What's exciting about this book is that Bill Gates owns the power, money, and connections to sculpt out a new world that provides cheap and clean energy in lieu of messy oil and coal. Inexpensive energy that does not spew out harmful carbon dioxide will not only help reduce the risk of adverse climate change but will bring up the standard of living for billions in Africa and China.
I've written dozens of summary books and Gate's book becomes one of the most important to come along in a long time. My summary book should not substitute for its parent manuscript. The summary book makes an excellent guide for its parent as it adds depth to the reader's understanding. Most of this Lite Version is included into the longer version(s.)
INTRODUCTION: 51 BILLION TO ZERO
Bill Gates wants the reader to remember two key numbers regarding climate change. The first is 51 billion. The second is zero. Fifty-one billion is how many tons of greenhouse gases the world typically adds to the atmosphere every year. Although the figure may fluctuate annually, it most often increases. Zero greenhouse gases are what we need to aim for to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Humans need to brain up and cease pumping greenhouse gases into their surroundings. Although challenging because of scale--a grander endeavor has never before been attempted--if most countries can change their ways, we have a shot at avoiding some catastrophes.
Manufacturing, farming, traveling and just about every other life activity in modern times spews out greenhouse gases. As the global population expands, especially in India and China, so will the modern lifestyle, and so will harmful gases.
Bill Gates reveals his optimism right out of the gate. He points out that we already employ some of the tools we will need, and that we can make the rest—that it’s not magic. We can make the right choices for consuming energy and nutrition. books, and especially those written by Vaclav Smil, who drove home just how important energy is to civilization.
Adverse climate effects, like floods and droughts, hit the poor with the most force. Gates fixated on the indigent who were mostly farmers. Inexpensive energy would translate into more affordable fertilizers, a higher crop yield, and cement for building. Refrigerators could refrigerate without interruption. Kids would have fewer excuses for not doing their homework. The internet and its opportunities for income and education would eventually become available.