gives them the scapegoat of pointing fingers at each other but in the end the taxpayer and customers get the bill.

      1. Feature, not bug

        1. Unfortunately, government is the ultimate judge, jury and executioner on who’s fault it ultimately is. Funny that.

      2. The scary thing about public-private partnerships is that they are, in general, no more dysfunctional than “public-public partnerships” (i.e. the government’s myriad agencies and bureaucrats), but with the former, you get to see the dirty laundry aired and there are contractual obligations that can be enforced in court.

  10. “As examples of the type of research that might produce energy miracles, Gates cites work in which carbon dioxide is transformed into liquid fuels.”

    Shut up, Bill… Unicorn farts are my idea.

    1. Wet farts. We need the liquids.

      1. Unicorn piss.

    2. Gates cites work in which carbon dioxide is transformed into liquid fuels.”

      Why does that sound like a net consumer of energy to me?

      1. That’s actually kind of irrelevant. Fossil fuels *are* net consumers of energy – its just the energy input was over a long time and a long time ago.

        As an *energy transport* mechanism its possible to use solar/wind/hydro/nuclear – sited in the places most appropriate to their type – to collect and store energy in hydrocarbon fuels which are then distributed through the already existing infrastructure.

        *Technically* this could be carbon neutral as the carbon in the fuel is scavenged from the atmosphere – where the carbon in your exhaust is going for no net increase in CO/CO2.

        No need to build solar plants in New Hampshire, no need to build expensive energy storage facilities to handle the night and low input days, just build them in the Sahara desert, create the fuel, ship it to the power plants/consumers as we do now.

        1. Not the Sahara – that’s just more defense money getting pissed away dealing with unstable, barbaric regimes.

          1. That’s *why* its in the Sahara. You don’t think defense contractors aren’t going to keep getting their slice of the pie do you?

        2. That’s actually kind of irrelevant. Fossil fuels *are* net consumers of energy – its just the energy input was over a long time and a long time ago.

          Yeah, yeah, Mr. Pedant.

          As an *energy transport* mechanism its possible to use solar/wind/hydro/nuclear – sited in the places most appropriate to their type – to collect and store energy in hydrocarbon fuels which are then distributed through the already existing infrastructure.

          I’m looking for the total energy budget, and I don’t care about sunshine million of years ago. How much of “our” energy is going to go into producing each of these units of CO2-based energy? Dust-to-dust – don’t pretend that solar and wind don’t consume energy to get into, and keep in, operation.

          We’ve already got energy transport, after all. Would these be more efficient than what we have now? If not, why waste our time?

          1. Because

            1. *technically* the current hydrocarbon economy is limited. Shifting to hydrocarbon *production* from hydrocarbon *extraction* shifts that limit . . . several billion years in the future.

            2. If global warming has a significant anthropogenic cause then this effectively eliminates that input as its carbon neutral while still keeping all the advantages of a hydrcarbon energy economy.

            3. The ‘total energy’ consumption numbers are going to come out horribly skewed towards the status quo simply because in that scenario you’re not counting the energy needed to produce the already existing hydrocarbon reserves but you are counting the costs of the new production facilities.

            4. The difference in cost between what we’re doing now and what I’ve outlined isn’t important at all. The cost of the change-over is all that’s important. That can then be weighed against the cost of fuel extraction (if fuel extraction costs rise then fuel production starts to look more attractive) or the costs of ‘climate change’.

            At what point do the costs of climate change exceed the costs of mitigation efforts – is a question no climate scientist or politician likes to hear. The idea that its entirely possible to bankrupt ourselves to maintain the current temperature or that we may be better off letting things ride and dealing with a warmer but richer future where we’re better able *then* to do what’s needed to deal with climate change – that’s anathema to activists.

  11. He may be right. I think he is, but I have been waiting for nuclear power for far too long to be optimistic.

    However, by declaring himself on the side of an expanding economy and growth, he has just become the sworn enemy of the Greenies.

    1. This. Any true energy miracle will be opposed by the standard bearers of environmentalists because their goal is not to protect or preserve the environment, but to reintegrate humanity into the unaltered environment.

      1. “…reintegrate humanity…”

        The euphemisms for “culling” get me all hot and bothered.

        1. I thought it was a euphemism for ‘mulching’?

  12. Of course, as I reported recently, there are is a lot of effort and excitement in the nuclear power arena nowadays and it’s possible – with the right regulatory system – that nuclear power will cost less than burning fossil fuels.

    The oil companies will suppress this idea, much like they have suppressed all worthy environmental technologies.

    1. Why would they spend the money when they have the NRC?

    2. The foaming-at-the-mouth environmentalists and their media enablers are more responsible for the death of nuclear energy than the oil companies.

      1. Sarcasm, how the fuck does it work.

        1. Apparently not very well.

  13. The cost to produce a kilowatt of power in 2035 will be less than $800 (in 2015 dollars). I’m not sure that’s a “miracle,” but it’s good news for mankind.

    1. What is the cost now?

    2. *megawatt

      1. *megawatt-hour

        1. whatever, anybody know the cost now? Where did Tommy go?

          1. Got fried jiggering with his meter.

            1. I can’t say specific numbers but at my former employer, coal fired power plants could do it for about $23-$29/ MWh. Nukes were like $6-$8/ MWh.

              1. And we were *very* competitive.

            2. Above, Tommy seemed to be touting $800 as an attractive number in the year 2035.
              I’m having a confuse but maybe Tommy is having a bigger one.

              1. 800 factors in the cost of building the plant, not just generation

                1. “Weinberg and Young also estimated that the capital costs to build a new coal-fired power plant or new nuclear plant were both around $110 per kilowatt of generating capacity ($804 in 2015 dollars) and falling. The latest figures from the Energy Information Administration report that the overnight capital cost for a modern coal plant is $2,917 per kilowatt; for an advanced nuclear plant, it is $5,366 per kilowatt. In other words, the costs for coal plant have escalated 3.6-fold faster than the inflation rate, 6.7-fold faster for nuclear. In comparison, the capital costs for a conventional natural gas power plant stands now at $912 per kilowatt.”

        2. Yeah, I wish people would get power and energy straight and stop using them as if they are interchangeable.

  14. If we’re gonna have a miracle in the next 15 years, will Bill come out in support of coal- and oil-powered plants generating electricity to the third world and developing nations?

    Or does he stop think the people in those nations should live in abject poverty and half of them starve to death even though salvation is right around the corner?

  15. “The solution to future climate change”…….. Is the same as the solution to no future climate change. Just get on with your life because you will have no idea that the temperature of the earth is +/- 0.5* or that the sea level is up an inch.

  16. Within the next 15 years?and especially if young people get involved?I expect the world will discover a clean energy breakthrough that will save our planet and power our world.

    Someone should tell him nuclear is 50 years old.

    1. A-HA!

      I see what it is now:young people get involved

      Bill is touting for big hamster wheels.

      What’s old is what’s new!

  17. Gates cites work in which carbon dioxide is transformed into liquid fuels

    Atmospheric CO2? Because, otherwise, we already have something that does this…

    1. And if it is atmospheric, that sounds terrifying. The downsides to too little CO2 seem worse than the downsides to too much.

      1. #bringbackourfordexcursions

      2. If you make liquid fuels out of atmospheric CO2 when you burn them the CO2 goes back into the atmosphere.

        1. Duh. I feel stupid now.

        2. If you make liquid fuels out of atmospheric CO2 when you burn them the CO2 goes back into the atmosphere.

          Maybe. Regardless, we aren’t going to harness atmospheric CO2 for energy without mastering unicorn fart technology and, once we’ve mastered UFT, worrying about CO2 concentrations will be pointless.

          1. I harness atmospheric CO2 for energy to heat my house. It’s called wood.

      3. There is absolutely nothing to worry about because the technology that the link refers to will never make appreciable reductions in atmospheric CO2.

    2. Thermodynamics … how does it work?

      The link is to a site for a German outfit that is trying to use Nazi-era Fischer-Tropsch process technology with solar energy as the source of energy rather than combustion. It appears to be innovative, but hardly revolutionary. However, the concept of installing the process on aircraft for in-flight operation seems patently and unnecessarily absurd to me. Air travel already has enough safety issues without having a hydrogen generation plant onboard.

      Also, photosynthesis … how does it work?

      This seems a much more obvious route to reducing atmospheric CO2 content.

      1. Photosythesis is just a theory!

        Do I need a /sarc tag?

  18. Current versions of carbon-neutral energy, chiefly solar and wind power, are not adequate because the sun doesn’t always shine and wind doesn’t always blow

    More fundamentally, the energy density in wind and solar is too low for them to be realistic large-scale energy sources.

  19. In my newish book, The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty-first Century

    It’s practically fresh out of the womb by Reason standards. Gillespie pushes Declaration every chance he gets and it’s four years old.

    1. Wait, Gillespie wrote a book? Why has this not been pointed out on Reason before?!?

  20. Gasoline, kerosene, and diesel are by far the best transportation fuels ever for all but the largest of vehicles (think aircraft carrier or submarine for the exceptions.) There is no good reason for substitution unless the variable cost of electricity generation approaches zero or the state of peak oil is actualized.

    In the meantime, however, the use of fossil fuel for electricity generation, particularly coal, is by no means certain. US energy policy has favored coal and strongly discouraged nuclear since the Carter Administration. The policy preference for coal began crumbling during the Clinton Administration once fracking showed promise. The Obama Administration has reversed course on coal entirely, but its policy for substitution is unrealistic: support for nuclear is severely lacking. A serious energy policy with a view toward eliminating unnecessary disincentives to use nuclear for baseload electricity generation and research into better nuclear technologies would be helpful. But it wouldn’t appease the environmentalists who want “the warm glow of a wood fire” and to “take your atomic poison power away”. More importantly, it wouldn’t reward the right class of cronies, so forget about it.

  21. Maybe a turbine fired by burning government orders for Apple to break the encryption on “this one specific phone only” is the breakthrough he’s thinking of?

  22. Large-scale, inexpensive, clean energy is just over the horizon!

    What is the horizon? It’s an imaginary line that moves farther away the closer you get to it.

    1. It doesn’t move further away. With a clear line of sight, say on the ocean, it’s always 3 miles away.

  23. Maybe it won’t be a “Miracle”, and instead will be just like an obvious economic evolution the same way the slightly-more-than-100yr-old hydrocarbon energy markets themselves developed.

    Its not some top-fucking-down scientific mandate that needs Top Men and idealistic Yuthkculture to come into being. Its just “get the fuck out of the way and let the market respond to demands with new products” CRAZY, RIGHT?

    Pretending this is all some ‘revolution’ and ‘paradigm shift’ is just the stupid fucking marketing-language of rent-seeking proggies looking for subsidies for their latest boondoggle.

  24. Good article. Thanks.

    Gates expects a miracle, because it’s now a miracle that is required.

    “Scientists say that to avoid these dramatic long-term changes to the climate, the world must cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80 percent by 2050, and eliminate them entirely by the end of the century.”

    He says he asked scientists if we just couldn’t cut emissions by 50% and he says they ALL said no, that it will have to get to zero. And that the effort has to begin now. And all of that would be a miracle.

    1. It would take a miracle for people to get over their fear of nuclear power. The tech is there.

      1. And there is no doubt Gates believes nuclear needs to be part of that miracle.

        And to underscore that need for a miracle, a study was released this week from Naional Academy of Sciences that says even if we quickly stop adding emissions, we are looking at a one foot to two feet rise in sea level. And if we do nothing, as much as 4 feet.

        http://www.scientificamerican……evel-rise/

        1. The US and EU could stop 100% emissions tomorrow and it would still have zero effect.

          You have no fucking idea what you’re talking about. China alone is going to ADD more new emissions in the next 50 years than the entirety of Western Civilization up until this point. The margin of error in current estimates of Chinese emissions is LARGER than the entire current emissions of the EU.

          The last time Beijing 6produced an official figure was in 2005, when it said its emissions stood at “approximately” 7.47 billion tonnes. And while it has promised that emissions will peak by 2030 at the latest, experts say the statistical uncertainty is so great that forecasts on what that peak means can vary from 11 to 20 billion tonnes a year.

          That margin is greater than the entire annual carbon footprint of Europe.”

          And the reason China still doesn’t have any official measure of those numbers is because they simply want to game them to pretend to comply with whatever bullshit schemes morons like you try and force on the West.

          Quit saying, “We” because it means nothing. Everything out of your piehole is meaningless mooing.

          1. “We” includes China. And everyone else.

            1. I’m sure China really sees you as a crucial component of their “We”, joe.

              You still dont have a fucking clue.

          2. Joe is still hoping for the Venezuela-style one-world government.

    2. joe, I’m surprised they let people as short as you into their envirocult. You’d think you’d have to be *this* tall to ride the cult roller coaster.

    3. “Scientists say….”
      “He says he asked scientists………they ALL said no…….”

      Where do these quotes come from? I read the original Gates article but didn’t find them.
      Just curious who these “scientists” are?

      1. Here is the quote from his letter:

        “When I first heard this I was surprised. Can’t we just aim to cut carbon emissions in half? I asked many scientists. But they ALL agreed that wouldn’t be enough.”

        1. That’s what I figured. Bill wrote a letter quoting some “scientists”. Impressive work there.

          1. Well of course he didn’t speak with every scientist. But of those he spoke with ALL agreed. Surely your not suggesting he is taking part in the climate conspiracy, right?

            1. Did the scientists he spoke with have any authority in the chaotic science of climate? Or were they like astronomers and psychologists who have an opinion on global warming?

              1. Ask Bill.

                1. “Ask Bill” How about you just shut the fuck up? Jackass.

                2. Hey Jackass, just because a man’s cock is in your mouth, doesn’t mean you have to believe everything he says.

        2. Well, yeah, if you ask CAGW fanboys, that’s exactly the answer you get.

          The mistake is regarding them as scientists.

          1. I see.

              1. Quick on the uptake.

  25. This miracle happened decades ago. It’s called nuclear energy.

  26. “Gates is a believer in the role of government in subsidizing energy innovation and argues that such R&D spending needs to be tripled in the U.S. from $5 billion to $15 billion per year.”

    Man, that Bill Gates is a true philanthropist isn’t he? I can’ think of any other reason a man as wealthy as gates would support increasing government subsidies.

    “Gates is the organizer of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition which is a “public-private partnership between governments, research institutions, and investors.”

    Altruistic to his very core, I’m sure.

  27. I’m probably just a typical denier, but I tend to be skeptical of anything described as a “miracle” that’s supposed to “save the world”.

    1. Does that mean you do not want to buy my latest acai berry-based super-pill?

      1. Only if my doctor doesn’t want me to know about it

        1. *Pharmaceutical companies hate this one simple new supplement!”

  28. Gates is a believer in the role of government in subsidizing energy innovation and argues that such R&D spending needs to be tripled in the U.S. from $5 billion to $15 billion per year.

    Gates is a weak-ass shill. If he was actually a believer, he could pony up the cash and take the place of the government in this partnership.

  29. Gates is the organizer of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition which is a “public-private partnership between governments, research institutions, and investors.

    Right, that way money flows into politically expedient yet counterproductive technologies and firms. Fuckin’ Solyndra, how does it work?

    1. Fuckin’ Solyndra, how does it work?

      Not hard enough, apparently.

      1. Beautifully, if you’re an owner.

        1. That was my understanding as I was being held on the ground while they emptied my wallet. I was told all the “owners” had to fork over to keep this thing running.

    2. “Fuckin’ Solyndra, how does it work?”

      It probably worked pretty well for most of the Solyndra executives and initial investors.

      It’s a feature not a bug.

    3. Keeping with the topic, that being Gates’ opinion, he addressed your silly concern about such a point:

      “Many of these ideas won’t work, but that’s okay. Each dead end will teach us something useful and keep us moving forward. As Thomas Edison famously said, “I have not failed 10,000 times. I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.”
      But to find thousands of ways that won’t work, you first need to try thousands of different ideas. That’s not happening nearly enough.”

      So expect more Solyndras. There were failed oil and gas companies too. Just ask GW Bush.

      1. Thomas Edison stole from his neighbors to fund his work?

      2. So expect more Solyndras. There were failed oil and gas companies too. Just ask GW Bush.

        I have no problem with a Solyndra that raises private funds and defrauds its willing investors.

        1. I have a problem with fraud.

          1. I especially have a problem when my investment dollars are taken at the point of a gun and then I’m predictably defrauded. Because in that case, there’s no one I can sue.

      3. So expect more Solyndras. There were failed oil and gas companies too. Just ask GW Bush.

        I love how you equate the creative destruction of free(ish) markets with plain ole destruction of government extortion. Solyndra’s business model was so good, it needed the government to force it’s investors to invest at gun point.

        I know you don’t trouble yourself with the ethics of using tax payers to enrich a company operating in bad faith, but even economically speaking there is no surer way to failure than for government to prop up a business. There is no doubt that the resources squandered by Solyndra could have been put to better use, like remaining in the pocket of those from whom it was stolen. And with Solyndra’s artificially cheap products in the market, how many viable technologies were slowed in their development or halted altogether? What do you care because something something BOOOOOOOSH.

        1. If only that argument resonated. I’m living in a city where the progressives are falling over themselves trying to figure out how to deal with a Homelessness Crisis, 100% of which happened on their watch all the while funding a completely inept and corrupt and utterly unused Bike Rental system to the tune of millions of dollars. And that only names one of a dozen transportation boondoggles.

          1. If only there was some way to convert reason and evidence into emotion and wishful thinking, we could solve the world’s retardation crisis in the next 15 years.

          2. How was the Seattle city council supposed to know there were steep hills in the city and that it rained 10 months out of the year?

            1. I thought he was talking about San Fran.

              1. Does it matter? Although the homeless problem in SF seems way worse than Seattle.

                1. $250 million a year buys you a lot of homeless people.

  30. Gates accepts the mainstream scientific projections that rising global temperatures resulting from unabated emissions of greenhouse gases would likely cause significant problems for humanity later in this century.

    KONSENSUSS!

  31. “World will discover a clean energy breakthrough that will save our planet and power our world.”

    BUT ONLY IF APPLE DOES WHAT THE GOVERNMENT TELLS THEM TO DO!

  32. “Within the next 15 years?and especially if young people get involved?I expect the world will discover a clean energy breakthrough that will save our planet and power our world.”

    That must be a typo.

    1. #bringusourenergybreakthrough

      1. It is endless, you have to admit.

  33. Better title:

    ” Worlds richest man to waste fortune on cult religious endeavors.”

  34. Conclusion: Who gives a flying fuck about what Bill Gates thinks?

    I’m embarrassed for REASON.

  35. I fully expect to see an electric car with a gas generator to charge the battery within the next fifteen years.

    1. But that involves CARBON!!! Can’t have that! You must pay a hipster a LIVING WAGE to peddle a stationary bike that will recharge the battery.

      1. They’ll even have an app so you can hire a hipster and his stationary bike whenever you need one. It’ll be part of the ‘sharing economy’ – but not a job, just one of his ‘projects’.

        1. Fuck that. National Service their asses onto those stationary bikes.

        2. Hey, Agammamon, you notice the words “sharing economy” are rapidly disappearing from the Zeitgeist? I have.

          1. Once they realized that ‘sharing economy’ really means ‘free market’ they ran back to Uncle Bernie.

  36. The climate change cult has little interest in practical solutions, or anything that doesn’t involve their cute little wind and solar farms with zero room for anything carbon or nuclear-based. This is fine if you don’t have to pay for your own heating, electricity, or transportation, which most of them probably don’t. Another thing that makes them throw hissy fits is the mere mention of removing CO2 from the atmosphere, since that could help mitigate global warming instead of making us pay for our past carbon-spewing sins.

  37. And if Microsoft is involved it’ll constantly crash, won’t support 3rd party SW, and will have to be constantly restarted because of automatic updates.

    1. The blackouts will be blue.

      1. You’ll be able to restart it using three fingers?

    2. While I can’t say anything about the constant crashes – its *Apple* that goes out of its way to not support third party software and constantly updates.

      1. There it is! The classic fan boy comment injection. Here comes a stream of Apple VS. Microsoft comments and the lone Linux guy. Expect it to splinter off into Android VS. Apple and maybe even Xbox VS. PS4

        1. Flame war like it’s 1999.

  38. “The better course would be to establish a level playing field by eliminating all energy subsidies and incentives and letting the cheapest technologies developed by innovators win in the marketplace”

    Get rid of patents too?

    That is also a government incentive.

    I’m in favor of spending 10 times what they’re suggesting as a matter of defense and security spending to bankrupt the petrothugocracies and stop the envirototalitarians.

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