Whatever you might think of him, Bill Gates is a man who knows a thing or two about a thing or two.
After all, he is the richest man in the world. And while money isn’t necessarily an indication of intelligence, he’s clearly doing something right.
(I don’t say this lightly either; I’ve been a loyal Apple user for 22 years, and even I can admit the guy’s had a few good ideas here and there.)
But when Gates says something like “We need an energy miracle,” he’s got my attention.
Gates recently sat down for a lengthy interview with The Atlantic about energy, the economy, and innovation.
Specifically, he talks about the relationships between research and development (R&D) and public versus private funding and how a historical look at the radical advancements in cancer treatment, the Internet, and more could serve as a guide for the future of the clean energy industry.
Sure, there are some people who have interpreted the article as an attempt by Gates to justify his refusal to divest from anything related to the fossil fuel industry. But at least in this case, he’s putting his money where his mouth is.
The whole interview is worth a read. It’s an eye-opening look at the intersections of energy and economics.
A lot of the issues he addresses about the current climate threat boil down to the never-ending debate between public and private sectors, between capitalism and socialism. But as Gates rightly points out, those issues are not nor have they ever been black and white.
(Gates does, of course, point out that companies like IBM and Google are the random flukes that keep the venture capital machine going.)
If you want to make a difference, join us in demanding that our world leaders take action at the upcoming Paris climate talks.
Maybe that way we won’t be have to choose between cash or the survival of the human race as our only two choices for return-on-investment. Because if “life itself” is not incentive enough to inspire innovation, what else is left to do?