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Crazy Bill Gates on the need for energy innovation: We need to "fix market barriers and dysfunctions"

[Note: Snark inside.]

As I mentioned earlier, Bill Gates has recently posted his thoughts on how to address climate issues.

Since we know Gates has been funding scientific inquiry into (and patent rights regarding) methods to dampen “climate change” affects that are expected by many to arise as a result of CO2 emissions and other factors, astute group-thinkers know that Gates has already embraced lunacy.

I invite the free thinkers to read more about Gates’ wild and crazy thoughts (such as my own refrain that libertarians and conservatives should take advantage of climate concerns to put pressure on removing barriers to innovation); here are a few excerpts (emphasis added):

Why We Need Innovation, Not Just Insulation

Posted 01/24/2010
Conservation and behavior change alone will not get us to the
dramatically lower levels of CO2 emissions needed to make a real
difference. We also need to focus on developing innovative technologies
that produce energy without generating any CO2 emissions at all.

People often present two timeframes that
we should have as goals for CO2 reduction – 30% (off of some baseline)
by 2020 and 80% by 2050. …

To make the 80% goal by 2050 we are going
to have to reduce emissions from transportation and electrical
production in participating countries down to near zero. …

If the goal is to get the transportation and electrical sectors down to
zero emissions you clearly need innovation that leads to entirely new
approaches to generating power.

While it is all well and good to insulate houses and turn off lights,
to really solve this problem we need to spend more time on accelerating
innovation. …

Unfortunately, you can never insulate your way to anything close to
zero. But because 2020 is too soon for innovation to be completed and
widely deployed, behavior change and efficiency still matter.

Still, the amount of CO2 avoided by these kinds of modest reduction
efforts will not be the key to what happens with climate change in the
long run.

In fact it is doubtful that any such efforts in the rich countries will
even offset the increase coming from richer lifestyles in places like
China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, etc.

Innovation in transportation and electricity will be the key factor.

One of the reasons I bring this up is that I hear a lot of climate
change experts focus totally on 2020 or talk about how great it is that
there is so much low hanging fruit that will make a difference.

This mostly focuses on saving a little bit of energy, which by itself
is simply not enough. The need to get close to zero emissions in key
sectors almost never gets mentioned. The danger is people will think
they just need to do a little bit and things will be fine.

If CO2 reduction is important, we need to make it clear to people what really matters – getting close to zero.

With that kind of clarity, people will understand the need for the goal
to be zero and begin to grasp the scope and scale of innovation that is
needed. …

To achieve the kinds of innovations that will be required I think a
distributed system of R&D with economic rewards for innovators and
strong government encouragement is the key. There just isn’t enough
work going on today to get us to where we need to go. …

We should at the least fix market barriers and dysfunctions that
prevent these gains from being realized. That’s just being smart.

But it’s not enough to slow the growth of CO2 given the strength of demand driven by the poor who need to get access energy.

No amount of insulation will get us there; only innovating our way to
what is essentially zero carbon energy technology will do it. If we
focus on just efficiency to the exclusion of innovation, or imagine
that we can worry about efficiency first and worry about energy
innovation later, we won’t get there.

The world is distracted from what counts on this issue in a big way.


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