Smart People Say Dumb Things: Bill Gates Edition

Bill Gates has written a bookHow to Avoid a Climate Disaster. Unfortunately, the book is a disaster. He doesn’t get past the introduction before making mistakes that negate the rest of the book. He claims Carbon Dioxide emissions must be reduced to zero to avoid a climate disaster. Assuming that CO2 can even cause a climate disaster, about half the CO2 emitted every year is reabsorbed by the Earth – by the oceans and by plants. Thus, you don’t need zero, a fifty percent reduction would stop the rise of CO2 in the atmosphere. It is vastly more difficult to cut out all emissions compared to cutting them in half.

Gates claims we have to deploy solar and wind faster and smarter. I wrote a book about wind and solar with the title: Dumb Energy. There is no smart deployment of wind and solar. They are very dumb and very, very expensive. It is routine for solar to cost five times more than electricity from natural gas. Heavy solar deployment makes it even more expensive due to the use of auxiliary batteries.

Gates says we need to create and roll out breakthrough technologies. That’s called the pie in the sky.

Bill Gates strikes me as a good guy, especially compared to the nasty guys running Apple, Facebook, and Twitter. He is sincerely trying to help the poor people of the world through his foundation. He is simply out of his depth on climate and is probably talking only to the promoters of climate disaster. There are plenty of scientists that are climate skeptics.

You might think that having a lot of money frees one from the chains imposed by the need to please one’s employer, friends, family, and social group. But, rarely do rich people take unpopular positions. Trump is one of the few. Rich people are as much slaves to political fashion as anyone else.

The same applies to scientists. It is unusual for a scientist to question popular wisdom among his peers. As for global warming, an employed scientist risks being fired if he expresses skepticism. Global warming fear is the source of vast funding for science. The hope is that giving money to the people that perpetrated the fraud can save us from it. Most of the scientists publicly skeptical of global warming are retired or otherwise independent of large institutions that hate dissent.

Gates repeats a fallacious theory that has been debunked many times.

“How do greenhouse gases (mostly CO2) cause warming? The short answer: They absorb heat and trap it in the atmosphere. They work the same way a greenhouse works—hence the name.”

Global warming theory is far more complicated than greenhouses. But we should note that the owners of greenhouses often install CO2 generators to make plants grow better and faster. CO2 greatly benefits agriculture.

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