Bill Gates on Sustainability at TED 2010

One of the day’s strongest talks at the most recent TED conference was by Bill Gates. He’s spoken at TED previously on a variety of topics, among them education and malaria (last year he set free some mosquitoes from the stage to make a point about the latter). This time he directed his mind toward energy and climate; in particular how to get CO2 levels to zero. He presented an equation in which:

Total CO2 = People x Services Per Person x Energy Per Service x CO2 per unit of energy.

So, if he’s right, one of the variables on the right of the equal sign has to go down to zero. He argued why it won’t be any of the first three and focused on the last one, CO2 per unit of energy. He spoke of reducing and converting fossil fuels, managing nuclear energy in ways that are safe and don’t promote proliferation. He’s investing in these areas and he was clear that he’s early on in thinking about his problem. This one is a must watch.

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