Bill and Melinda Gates write an annual letter about the challenges they see facing the developing world. It’s a good read. This year’s missive is titled “We didn’t see this coming.” That’s totally appropriate for the last few years, wouldn’t you say?
Bill Gates and I disagree on many things, politically, but I do realize he’s a very, very smart guy who made a lot of money, and practically single-handedly built the personal computer sector of the world economy. (Sorry, Apple, though I type this on my MacBook Pro, Apple was a gumdrop and Gates built the Rock Candy Mountain.)
On the topic of climate change, Bill is a big supporter of zero emissions. So is AOC and her cadre of greenies. And actually, so am I, and a great many conservatives. Where we, and Gates, differ from the socialists is how the world gets there.
Gates, in three sentences, smacks down the Green New Deal with a fist of reality.
It’s not realistic to think that people will simply stop using fertilizer, running cargo ships, building offices, or flying airplanes. Nor is it fair to ask developing countries to curtail their growth for the sake of everyone else. For example, for many people in low- and middle-income countries, cattle are an essential source of income and nutrients.Gates Notes 2019 Annual Letter
(As an aside, it’s funny to me to see every major thinker in America eventually being forced to write about “cow farts” including Gates. I’m still waiting for President Trump to broach the subject, unless he already has and I missed it.)
So…if it’s not realistic to think that people will simply stop living as modern humans, and that less developed nations will stop developing, what is realistic?
Part of the solution is to invest in innovation in all five sectors so we can do these things without destroying the climate. We need breakthrough inventions in each of the grand challenges.
No socialist government in history has made breakthrough inventions in grand challenges. Yes, the Soviets had very good scientists, engineers, mathematicians and even writers. But they wasted tens of millions of brains in a dead-eyed, grey nightmare existence, or sent them to the firing squad.
Meanwhile, capitalist America, with our inequity of wages, unequal distribution of wealth, top-down, country-club Republican financiers, and union-busting down-with-the-workers-paradise industrialists…America has fed the world, invented every bit of the modern technical world, ushered in the information age, and provided enough capital to lift itself and most of the people of Earth out of cycles of poverty and disease.
The path to breakthrough inventions and answers to grand challenges does not lie in government fiat or socialist central planning policies. It lies in the open market of ideas and the free application of capital to invest in those ideas. Gates knows this because he’s lived it.
Whether you believe in man-made climate change (global warming) or not, you can’t fall for the scare tactics and Chicken Little solutions of the far left, who want you to believe it so they can take control, not because it will solve anything. If socialists ran the world and climate change was everything the left was claiming it is, we’d all be doomed.
Gates has the right answer here. Private companies, innovation, and more capitalism is the answer to our climate challenges.
A story I read summarized a conversation in the White House between Gen. Westmoreland, Marine Gen. Victor Krulak, and President Lyndon Johnson. Krulak, an expert in counterinsurgency since World War II, advocated a classic strategy of engagement. Westmoreland wanted to get the NVA to come out and fight by inflicting unacceptable losses (“body count”). He reportedly said to Krulak, “your strategy will take too long.” Krulak replied “Yours will take forever.”
Gates is like Krulak, and the left (aided by the media) is going for a body count.