Bill Gates is out with a new book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need.
He is hitting the talk show circuit promoting the book and the idea that the planet is headed for a major climatological disaster that will end the human species.
Setting aside as to whether or not there is some climatological disaster developing, Gates’ book should really be named “How I Plan to Make Even More Billions By Getting Governments to Fund Every Mad Scheme I Have Invested In”.
Gates would like for you to think of him as the sweater-wearing billionaire next door.
The only association he lists on his LinkedIn page is the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
In reality, he is running vast enterprises in many sectors of the economy.
He has even invested in a company that is trying to produce lab-made “breast” milk.
He is now the owner of more farmland than anyone else in the United States:
No doubt the plan is to turn the land into producing crops that will be the ingredients of the fake hamburgers that he says rich countries must adopt.
Since he runs his operations privately, it is difficult to know everything he is invested in but it appears that everything he is promoting that is visible (along with his demands for government action) is usually tied up with massive personal investments made by him.
One sector where he has vast investments, that may be too difficult to hide since he has brought on too many billionaire buddies as partners, is the energy sector. With so many partners, something might leak so he is being a bit transparent about these investments.
He even mentions offhandedly his energy enterprise, Breakthrough Energy, in his new book and reports how he roped in his billionaire pals to join him, curiously, just before the Paris Agreement was signed:
In September, two months before the Paris conference started, I emailed two dozen wealthy acquaintances, hoping to persuade them to commit venture funding to complement the government’s new money for research. Their investments would need to be long-term – energy breakthroughs that can take decades to develop – and they would have to tolerate a lot of risk. To avoid the potholes that the venture capitalists had run into, I committed to help build a focus team of experts who would vet the companies and help them navigate the complexities of the energy industry.
I was delighted by the response. The first investor said yes in less than 4 hours. By the time the Paris conference kicked off two months later, 26 more had joined, and we had named it the Breakthrough Energy Coalition. Today, the organization now known as Breakthrough Energy includes philanthropic programs, advocacy efforts, and private funds that have invested in more than 40 companies with promising ideas.
Note he is clearly talking about investments here and not non-profit donations.
So just who might be in this group that Gates summoned via email to send checks?
Breakthrough Energy lists as among its investors:
- Jeff Bezos, (founder of Amazon and owner of The Washington Post)
- Saudi billionaire HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal
- Michael Bloomberg, founder and owner of Bloomberg News
- Richard Branson
- The manager of the largest hedge fund in the world, Ray Dalio
- Reid Hoffman, co-founder of Linked-In
- Abigail P. Johnson, chairman of the parent company of the Fidelity mutual fund company
- Jack Ma of Alibaba Group
- David Rubenstein of The Carlyle Group
- Ben & Lucy Ana Walton (WalMart)
- Allison Zelman, Director, U.S. Policy and Advocacy, has worked in three Presidential cycles, in senior roles on the Hillary Clinton campaign and both Obama Presidential campaigns. She founded the Obama Alumni Association and lives in Washington, D.C.
- Conor Hand, Manager, U.S. Policy and Advocacy, among other work has done stints with Bernie 2016, and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
- Robin Millican, Director, U.S. Policy and Advocacy, was a senior strategy consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton.
- Abigail Regitsky, Senior Associate, U.S. Policy and Advocacy, was professional staff for the majority on the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis
- Cristina Shoffner, Associate, U.S. Policy and Advocacy, worked as policy advisor to U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow and Senate Democratic Leadership and prior to her Senate work, she was appointed to the White House Council on Environmental Quality under President Obama.
- 1366 Technologies, a solar wafer company
- 75F, a smart sensor company
- Arnergy, replaces foosil fuel generators with modularized solar +lithium ion storage systems in emerging markets
- Baseload Capital, invests in sustainable heat power plants
- Biomilq, cultured breastmilk production
- Boston Metal, produces steel with less CO2 emissions
- C16, produces sustainable alternatives to palm oil using biotechnology
- Carbon Cure, decarbonizes concrete
- CommonWealth Fusion Systems, fusion energy
- DMC, microbial fermentation
- enVerid, an air quality company
- ESS, specializes in a “cleaner future”
- Fervo Energy, a geothermal energy company
- Form Energy, long duration energy storage
- KoBold Metals, increases “ethical” supply of battery storage
- Lilac Solutions, transforming lithium production from brine resources to enable exponential growth of electric vehicles
- Malta, grid scale energy storage
- Max, building technology infrastructure and financial services for urban mobility in Africa
- Motif, A food ingredients company offering sustainable alternative proteins and ingredient solutions for innovative food producers
- Natel Energy, Delivering sustainable, reliable, renewable energy from moving water with innovations that restore and reconnect watersheds
- Natures Fynd, a food tech company producing a new-to-the-world sustainable protein
- Pachama, unlocking the full potential of forests to remove carbon using AI and satellites
- Pivit Bio, a new source of nitrogen for regenerative agriculture
- Quantumscape, reinventing the battery for electric vehicles
- Quidnet, powers the carbon-free electric grid with long duration Geomechanical Pumped Storage
- Redwood, building a sustainable future by creating circular supply chains, turning waste into profit and solving the environmental impacts of new products.
- Sierra Energy, “The path to zero waste”
- Source, perfect water for every person in every place by making drinking water an unlimited resource around the world.
- SparkMeter offers grid-management solutions that enable utilities in emerging markets to run financially-sustainable, efficient, and reliable systems.
- ZeroAvia, “the first practical zero-emission aviation powertrain.”