One of the top financiers for the project is none other than investment giant BlackRock, “the world’s largest investor in fossil fuels,” as characterized by The Australian Financial Review. BlackRock is giving the Gates project $100 million from its charitable arm, according to Bloomberg News. But here’s the kicker: After the BEC supplies the cash needed to get its eco-projects off the ground, Bloomberg News said, “debt financing and government funds can be raised to cover the remaining 90% of the cost.” This means taxpayer dollars will inevitably be sucked in to pay for the green pipe dreams of Gates.
Reuters: "The license holds metals such as nickel, copper, cobalt and platinum and the funding will cover evaluation and initial drilling. KoBold is a privately-held company whose principal investors include Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a climate and technology fund backed by Microsoft (MSFT.O) co-founder Bill Gates, Bloomberg founder Michael Bloomberg, Amazon (AMZN.O) founder Jeff Bezos, and Ray Dalio, founder of the world's largest hedge fund Bridgewater Associates."
One Georgia farmer and environmental advocate, John Quarterman, told NBC that while he expected that Gates would encourage more sustainable practices after buying farmland nearby, his acquisition of that land didn’t change much. And the National Farmers Union has suggested that the growing number of non-farmer owners like Gates buying up farmland — and renting it out — could lead to practices that hurt the environment: Short-term farmers who rent land are less likely to take long-term conservation steps, the organization argues, and non-farmer owners don’t have the experience to “understand the importance of protecting natural resources.”
Others have floated the opposite idea: that Gates’s massive investment in farmland might have a direct relationship to his other climate efforts. Newsweek, for instance, recently suggested his land ownership “may be connected to his investments in climate change agricultural developments and Impossible Foods,” though it didn’t offer much support for that premise. ...
More broadly, Gates and other wealthy buyers of farmland have also been criticized for contributing to the concentration of land ownership. Because they can usually make higher bids than what local farmers can afford, fewer people end up owning their own farmland. As University of New Mexico professor Nick Estes wrote for the Guardian in April, this results “in a greater push for monocultures and more intensive industrial farming techniques to generate greater returns,” while Indigenous people and small farmers “are more cautious with the use of land.”
NBC News Investigative Tech Reporter April Glaser in June 9, 2021 NBC News video segment: "Local farmers I spoke to in south Georgia and north Florida said Gates is doing the same thing that Big Ag did before he got there. He uses a lot of fertilizer that leaches into the rivers and causes big algae blooms." ...
"Bill Gates is not the one in overalls. He is not the one on the tractor doing the farming. He is the landlord here."
"Young farmers ....going up against billionaire investors. Who can compete with the likes of Bill Gates? More and more we are seeing farmers turn into renters." ... More farmland could be "gobbled up by investor class."
NBC News article:The trend worries young farmers who cannot compete with the likes of Bill Gates when buying land, according to Holly Rippon-Butler, a farmer in upstate New York and the land campaigns director at the National Young Farmers Coalition.
“If you’re looking at what this means for farmers on the ground looking to access land, there’s significant competition from nonfarmers, and that really affects young farmers because it means that the price that they’re trying to compete with on the marketplace is driven and determined by people who are not dependent on a farming income,” Rippon-Butler said. ... “Shell of a shell of a shell” - Public records suggest Cascade Investments has bought its farmland through a web of at least 22 limited liability shell companies across the country. These shell companies have made it difficult to find out where and how much farmland the Gateses own even for local farmers, like John S. Quarterman, a farmer and landowner who grows okra, corn, squash and other vegetables in Lowndes County on the southern edge of Georgia. ...
But some farmers whose land is adjacent to that of the Gateses have expressed disappointment that despite the couple’s wealth, they have not done more to preserve the environment.
2021 Scare: "Imagine seeing the Lincoln Memorial surrounded by churning Potomac waters, or only being able to access the Pentagon by boat...The Pentagon, accessible by boat...The Lincoln Memorial would eventually be on an island in the Potomac River, if world keeps burning fossil fuels."