back to article Bill Gates joins $170bn climate change investment club

Bill Gates is leading a $1bn climate-change venture with a roll-call of tech’s biggest names. Microsoft’s co-founder has joined Breakthrough Energy, described as investing in “reliable, affordable, zero-carbon energy, food and products for the world.” The first investment is reported to be in clean tech. Gates is reported to …

  1. JonW
    Facepalm

    Trumpity Trump

    Out of all the damage this man could do in the next 4 years (please, god, not 8) his attitude to climate change is the thing that scares me most.

    3 cheers for the billionaires.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Trumpity Trump

      Why? Congress would not have ratified Paris, and Obama's executive order means nothing.

      Do you have a genuine concern or are you just virtue-signalling that you Deeply Care About The Climate?

      1. JonW

        Re: Trumpity Trump

        Regardless of the accords various being signed or not signed, his attitude will be picked up by many at a time when the planet needs all the help it can get. I'm not an environaught by any means, but I genuinely believe that it'll be much harder to roll back 4 + years of a lax environmental policy that it will be (for example) to repair the US:China relationship.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: Trumpity Trump

      "his attitude to climate change is the thing that scares me most."

      are you KIDDING? You actually *BELIEVE* that "man made climate change" BULLCRAP? I'm *RELIEVED* that Trump is giving it the "digitus impudicus" with his EPA appointment, for starters.

      I _certainly_ do _NOT_ need a bunch of "bought off" "scientists" telling ME how to THINK. Instead, I downloaded their data [from U.C. Berkeley] and ran the numbers MYSELF. 2005-ish was the peak of a ~70 year cycle, just like 1970-ish was a trough (cold), 1935-ish was a peak (about as hot as the 2000's, maybe hotter), 1900 was a trough (cold again)... and temperatures have followed that nice *NATURAL* *CYCLE*, and not that hideously ridiculous "hockey stick" AlGore model.

      So, temperatures are going DOWN now. So predictable if you study the numbers.

      And the data is still there, last I checked. Do your OWN study and don't let people tell you how to think by manipulating you into being AFRAID.

      Or, we can allow a bunch of activists to "chicken little" us into a "henny penny" 'sky is falling' panic, which precludes THINKING, since you cannot FEAR-EMOTE and THINK at the same time [something about the amygdala controls that, as I recall].

      In other words, while you're allowing yourself to be "scared the most", your thinking has been turned off.

      (howler monkey downvotes expected)

      1. Triggerfish

        Re: Trumpity Trump

        You seem to have some problems with your capslock, it seems to be intermittently working and makes you look a bit mad.

        1. cambsukguy

          Re: Trumpity Trump

          a bit mad?

          Fucking insane is a bit nearer the mark.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Trumpity Trump

        Hey boobtastic bonehead. You don't get to "believe" in science or not. It's not a fucking belief system, like politics or religion. Science rules all and explains life's mysteries to those who can understand how it works and self-checks itself, and improves our lives. If you can't handle science, then don't cherry pick some science; like your cell phone and computer, while rejecting other parts of science you can't get your tiny head around. Just do us all a favor and get rid of your computing devices, because those are a direct result of science. Same thing with the medication you need to take; stop taking it. It's science again.

        So, either you are a great hypocrite, or a dumbfuck, or a fair bit of both.

        Me? I can see the science and I read the reports on man made global climate change, and I do NOTHING. I'm not getting a hybrid. I drive a German convertible that takes premium petrol, and the next one will be too. And yet, I'm all for green energy, since this will help aid the ills of global climate change some. I don't have to do a thing yet. See the difference? Probably not.

        The news media outlets need to make stories more interesting. This is why they start crowing about this and that. Your job as a person pretending not to be stupid is to take each news item and reduce the hype around it in your mind, then understand the info itself, not the way it was presented. That's the difference. There is no belief system for science. You get it, or you don't. You don't.

        Why don't you do something more along the lines of your lack of knowledge, like prove to the world that Leprechauns are real or something like that. It's more your style.

        1. YARR

          Re: Trumpity Trump

          @ A/C 1

          You don't get to "believe" in science or not. It's not a fucking belief system, like politics or religion.

          Science is an unbiased search for truth based on evidence, always open to new ideas. But most modern scientific research is funded by governments and corporations so the areas of research are directed by the motives of people with political agendas or the self-interest of a wealthy few. Working scientists depend on this funding for their living so are disinclined to oppose those funding their research. Surveys of scientific opinion can be easily biased using techniques like loaded questions, limited choice answers, ignoring responses that don't answer certain questions etc. to present a false impression of scientific consensus. If climate change was established Science they wouldn't need to conduct any surveys. Science-ism is when an agenda is presented as scientific, when it isn't established Science.

          The few who speak out are usually those who are no longer dependent on this centralised funding. Here Johnny Ball presents a viewpoint which is opposed to the climate change fear being pushed through the education system.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3d23B-R2-qw

        2. Mark Jan

          Re: Trumpity Trump

          You don't get to "believe" in science or not.

          Don't confuse science with climate change "science".

          One is based on empirical research conducted to test a hypothesis.

          The other raises billions in taxes and has become a belief system.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Trumpity Trump

        @bombastic knob "are you KIDDING? You actually *BELIEVE* that "man made climate change" BULLCRAP?"

        It doesn't matter if you don't believe it's man made, peoples lives are being affected. The world is getting hotter and it is, or will, affect many of us. Carrying on regardless isn't going to fix the lack of water in regions that used to manage, the dying coral or sinking houses in Greenland.

        BtW YOur TExt looKs LIKe You HAVE A meNTal ProBLEm or ArE YOu STiLL Using THAt mANKy mICRosoFT keYBoArD?

        1. Nial

          Re: Trumpity Trump

          "The world is getting hotter and it is, or will, affect many of us"

          But not most of us. 0.8 Deg C since the 1840s? And the Sahel greening (and crop yields increasing) and no increase in extreme weather events?

          "Carrying on regardless isn't going to fix the lack of water in regions that used to manage"

          So massive population increases using limited water resource isn't the source of the problem? It must be "climate change"?

          Aye, right.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Trumpity Trump

          (a) who told you the world is still getting hotter

          (b) how much difference do good intentions make

          (c) if you care that much, why not support nuclear power which exists and works?

          The disjunct between what the powers that be say, and what they do, is out there in the open.

      4. JLV
        Facepalm

        Re: Trumpity Trump

        So great having you argue against climate change. Does much for the credibility of human-induced climate change skeptics.

        Inconvenient, the fact that you are not, I would guess, actually specialized in climatology... (or in keyboard caps management).

        Let's say Joe Random PhD in Climatology took a look at a non-trivial program that one of us wrote. Or, maybe examined a network that one of the sysadmin readers configured and maintained. Joe Random, being a clever dude who knows some programming/sysadmin, then says "this is shite, I know how to do this much better". Just because, well, he's smart (or claims to be) and has an opinion.

        Would any one of us accept Joe's opinion at face value? We might, if Joe was criticizing an individual, known to be weak, programmer/admin and brought in some hard facts.

        But let's say his opinion went against the general accepted practices of the programming/admin community as a whole. And based on fairly basic arguments that any practitioner in the field would have thought of (70 year cycles, face palm, why did no one think of that???). Let's say in fact, that 95% of practitioners thought his approach flawed.

        Then, oh.... we might also think that Joe didn't know what the f**k he was talking about.

        Just sayin'

        p.s. this ain't total BS either - apparently the scientific community codes a lot, but often in not particularly efficient ways - it's hard for most people to master complex subjects outside their field, witness the dev vs ops divide.

      5. John H Woods Silver badge

        Re: Trumpity Trump

        Bob: "Do your OWN study"

        What if I've done my own study and come to these conclusions

        1) we are entering a natural warming period, but we seem to be entering it very fast

        2) that seems to be as a result of human activity

        3) there are other good reasons for investing in carbon free energy (pollution, air quality, finite fossil fuiel)

        4) it seems unlikely that there is a global conspiracy of green scientists, even IF they are mistaken

        Does that make me a howler monkey? Does it make me your intellectual inferior? Would you take my views more seriously if I said I had a significant scientific background? Or does that mean I'm just a co-conspirator? Maybe if i just used CAPS LOCK as much as SOME PEOPLE you could take my views SERIOUSLY.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Headmaster

          Re: Trumpity Trump

          Let's see...

          1) we are entering a natural warming period, but we seem to be entering it very fast

          My perusal of the evidence to date doesn't seem to indicate any warming, period or not. Rejected due to lack of any warming going on. Try harder next time.

          2) that seems to be as a result of human activity

          Yes, that is the main tenet of the religion, such as it is.

          3) there are other good reasons for investing in carbon free energy (pollution, air quality, finite fossil fuel)

          And plenty of very compelling reasons not to (high utility bills, unreliable energy supply, building many units makes lots of pollution). With the exception of Nuclear of course.

          BTW, the fact that a resource is finite does not constitute an argument against using that resource. ;-/

          4) it seems unlikely that there is a global conspiracy of green scientists, even IF they are mistaken

          Since when? The monies available to those green scientists is huge by their usually stingy standards. How many billions is it again? While the other college science departments are scraping for every penny, too. And you reject out of hand the idea that this tsunami of grant money has NO effect on that population? I beg to differ, it's had a huge effect, corrupting an entire branch of science in service to promoting an unproven (but highly desirable) theory.

          And that tax money was diverted to those green science depts. by Government, which is all too happy to further regulate the hell out of us, especially when it means yet more taxes to collect. So the green zealots win, and the governments win. Wait, who loses? Just most of humanity.

          1. TheVogon

            Re: Trumpity Trump

            "My perusal of the evidence to date doesn't seem to indicate any warming"

            Should have gone to Specsavers?

            See http://woodfortrees.org/plot/

        2. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Trumpity Trump

          To be honest pollution, wasting fossil fuels, and wasteful energy usage bother me more than CO2 levels. (Smog in particular is scary).

          But clean energy is an essential, and we need it sooner than later.

          Invest in research, thorium bed, fusion, wave power, energy storage.

          Now why am I not so bothered by CO2?

          1, Methane is worse. 2, saving energy means less CO2. 3, non fossil fuel means less CO2

          So win win.

      6. kmac499

        Re: Trumpity Trump

        Well Bob I have a great real estate opportunity for you, I've got first refusal on some beach side properties in a couple of hurricane zones. You guys take such ridiculously short time scales to base your arguments on. Presumably if your forecasts say no major change in your remaining lifetime there is no problem.

        If my grandson lives to be the age of my father it will be 2093, I wonder what his grandchildren will think of us.

        On a practical note there is a very simple way to get Donald Trump et al to react to climate change. tell then they can make money out of it, or perhaps that other people will make money out of him.which he will really hate.

      7. TheVogon

        Re: Trumpity Trump

        Have you just got out of a Delorian?! That a) the planet has been warming since the industrial revolution and that b) humans are at least a significant cause of this warming has not been in any credible scientific doubt whatsoever for at least a decade now. There are ZERO non political scientific organisations that disagree with this.

        And now it's really starting to hit the fan. See for instance https://sites.google.com/site/arctischepinguin/home/sea-ice-extent-area/grf/nsidc_global_area_byyear_b.png

      8. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Trumpity Trump

        Obviously the fearful many who down-voted bombastic bob's quote, did not bother to download the data and check themselves.

        The Pavlovian response to anything that suggests that proper due diligence is required in the global warming 'debate' is disheartening.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Trumpity Trump

      "3 cheers for the billionaires." Cheering money for monies sake gets you a down vote in my book.

      1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Trumpity Trump

        Cheering money for monies money's sake gets you a down vote in my book.

        Likewise ungrammatical comments in mine, no matter what I am guilty of in turn.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Trumpity Trump

      You get what you vote for.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Trumpity Trump

      I'm a bleeding heart liberal, and am inclined to be scared like you, BUT, there is still the possibility that his Orangeness may turn out alright on the environment. Just like the "Only Nixon could go to China" theory, maybe only Trump could pass meaningful climate change legislation.

      The GOP actually has some previous traction in this area (see: creation of the EPA and the banning* of incandescent light bulbs).

      Or, maybe whatever turns out best for his pocketbook is all that gets pushed (see also: Ventura, Jessie).

      * Ok, not a full ban, but severe restrictions in the market that resulted in a push to higher-efficiency alternatives in an example of government meddling in private industries on a level not normally associated with conservatives.

    6. Faux Science Slayer

      The Green Meanie Conspiracy....

      There is NO Carbon Climate forcing, NO 'sustainable' green energy and NO 'peak' oil.

      "Mommie, Can We Play Obombie Truth Origami" the FAKE Alarmist/Luke debate

      "Green Prince of Darkness" the photovoltaic molecular erosion parlor Trick

      "Fracturing the Fossil Fuel Fable" on Earth's natural Hydrocarbon production

      All at FauxScienceSlayer....find and share Truth....it is your duty as an Earthling

      1. Triggerfish

        Re: The Green Meanie Conspiracy....

        Y'know every now and again you post on here and everytime I see your site, it reminds me of Deepak Chopras, quantum woo, you grab a load of scientific words and put them together in a way that sounds like it might have meaning, few minutes of thought, (or at least a few minutes of reading it), reveal its actually all bollocks though.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Green Meanie Conspiracy....

        faux science is actually a green troll, running a false flag against climate sceptics

    7. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Trumpity Trump

      Git! Now I've got Nellie the Elephant as an earworm!!!

  2. Suburban Inmate

    Nice one.

    Makes me feel a little better about that one time I actually paid for a copy of Windows. ('98 OEM from a computer fair, if memory serves)

    1. Triggerfish

      Re: Nice one.

      I dunno I once paid for Vista.

  3. Paul

    I just got this pop up when running Microsoft Climate Modeller 3.6

    "I can see you're trying change the planet for the better.

    Access denied by process Trump

    Abort/Retry/Fail ?"

  4. Professor Clifton Shallot

    Victorian values

    Gates is not the kind of sparkling personality that naturally prompts party invites and Microsoft is not always the most delightful company either but he does seem to be making a genuine and intelligently focussed attempt to make the world better.

    (Some of) the IT rich guys seem to be the inheritors of the socially minded Victorian entrepreneurs.

    I wish more of the preposterously wealthy felt obliged to act similarly.

    1. Swarthy
      Thumb Up

      Re: Victorian values

      One of the (many) problems with the US is that in getting rid of the nobles, we got rid of noblesse oblige. And now that we have Oligarchs and Plutarchs rising up to form a new class of (ig?)nobles, they are very much resistant to bringing it back.

      Kudos to Gates for at least making a nod to noblesse oblige.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Victorian values

        I'd rather make a nod to Droit du seigneur...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Victorian values

      Are you looking at the same information as me?

      This seems an attempt to make a lot of money, what else would you expect.

      1. Professor Clifton Shallot

        Re: Victorian values

        "This seems an attempt to make a lot of money, what else would you expect."

        I'm sure that the sort of people involved would want to make their sustainable energy financially sustainable as well - they'd see that as prudent and responsible.

        In Gates' case I don't think there's any profiteering in his attempts to eradicate malaria, polio etc so even if this energy and research investment scheme is just another way for him to make money he plans to give away with those aims in mind I'm not too worried.

      2. Taprisiot Madness Bronze badge

        Re: Victorian values

        Well, given that green energy - less polluting, more efficient - is likely to be the Next Big Thing, and the nations and businesses that research and develop such tech are likely to come out on top, it would hardly surprise me that Bill Gates expects to get some ROI.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Victorian values

          except that 'green energy' is less efficient, more polluting

    3. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Victorian values

      Reminds me of when a charity had a go at the worlds richest people, people who have given more money to good causes than them by at least 10x.

      Bill Gates is doing a lot of good with his fortune.

  5. Captain DaFt

    Matter of convenience

    "US president-elect Donald Trump reportedly told US network Fox on Sunday “nobody really knows” if climate change is real."

    Funny that. He seems to believe in Global warming enough to want "To build a Yuge wall, a great wall"... in Scotland.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: Matter of convenience

      Nobody does know 100% that it's real.

      Hedging against it isn't incompatible with making that statement.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Matter of convenience

        "Nobody does know 100% that it's real."

        If it wasn't, we'd still be stuck in the last ice-age - climate change happens. The question is, how much of an effect has man's activities had on climate change?

        Only an idiot would refuse to accept that pumping copious quantites of CO2 and massive deforestation has absolutely no effect, what has to be determined is exactly how much of an effect it has.

        1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Re: Matter of convenience

          Urgh. The pedantry was not necessary.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Matter of convenience

        but a hedge that cost 10-100 times the loss incurred should it be real and doesn't stop it happening anyway is not good business. Its just vapid virtue signalling

        or if its someone else's money into your pocket, criminal fraud.

        I'll happily insure you for a 100k payout for a premium of a million a year against any climate change you care to mention.

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How does this report stack up against this statement?

    Billionaire environmental investor Bill Gates has made himself non grata among many staunch green energy believers by stating that “renewable” energy sources “aren’t a viable solution for reducing CO2 levels,” and that costs for continuing the current fad in subsidizing wind and sun energy sources “would be beyond astronomical.”

    http://www.newsmax.com/LarryBell/al-gore-ipcc/2016/12/12/id/763417/

    1. m0rt

      Reading that statement in isolation, I still think that it stacks up very well.

      Renewable - taken to mean wind/solar/tidal, maybe *greener* from the point of view they generate the energy from non-combustible and free means , even when taking into account the 'carbon cost' of producing them, are more a statement than a viable solution for the future. They don't really address the current energy requirements unless you are looking at mesh style solutions - which has a massive upfront cost and infrastructure issue.

      Looking into other sources of energy, hydroelectric, fusion, more efficient/safer fission and other stuff I am really not qualified to comment on, offer potentially bigger energy returns and are possibly more realistic.

    2. Triggerfish

      @Ivan 4

      Well you could think the current methods of renewable energy are not viable as means of producing enough energy, but still invest in other greener sources such as nuclear, wonder what would happen if fusion research got a few billion from backers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Ivan 4

        @Triggerfish

        There you have stated the problem. The greens don't count nuclear as a green renewable (it's the radiation you know and it can be made to go bang).

        Fusion, from what I have heard talking with greens is much worse for some unknowable reason.

        I, like you, wonder what could result if all forms of fusion research were given that type of backing.

        1. Triggerfish

          Re: @Ivan 4

          Depends on what sort of green you are. I am reasonably so, I try and recycle, and got work to do so as well. I think we are having an impact on wildlife and that's something we need to pay attention to and try and do bits there as well, and I suspect we are having an impact on our weather and climate, that we should certainly do something about.

          But I am also realistic.

          I think this is the problem with some greens they are too fundamentalist and in doing so can actually negatively effect progression, Nuclear is a good example, and it's not helped by the fact that lets be honest a lot of people are not that techy and don't do science or engineering bad press can run away from the truth.

          But you can also see it with wildlife I know people who have said things like we should ban the hunting of bush meat, or ban locals fishing off of reefs, stop people killing endangered cats (I've seen Golden cat skins nailed to fences in Laos and it sucks, but if your family's protein source is the three chickens you have, I am not sure I wouldn't also be thinking fuck those cats being near here), whilst sitting quite comfortably in a house with a tescos round the corner. Go to some of those places and you realise it's not necessarily a choice thing unless that choice is feeding your family or not.

          We need to move away from the fundamentalism and work on solutions that work with us having a bit more harmony with nature, about 15 years ago or so in the Maldives several tons of coral was broken up for the limestone for concrete, and reefs were being overfished, it was the convincing people that every shark pulled out of the reefs around there meant less tourists and so less money going into the local economy that helped make a difference. Some islands I have been on, used to serve up baby sharks for BBQ, you'd see them on ice being sold as part of the catch of the day, strong presence from some dive schools have convinced some of these places to not do that, because the tourists will not come and those islands main source of income is tourism, (and its a lot of income difference from say earning a couple of quid a day farming coconuts, to being able to afford to send your kids to school). You'll never have environmental protection if you can't also improve the lives of the people in these places that it clashes with.

          Did you see the last Planet Earth 2? The artificial trees in Singapore they were incredible, they provide an ecosystem for wildlife, a green space for people, and manage to make the city look like something that came out of the mind of the artist Roger Dean, they cleaned their bay and now otters are back, whats preferable at the waterside plastic bottles and trash, or a bunch of otters playing about? We can be really intelligent and use our engineering knowledge to do things like that, or the vertical forest buildings by people like Stefano Boeri in Milan. We have the capability to make these changes, we don't have to wear the hairshirts of the fundamentalist greenie or be so close minded from that fundamentalism, we can work like intelligent capable human beings to improve the environment around us.

          TLDR: Not all greenies are against nuclear. ;)

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Ivan 4

            While I agree with most of what you say, it is unfortunate that the green eco fundamentalist side of the movement gets the most press so that is what most people all greens are like.

            As an engineer I see the only way of helping people leave behind their subsistence life is the availability of cheap readily available 24/7 energy. Renewables do not cut the mustard at all in that requirement. It is not cheap nor is it available 24/7 and, as South Australia found out, it can be a liability especially for industry (think smelters going cold and the results of that).

            The one thing I have never heard the NGOs asking the people that they are supposedly trying to help is, what do those people actually want. I have friends from my time working around the Pacific islands and know people that have worked in Africa and when the local people are asked that question the general reply is that they want change that will make their life easier rather than the hand to mouth existence. Until we can make that happen we are just blowing in the wind.

            1. Triggerfish

              Re: @Ivan 4

              I agree, although to be fair some NGOs do work to improving the general lot of people. Clean water and sanitation are a step towards that as much as renewable energy, education can be as well.

              Even working towards protecting the environment around these places can make a difference, a healthy reef for example often means better fisheries. Sometimes it's little steps towards a whole.

              As you say most people if really asked want away from the hand to mouth existence, they want a future for their kids, they want what we in places like the UK have really.

              As for the fundamentalists, aren't they always the most shouty no matter what they believe?

          3. MJI Silver badge

            Re: @Ivan 4

            My main complaint against the green movement is the nuclear side. I am very pro nuclear, but the green movement hates it.

            1. TheVogon

              Re: @Ivan 4

              " I am very pro nuclear, but the green movement hates it."

              Strange isn't it, Nuclear installations are often quite green. Especially in the dark.

        2. kmac499

          Re: @Ivan 4

          Look up nuclear based on Thorium; especially the molten salt reactors. Inherently safe low pressure designs that fail to safety (no chernobyl or fukushima style bangs) with no military grade by products. Still technically challenging to do but worth a look.

    3. TheVogon

      "costs for continuing the current fad in subsidizing wind and sun energy sources “would be beyond astronomical.”

      Versus say the cost of building a ~ 70M sea wall around every still inhabitable continent on the planet over the next couple of thousand years or so?

  8. JimmyPage
    Thumb Up

    Nice to see the 1%

    helping the 99% ...

    1. alain williams Silver badge

      Re: Nice to see the 1%

      His children will be affected just as badly as yours and mine will be. When climate change starts to hit hard the rich will be able to insulate themselves from the changes to an extent, but with the whole planet being affected it will make life more unpleasant for them as well.

      I think (hope) that he is not doing this just for (his children's) selfish reasons but for the general good.

      As much as I don't like Microsoft: I do praise Bill for some of what he has done with his money: eg 3rd world toilets - totally unglamorous but very much needed.

  9. bombastic bob Silver badge
    FAIL

    Gates, no doubt, is "buying something"

    like so many other wealthy people who contribute to massive 'charities', Gates is BUYING SOMETHING.

    What a charity lets you do is TAX DEDUCT all of your contributions to it.

    Gates is no dummy. No doubt he's got an agenda of some kind, probably a capitalist one. He's using this charity to do something. Maybe it's image, "paying his dues" for the lefties so he can further some other cause. Whatever.

    But he's wasting his money. Human activity is NOT changing global climate. It changes by itself without any intervention. I mean, look at THIS:

    5 million years of temperature history

    or THIS:

    Ice Age Temperature

    isn't it obvious that our current temperatures, which are admittedly NOT going up, are JUST part of natural cycles? That is, if you ignore the attempts to project temperatures 10 degrees higher by 2100 using a flawed model...

    Well, Micro-shaft has taken a wrong turn with 'Ape' and win-10-nic. It doesn't surprise me that one of it's wealthiest founders is busy pouring money into the black hole known as "man made climate change".

    (I wouldn't be surprised if Bill G. knows this but is using this 'charity' to funnel money into something that profits for him, maybe purchasing equipment from companies he invests in, maybe boosting M-shaft stock prices indirectly, yotta yotta and the P.R. boost for the feely-lefties who believe in this garbage)

    1. Triggerfish

      Re: Gates, no doubt, is "buying something"

      Note under your first graph in the description.

      "Note that in 2010, User:SeL media switched the orientation of the time axis and the vertical axes, apparently without discussion, and some descriptions of the image may refer to the older version, resulting in confusion of 'right' and 'left' in the image."

      Not sure a wiki page is the best place to take data or scientific fact from as gospel TBH. Who starred in what star trek episode yes, science not so much.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gates, no doubt, is "buying something"

      Your comment is interesting but SHOUTING doesn't make you point any more valid. I didn't realise that Gates had much to do with Windows 10 or indeed the running of microsoft any more. Also pumping hundreds millions of tons of CO2 and methane into the atmosphere very year will change the climate its about basic physics. You also provide proof of climate variability but that fails to prove that human activity does not alter the climate. Its a bit like saying there have always been fires whilst setting fire to your house. If you actually look at the warming trend it ties in quite nicely with our increasing CO2 output lagged as you might expect.The issue is how much it will change the climate and to be honest with the potential risks involved I'd suggest that we err on the side of caution and take some precautions - that seems entirely reasonable.

    3. cambsukguy

      Re: Gates, no doubt, is "buying something"

      Presumably, if someone give 100 somethings to charity, it doesn't reduce your tax bill by 100 somethings.

      If it did, people would donate exactly the amount of tax they owed, to piss off the gummint at least.

      Tax DEDUCTABLE means reduced from your gross income, so, if you pay tax at 40% (rich folks), then giving 100 to charity costs you 60, it still costs you money.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      5 million years of temperature history

      You've heard of a closed system, right ...?

      Last I looked, I don't think anyone's disagreed that there are natural warming/cooling cycles throughout the measurable history of the planet.

      The point being made is that recent warming cycles are getting more and more exaggerated since the industrial revolution(*) and the corresponding increase in introduction of greenhouse gasses into the system - combined with global industrial scale deforestation destroying significant carbon sinks from the system.

      (* Evidenced by observations of sea level rises, arctic/antarctic ice loss, atmospheric gas concentrations, increasing frequency and intensity of rainfall, etc )

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 5 million years of temperature history

        I suspect that trying to convince Bombastic Bob with facts and such like will be like trying to persuade a Creationist that all life on Earth did, indeed evolve from primordial soup, and is not the will of a divine, (but clearly an arsehole iif he/she exists) being.

        i.e. completely fucking pointless.

        Mainly because he's a bit of a c**t.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 5 million years of temperature history

          you can tell a green troll with no argument to advance by the fact tat he cites untruths as facts and casts aspersions on anyone who tries to present an alternative narrative.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 5 million years of temperature history

        spend a fortnight - that's all it should take - looking for the raw sets of data you can find to support all those assertions that 'everybody knows' are true.Like the 'tens of thousand's dead post chernobyl, when you actually try to find them it slowly transpires that 'what every body knows' morphs into 'what everybody has been led to believe' and suddenly the reason why no world leader has sold his beach front house, or gone into a crash progam of nuclear development and banned coal becomes apparent.

        this isn't about the planet after all.

        its about power, and money.

        the evidence is all there. If you stop believing and start questioning.

    5. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Gates, no doubt, is "buying something"

      You're just never happy, are you?

    6. tfb Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Gates, no doubt, is "buying something"

      No one is claiming that there has not been previous climate change, or that it can not have natural causes (because almost all climate change in Earth's history must be naturally caused as there was no industrial civilisation when it happened). Slow changes to the climate are clearly entirely natural. The question is whether we are seeing slow changes.

      And here's a hint for you: from your ice-age graph is look as though the steepest parts of the curves are something like 6 degrees in 10,000 years (just eyeballing it). Conservatively we have seen about 1 degree in the last 150 years. So, let's do the math: ice-age temperature increase rate peaks at around .0006 deg/yr, current rate is around .006 deg/yr. The current rate of increase is about TEN TIMES higher than that during the ice ages. Oops.

      Now of course, your answer is going to be 'but the measurements are wrong, experts, it's a conspiracy to get climate scientists huge incomes, there's no evidence, Farage and tinfoil will save us all'. Fuck off.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Gates, no doubt, is "buying something"

        LOL! and just what proxies for temperatures a million years ago could detect a decade and a half of sharp warming or cooling?

        using arguments like that shows instantly that you know little of science and less about climate.

    7. TheVogon

      Re: Gates, no doubt, is "buying something"

      You must be either American or you just got out of a Delorian?

      That the planet is warming due to human influence hasn't been in any doubt for well over a decade now. Yes it changes naturally too, but usually at a MUCH slower rate.

      As to not going up, lol, just see for instance http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:50

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Gates, no doubt, is "buying something"

        woodfortrees? Lol. It will be 'skepticalscience' next!

        same old same old professional green trolls raise the alarm on social networks all register accounts on el reg to do a mass astro turf on pore old el reg.

        go back to rentawanka.

        and take your false flag faux science slayer with you.

  10. AdamG57
    Megaphone

    Ability to use a keyboard...

    Hmm, to think I once believed it required intelligence to type coherently...

    Look, do humans burn up fossil fuels - you know, forms of carbon previously buried - on a massive scale? Yes. Pessimistically I rather think the entire store of such fuels will be used sooner or later, at rate which may well be higher than can be naturally regulated.

    Does carbon dioxide - among other things - trap heat in the atmosphere? Yes.

    Does a runaway greenhouse effect eventually make a planet inhospitable to water based life? Oh, yes, think of Venus (not caused by humans, in that case!).

    So, the question is how significant is the effect of human burned fossil fuel - so far, it appears to have raised CO2 levels by 10-25% - and are there feedback effects which decrease or increase the warming caused thereby (hmm, it is only here that I become a skeptic - but gradually less so). It may be that human fuel burning causes a lot of warming, or maybe not so much as would be dangerous...

    However much I believe in free speech, it is safe to ignore any output from those who deny AGW as a hypothesis, just as it is safe to ignore those who deny evolution or the round earth theory. Saying that climate change happens naturally on a large scale is no better an argument against AGW than saying that a catastrophe wiped out the dinosaurs means they didn't get a chance to evolve, thus disproving evolution... Or that a similar asteroid is perhaps as likely as AGW to end human existence. The question remains, is this threat sufficient to take seriously? Yes.

    Finally, are there reasonable steps that can be taken to mitigate fossil fuel burning? Wind mills don't bother me; radioactive waste is however likely to be dangerous for longer than human history. Solar energy - moving from burning the stored version to using and temporarily storing the freely available energy hitting earth anyway (where conditions permit!) seems a no-brainer good thing.

    My parking space with the electric car!

    1. itzman

      Re: Ability to use a keyboard...

      is no proof of intelligence..

      of course you missed the only salient point: how MUCH temperature rise?

      the REAL science says probably about 0.2-0.8 degrees when all is said and done

      totally not worth bothering about. Mildly beneficial.

  11. cambsukguy

    Given the time scales involved, just one word

    Nuclear

    1. NBCanuck
      Joke

      Re: Given the time scales involved, just one word

      "Nucular... Its pronounced Nucular." - Homer Simpson

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Given the time scales involved, just one word

      That's technically still digging up fuel that has been created a long time ago and burning it. And supplies are limited. So not a long term solution either.

      On the other hand there is that big fusion thingy that has been running for ≈ 4.6 billion years, will remain stable for another ≈ 5 billion years, and churns out more energy than we will ever need. So yeah, finding ways to tap it seems like a good idea.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Given the time scales involved, just one word

        yeah, in terms of civilisation, 10,000 years of fertile nuclear fuel is not a lot is it?

        still it might be long enough to get fusion working

    3. Taprisiot Madness Bronze badge

      Re: Given the time scales involved, just one word

      Funny, we've just had a decade-long assault on a nation's right to refine uranium for peaceful purposes ending with it deciding not to refine uranium for peaceful purposes and instead rely on the established nuclear oligarchy/plutocracy.

      Iran. US. Israel.

      Can you say Hypocrisy? Or are we enthusiastically embracing the Inner Hypocrite?

  12. Triggerfish

    Stromatolites

    We seem to be rapidly changing the face of the Earth, with industry, farming, deforestation,urban heat islands etc.

    And I keep thinking of these little organisms, now admittedly they took a damn long time to change the atmosphere, but is it not reasonable to think that humans with the changes we have made on the planet to be having some sort of effect on climate and weather patterns?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stromatolites

      well of course the fact that the species that totally destroyed the planet and changed its climate and the atmospheric composition the most was the plant kingdom.

      and remember 99.999% of all the species that ever lived were extinct before mankind even appeared.

      the anthropic arrogance that sees humanity as somehow above and beyond natural process is however unique in the history of the planet.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Krakatoa

    caused winter through summer. Remember all the nuclear winter scenarios? Remember The Year Without A Summer?

    So:

    Yes, CO2 is rising.

    Yes, that's from humans.

    Yes, there are non-linear effects, such as changing the North Atlantic currents coming from the Arctic leading to possible severe change in European climate, excessive Pacific tropical heating changing wind and rain patterns worldwide, and so on.

    So the questions become:

    What percentage change is human caused?

    How much is it worth giving to political control?

    Will the engineering of climate fixes have sufficient feedback control?

    While the deniers may be idiots, they do have a point that the political and economic proposals that are being made don't quite jibe with the current level of science. It's really too bad they don't quantify this correctly.

    Anyways, there are larger solutions possible than the puny changes being asked of us. For example, sending nanotube mesh shades into space, setting off volcanoes, beaming excess energy into space, are the kinds of things closer to current available technology than science fiction. Even letting the ice caps melt and letting the planet become a tropical paradise should be on the table.

    It's probably too optimistic, but we can hope having these rich oligarchs get together and work with economic principles instead of against them, to adapt and thrive in the New World Climate Order.

    Naw, they're just rich assholes and it will never last.

  14. D@v3

    *** ANECDOTE WARNING ***

    In a completely non-scientific study, I have just been for a walk on my lunch break. In the middle of December, in the south of the UK in a short sleeved shirt. This has led me to believe that it is considerably warmer at this time of year than it used to be, as I remember fondly the winters of my youth being warm jackets and skidding around on patches of ice.

    This "winter" I have worn my warm jacket once, we had a cold snap, it lasted a few days it is now back to being about the same weather that it was in early October.

    No science here, only opinion.

    I don't -know- what is 'causing' it, it might be natural, I feel with the way the human race treats things (other humans, other animals, the planet) I would not be at all surprised, if somehow, it is our fault.

  15. jms222

    Even if you don't believe in climate change is relying on imported fossil fuels to keep our lights on and vehicles moving a great idea ? Often we get these fuels in exchange for our home-manufactured weapons 'cos that's about the only thing we make these days.

    What about filling our cities with nasty fumes ?

    What about smothering vast areas in oil and concrete killing nearly all life (Canada and Africa among others) ?

    Everybody driving a car, often sitting in traffic making other forms of transport (walking and cycling) really dangerous and your kids turning into blobs ? (ok that's as much about how your one tonne vehicle is fuelled as whether it should exist)

  16. FriendInMiami

    It's the practice, not the theory, that makes nuclear options bad or worse

    I live near Turkey Point in southern Florida USA. There are two nuclear power plants there. They are operating past the original projected time when it would be safe to operate them. (In the middle of their operation, they required extensive unpredicted and massively expensive repairs. There is a sense that this rebuild and retooling might have extended their lives. There is also a sense that the power company would rather chance it and keep rolling rather than replace them as sources of electricity - the government underwrites insuring them and comes in for the lion's share of evacuation costs in case of major accidents.) There is now quite an accumulation of used fuel rods there, sitting in pools of water with cooling water circulating continuously - because we have no agreed-on operational long-term storage for these lethally contaminated objects. Meanwhile, our sea level here is rising relative to the land, so "king tides" are starting to impact inland properties along this coast. Few places now, more later in the next few years, many more in 50 years. Did I mention we get hurricanes, and Turkey Point sticks out into unprotected waters? And these are typical nuclear plants, differing from each other. They are all different. Look it up. The US doesn't do the supervision of the implementations well, and has not solved all the problems the technology brings about in use. Those are some of the reasons we are not building more nuclear power plants. Meanwhile, in parts of the world the costs of solar electric are going below the costs for coal electric. Nuclear power has been described as making a bad power saw to cut butter - really expensive, with tricky plumbing, longlived radiation, and vulnerabilities to engineering failures and natural disasters, all to boil water to make steam to turn turbines. Forgive us if we taxpayers and rate payers would prefer other ways to light our bulbs and charge our phones.

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