How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Brought to you by Penguin.
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, shares what he has learnt in more than a decade of studying climate change and investing in innovations to address climate problems. He explains how the world can work to build the tools it needs to get to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions - investing in research, inventing new technologies and deploying them quickly at a large scale. Gates is optimistic that the world can prevent the worst impacts of the climate crisis.
This is a visionary and inspiring book by one of the world's most celebrated public figures.
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|Listening Length||7 hours and 11 minutes|
|Narrator||Bill Gates, Wil Wheaton|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||16 February 2021|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 524 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
1 in Environmental Pollution Engineering
1 in Weather Science
1 in Environmental Science (Books)
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Top reviews from Australia
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am very glad to own a copy. It is strongly recommended.
The books says that CC will be bad and that we can stop it if we get to zero net carbon by 2050. This is a prediction with which I intuitively do not agree. I understand the science but the science is thin. Normally in the engineering world I inhabit I can calculate a useful result given initial conditions. That is applied science. Climate Change on the other hand relies on data models, data analytics and risk management. If Steve Jobs or Elon Musk let risk advisors run their companies they would not produce anything. So in my view CC is just the politics of risk abatement. The politics of fear.
BUT Bill Gates book is very useful because it actually explains the real effort, real cost and points to the improbability that carbon will be controlled. For the discerning reader it will show that coal for instance is only 20% of the problem. It should be a real eye opener for the climate activist. Required reading for youth who want to jump on the CC band waggon.
Now, that’s my comments to support for what Bill & his Team are doing.
For the contents of the book, it is without a mandatory read. Especially for those whom know about climate change but do not how exactly how complex and complicated the problem is at solving. I am glad to verify the knowledge I already had with this text, and also learn more nuanced and critical details about it.
Highly recommend reading and sharing.
Top reviews from other countries
So after blindly accepting, the consensus position on climate science he then proceeds to tell us what we must do to combat his hypothesized scourge of climate change. Later he implores the governments of the world to unite in forcing us to do what he wants.
In my opinion, this is a very shallow look at a complex topic. It is more of a propaganda pamphlet than a serious book. Bill Gates should do his homework for his next book. Not recommended.
Bill Gates goes for the much more practical, “So what can we do about it now?” approach. This book is basically his plan to cut our carbon emissions from 51 billion tonnes to zero by 2050. That’s it in a nutshell. If we don’t then, like a bath, with even just a slow dripping tap, we’ll end up overflowing and facing some of the consequences that Wallace-Wells laid out in his earlier work.
To do this, in this enormously readable book, Gates takes us through where the emissions come from, and examines ways to work through each of those sectors, which he breaks down into making things, plugging in, growing things, getting around and keeping warm and cool.
He tackles each in turn, although he notes that we spend a lot of time thinking about “getting around” – aka transport – which accounts for 16% of net emissions, but not so much on making steel and concrete. The food industry also gets a good look-in.
Gates is putting his money where his mouth is. Throughout the book he talks about the various companies he’s invested in. This could sound a bit, “Aren’t I clever?” but it doesn’t. He’s just being practical. It comes from the work he and his wife Melinda have carried out through their Gates Foundation in doing very practical things like fighting malaria. So he’s constantly referring to people he’s met, and businesses he’s keenly following.
And throughout, he is very pragmatic. Only a few of us are willing – or even able – to pay a “Green Premium” for some of life’s essentials. He readily acknowledges that the lower the income you are in, the bigger a proportion of your overall costs something like transport will be. So paying even a small premium is simply not affordable. He’s also very aware that the big growth in greenhouse gases is likely to come from developing parts of the world where billions are coming to expect the same kinds of middle-class lifestyles that Americans and Europeans have experienced.
So, what are the solutions? Well, this isn’t really a list of things that you or I can do directly – assuming neither of us is a world leader. There are some of those things, but this is more about policy as well as corporate and governmental support and investment. When we buy the cheapest concrete or steel, there is no carbon-cost attached to it. There’s no incentive to use the greener materials.
And where there are financial incentives, they don’t necessarily help. The energy industry is rife with them, but they protect the enormously cheap fossil fuel industry. On the other hand, laws might make it ridiculously hard to build things like windfarms (a particular problem, seemingly, in the US).
There are things which make you raise your eyebrows a bit. Gates doesn’t believe that just planting lots of trees will fix things. He’s got nothing against trees but I think sees them as a too simplistic solution that will require ongoing care to payback their investment over centuries. He is a big proponent of nuclear fuel, pointing out that while wind and solar energy are fantastic, they don’t provide consistent power. And even though at heart, Gates is a technologist through and through, he doesn’t see battery technology meaningfully moving on, which causes difficulties if you need to store vast amounts of power to even out supply on windless or cloudy days.
Some will look at Gates, flying around in his private jet and wonder if he really practices what he preaches? He acknowledges his own shortcomings, but I think this book shows that he is indeed putting his money where his mouth is.
Getting to net zero will not be easy, as he repeats throughout, but it’s achievable and he’s laid out a plan to get us there.