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COVID-19 is awful. Climate change could be worse (5* read by Bill Gates)

“Let’s look at what it costs to avert a single ton of greenhouse gases. This figure—the cost per ton of carbon averted—is a tool that economists use to compare the expense of different carbon-reduction strategies..if you have a technology that costs $1 million, and using it lets you avert the release of 10,000 tons of gas, you’re paying $100 per ton of carbon averted. In reality, $100 per ton would still be pretty expensive. But many economists think this price reflects the true cost of greenhouse gases to society…

Now let’s treat the shutdown caused by COVID-19 as if it were a carbon-reduction strategy. Has closing off major parts of the economy avoided emissions at anything close to $100 per ton? No. In the United States, according to data from the Rhodium Group, it comes to between $3,200 and $5,400 per ton. In the European Union, it’s roughly the same amount. In other words, the shutdown is reducing emissions at a cost between 32 and 54 times the $100 per ton that economists consider a reasonable price. READ MORE VIA GATESNOTES.COM

"To understand the kind of damage that climate change will inflict, look at COVID-19 and spread the pain out over a much longer period”

“… look at COVID-19 and spread the pain out over a much longer period of time. The loss of life and economic misery caused by this pandemic are on par with what will happen regularly if we do not eliminate the world’s carbon emissions…. As of last week, more than 600,000 people are known to have died from COVID-19 worldwide. On an annualized basis, that is a death rate of 14 per 100,000 people” READ MORE VIA GATESNOTES.COM

By 2060, climate change could be just as deadly as COVID-19, and by 2100 it could be five times as deadly

“How does that compare to climate change? Within the next 40 years, increases in global temperatures are projected to raise global mortality rates by the same amount—14 deaths per 100,000. By the end of the century, if emissions growth stays high, climate change could be responsible for 73 extra deaths per 100,000 people. In a lower emissions scenario, the death rate drops to 10 per 100,000″ READ MORE VIA GATESNOTES.COM

 

Bill's suggested action items

Let science and innovation lead the way. 

Make sure solutions work for poor countries too. 

Start now.

“Health advocates said for years that a pandemic was virtually inevitable. The world did not do enough to prepare, and now we are trying to make up for lost time. This is a cautionary tale for climate change, and it points us toward a better approach. If we start now, tap into the power of science and innovation, and ensure that solutions work for the poorest, we can avoid making the same mistake with climate change”  READ MORE VIA GATESNOTES.COM

Related video of my recent talk on NEW PARADIGMS below. And here is my SUSTAINABLE CAPITALISM speaking topic.

What’s remarkable is not how much emissions will go down because of the pandemic, but how little.

“What’s remarkable is not how much emissions will go down because of the pandemic, but how little. In addition, these reductions are being achieved at, literally, the greatest possible cost….If we learn the lessons of COVID-19, we can approach climate change more informed about the consequences of inactionREAD MORE VIA GATESNOTES.COM

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