Michael Mann on COVID: "I see a perfect storm of climate opportunity. Terrible as the pandemic has been, this tragedy can also provide lessons, particularly on the importance of listening to the word of science when facing risks. That could be from medical scientists advising us on the need for social distancing to reduce the chances of contagion, or it could be from climate scientists recommending we cut carbon emissions to reduce the risk of climate catastrophe. There is also awareness of the deadliness of anti-science, which can be measured in hundreds of thousands of lives in the US that were unnecessarily lost because a president refused to implement policies based on what health scientists were saying. Out of this crisis can come a collective reconsideration of our priorities. How to live sustainably on a finite planet with finite space, food and water. A year from now, memories and impacts of coronavirus will still feel painful, but the crisis itself will be in the rear-view mirror thanks to vaccines. What will loom larger will be the greater crisis we face – the climate crisis.?
Mann on Gates: "I disagree with him quite sharply on the prescription. His view is overly technocratic and premised on an underestimate of the role that renewable energy can play in decarbonising our civilisation...Gates writes that he doesn’t know the political solution to climate change. But the politics are the problem buddy. If you don’t have a prescription of how to solve that, then you don’t have a solution and perhaps your solution might be taking us down the wrong path."
Mann on Greta: "I am very supportive of Greta. At one point in the book, I point out that even she has at times been a victim of some of this bad framing.
'A massive high-level influence operation promoting the Gates 'the world is coming to an end' theme with a slew of billionaires backing the operation'
Gates 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:
When such an investor attempts to sway governments to move the entire world, through regulation, in a direction that will benefit him that is a different story. It appears we are at the "different story" stage when it comes to Bill Gates.
"I think it's just an ideology of central planning and they're always looking for justifications. The COVID lockdowns have been a great one to advance central planning as we've seen the last year. But the climate is an enduring one and I'm sure COVID will be too. But it's an enduring one of what their natural instinct is — they don't like the idea, the messiness of human freedom and living. They want to put us all in cities, they want to pack us in, they want to have us own nothing... and they want... to regulate literally every aspect of our lives.”
MIT Technology Review: Bill Gates: Rich nations should shift entirely to synthetic beef - Bill Gates: "I do think all rich countries should move to 100% synthetic beef. You can get used to the taste difference, and the claim is they’re going to make it taste even better over time. Eventually, that green premium is modest enough that you can sort of change the [behavior of] people or use regulation to totally shift the demand." ... Gates: “I mean, these are good things – in fact, buying Beyond Burgers [a plant-based “meat” company that Gates invests in] actually drives demand, which will get the quality up and the rate premium down, so consumer behavior is important.
COVID/Climate Connection: Gates points out that the experience of the pandemic bears “strong connections” to what will happen if we don’t address the climate emergency...“There’s no simple thing like get a vaccine and the nightmare ends. You’re talking about replacing every steel and cement factory, everything you do with electricity and transportation, even food. It’s way broader, and the time to do these large-scale things is way longer.”
Bill Gates: "It’s true that my carbon footprint is absurdly high. For a long time I have felt guilty about this. Working on this book has made me even more conscious of my responsibility to reduce my emissions; shrinking my carbon footprint is the least that can be expected of someone in my position. In 2020, I started buying sustainable jet fuel and will fully offset my family’s aviation emissions in 2021...I am aware that I’m an imperfect messenger on climate change. The world is not exactly lacking in rich men with big ideas about what other people should do, or who think technology can fix any problem. I own big houses and fly in private planes – in fact, I took one to Paris for the climate conference, so who am I to lecture anyone on the environment?
I plead guilty to all three charges. I can’t deny being a rich guy with an opinion."
Sean Sublette, a meteorologist at Climate Central, who pointed out that the 1960s through 2010s saw between one and three storms each decade before the June 1 start date on average. It might be tempting to ascribe this earlier season entirely to climate change warming the Atlantic. But technology also has a role to play, with more observations along the coast as well as satellites that can spot storms far out to sea.
“I would caution that we can’t just go, ‘hah, the planet’s warming, we’ve had to move the entire season!’” Sublette said. “I don’t think there’s solid ground for attribution of how much of one there is over the other. Weather folks can sit around and debate that for awhile.” Earlier storms don’t necessarily mean more harmful ones, either.
"Hotter long-term temperatures have already had a negative impact on the diet diversity of children all across the world. The researchers found that hotter temperatures, both long-term averages and short-term anomalies, were significantly correlated with low diet diversity in five of the six regions studied."