During an interview that aired this week on “Fox News Sunday,” Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates addressed climate change on the heels of the winter storm in Texas.
According to Gates, who recently published the book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster,” 2050 is the “soonest realistic date for the world to change” due to climate change.
Host Chris Wallace asked Gates to make his “best case” about climate change to those who question whether it is real and how much of it is manmade.
“[T]he change in the wind patterns is allowing those cold fronts to come down from Canada more often,” Gates explained. “There’s a pattern of wind that, … as it gets warmer, that breaks down. There’s no doubt that we’re putting CO2 into the atmosphere. There’s no doubt that that increases temperatures and that affects the weather. And so, the ill effects, whether it’s, you know, farming in Texas being changed or wildfires or coral reefs dying off, there’s, you know, super hard evidence of the ocean rising. I do think it’s fair that people have different views on the tactics to deal with climate change. In fact, you know, having both parties thinking about that is going to be very important as we go forward.”
He continued, “But this is a real challenge, and it’s great to see that particularly young Republicans are joining in and saying that this is something they care about, beyond their own individual success, morally preserving these ecosystems, allowing a livable planet — they care about that.”
“But critics say, you know, it’s easy to talk about getting off fossil fuels, it’s easy to talk about going to a plant-based diet, but the reality is that hundreds of thousands of people will lose their jobs — that the coal miners in West Virginia or the livestock ranchers in Nebraska will be wiped out,” Wallace stated.
“Well, it’s very important, as we solve this problem, that we not cause those community dislocations,” Gates replied. “You know, we have a 30-year transition period. The skill sets involved, whether it’s making clean hydrogen, sequestering CO2, the engineering skill sets, the things that those workers do, will be important. In fact, we’re going to have to almost triple the size of the electric grid and build all that transmission. And so, it’s not like there’s going to be a shortage of jobs overall — it’s just balancing to make sure that each community gets into the plan.”
He added, “The CO2 stays in the atmosphere for thousands of years, and that’s what forces the temperatures to go up. And so, it’s really the sum of all those emissions starting in the industrial age that’s causing this temperature forcing with all of its ill effects. You know, there’s no magic date that it’s all great until then, and it’s terrible once you cross that threshold. It’s pretty linear as far as we know. 2050 happens to be the soonest realistic date for the world to change all of these source emissions — which are actually quite broader than most people are aware of because it’s got things like steel and cement, not just cars and electricity.”