Yes, that's right, Bill Gates is copying Mapawatt. He just started his blog (The Gates Notes) and Mapawatt has been around for almost a year now, so ipso facto he must be copying us. Ok... so I'm just dreaming, but I am excited to see his new blog, which has a large focus on sustainability and clean energy.
Since retiring from Microsoft Mr. Gates has been busy at work on the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. His new website/blog is a collection of his thoughts, experiences, and conversations as he travels the world talking to some of the brightest minds in existence. I can't imagine another person (who isn't the President of the U.S.) who has a greater capability to do good on this earth than Bill Gates does at this moment in time.
His site is composed of 6 main sections:
- What I'm thinking about
- What I'm learning
- My travels
- Curious classroom
- Infrequently asked question
In the "What I'm thinking about section" Bill has an article about sustainable farming in developing countries where he states:
At a time of rising population and climate change, we need both organic solutions that promote sustainability and the technological approaches that increase productivity – and there is no reason we can’t have them both.
In the "What I'm learning" section he writes about the energy related books he's been reading by Vaclav Smil (who I've never heard about but now I must go read). I was thrilled to see him discuss the best energy book out there, Sustainable Energy: Without the hot air, because I have a whole post related to this excellent book.
In his section on "Infrequently asked question" he responds to the question on why he doesn't seem to be doing more about Global Warming by saying:
In my work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, I think about energy in terms of how it can help the poorest people. If you can have cheap energy where people live, then you can have fertilizer, transportation, and clean water, along with the ability to assume that there’s electricity for a medical clinic. Among other things, that means you can keep vaccines refrigerated.
From this point of view, energy is a huge issue. Understanding how we’re going to change things so it will help the people who are the worst off is extremely important and it is a very interesting and difficult challenge.
I’m a believer that whenever markets can work, that’s where you will find the best answers because you’ll get entrepreneurs from all over the world who can pursue thousands and thousands of ideas in parallel. Depending on how you measure it, energy is probably the biggest market in the world. That means somebody can make a risky bet and try it, and you have clear metrics of success. So if you have a promising idea about sequestering carbon, or a cheap nuclear plant, or solar photovoltaic, you can get the capital to build plants, to hire people, and to demonstrate whether it works at scale.
Which isn't a direct response to the question, but is very similar to our point of view of Global Warming which we stated in "Fossil Fuel Reduction Strategy" and our post "I've solved Climate Change".
But what I like best about Bill Gates new blog is the fact that he is focused and committed to finding solutions that work related to energy and sustainable issues that can help the world become a much better place. Amen. It doesn't get much better than that.
So maybe Bill Gates isn't copying us. Maybe we're emulating him. I don't really care. If we both succeed in our goals everyone wins.