Bill Gates's New Mission: Zero CO2 Emissions

At the TED Conference last year Bill Gates unleashed a swarm of mosquitoes to demonstrate a point about malaria. This year, he's taking on CO2 in a big way. And he brought fireflies.

The bugs were Gates' example of a living "energy miracle" - the kind we'll need to solve the enormous energy problems that face mankind. Some perspective, from his speech: even if we were to maximise energy efficiency and limit the impact of population size, we'd still be emitting 13 billion tons of carbon annually from energy production.

So what's his solution? First: excluding coal and natural gas altogether from our energy future. Instead, the focus needs to be on carbon capture, nuclear, wind and solar power. In particular, Gates singled out depleted uranium supplies as having the potential to power the US for centuries. The technology is possible; it's just not being funded.

Despite advances in nuclear power - and particularly the regulation thereof - the idea of nuclear energy still makes Americans skittish. So if Gates is serious about wanting this to happen, he's going to have to do more than open up his wallet. He's going to have to change our perception entirely. [CNN Tech]

WATCH MORE: Science & Health News


    I really wish that Governments were more open to different energy technologies. Like Thorium its more effienct its waste is less dangerous because it doesn't last as long and the factory's are even smaller leaving a smaller footprint. And you literally use TONS less Thorium then you use Uranium. There has been studies that it is sound tech and it would WORK but it was discovered a little to late and everyone had jumped on the Nuclear bandwagon.

      Actually Uranium is used because it can be enriched into Plutonium-239

    Bravo, Bill Gates! And thank you. Perhaps your worldwide clout will get something moving in Washington, where the coal industry lobbyists, for one, is so persuasive-or perhaps I should say "pervasive," that Obama keeps repeating the lie about "clean coal." There ain't no such thing. I am 100% behind what Gates has said except for the nuclear thing...Chernobyl & Three Mile Island come to mind; but solar, wind, we need to get going on these. Now, how to break through the lobbyists? Guess we gotta start by getting the money out of campaigns, huh?

    Well, if Obama, UN and Gore can't convince the world of the possible danger of Global Warming maybe Gates can?
    Yes, I also think nuclear is the answer, at least in the short term, despite it's unique security properties. What people in general don't understand is the immense energy density contained in nuclear material.
    Instead this complex matters ingite the primitive sense of fear for the "unknown" and it's inherent un-detectability by human senses. Yo can feel the smell of Gas but not of Uranium...
    But the long term use of gas may bring us to the brink of extinction or at least serious global unrest.
    That is the most important lesson who should be learned.
    Global scale fossil fuel burning experiments may be done on another planet than Earth.

    The most useful thing we can do as individuals is to cease the consumption of carbonated drinks. Companies such as Coca-Cola Amatil sell beveridges loaded with tons of CO2 every day and this gas is then gaily released into the atmosphere either through release of pressure or consumption. We cannot complain about coal fired power stations whilst doing this.
    A simple Google search reveals experiments showing "massive amounts of CO2" in diet Coke here is the link: Apparently over 2 grams per 450 mls. this amounts to more than 1 kilogram for every 500 small bottles opened. I don't have sales figures for soft drinks but this is huge amounts by anybodies standard. The source was harder to detect but it appears to be extracted from natural gas during the refining process.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now