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Dialogs: Bill Gates Brings Tech-Infused Optimism to Climate Change in CHF Panel


Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates brought a technology-infused optimism to the Chicago Humanities Festival panel in which he and actors Dax Shepard and Monica Padman, discussed Gates’ new book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster .

The discussion began with a video. Gates speaks to the audience about both achievements and disasters, letting us know that he does not believe we’re quite doomed yet. The conversation that followed was decidedly friendly (and often complimentary), and thoroughly explored climate change and green technologies.

Gates’ approach to stopping our disaster-in-progress is built on a foundation of green technology and governmental regulations and tax credits. He’s careful to stipulate that we don’t want to get rid of things like air conditioning. Rather, we want to make them more environmentally friendly by changing sources of electricity, shoring up our grid, and making better tools. Similarly, he stresses the effects of climate change on human lives, from the danger of increasing heat waves (as well as winter storms, such as the storm that hit much of the South, leaving Texas and Mississippi without water and power). Gates notes that it is people and ecosystems that must be protected.

His idea for that protection is wide-ranging and […]

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