Microsoft founder Bill Gates is opposed to the carbon tax. In a recent interview with the MIT Technology Review, Gates said that a tax on carbon emissions “will not help the U.S. address climate change.”
Sensibly, Gates prefers that the government and private sector “partner together to research more advanced and cleaner forms of energy.”
Gates previously stated that he believes the world needs “energy miracles” to meet new challenges — by that he means technological breakthroughs “that are the result of research and development and the human capacity to innovate.” That’s why Gates encourages students to “work extra hard in your math and sciences,” because the world needs “crazy-sounding ideas to solve our energy challenge.”
The answer for the U.S., advises Gates, is not to place a tax on carbon — that may weaken incentives for companies to develop carbon neutral technologies. Rather, it’s to encourage innovation.
“Some countries will do a pure carbon tax, and there’s a certain beauty to doing it that way,” Gates said. “But the consensus that I think people will reach here in the U.S. will be to focus more on supply side.”
Via the MIT Technology Review:
“Gates doesn’t blame the paucity of miracle technologies on the absence of a price on carbon (which means energy companies have no incentive to develop and deploy carbon-neutral technologies), or on other bad policies. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent on what he calls the ‘demand side’ of the energy challenge. Instead, he argues, the fault is underinvestment by governments and private investors in the ‘supply side,’ which funds basic government research and resulting startups.”
Gates isn’t just talking about investing in the development of new technologies, he’s putting his money into it. In November, Gates brought together a group of more than 20 billionaires, via Breakthrough Energy Coalition, who share a range of political viewpoints (the group includes Meg Whitman and ultra-liberal Tom Steyer) have pledged to invest at least $2 billion in breakthroughs.
The plan is simple and sensible. It’s not about punishing companies, it’s about encouraging innovation.
Unfortunately for Gates, that doesn’t fit the agenda of the far-Left — especially considering the fact that many Democrats and environmentalists have already endorsed the carbon tax. So, extreme greenies are on the attack. And, they’re targeting Gates.
Joe Romm, the founding editor of the ThinkProgress global warming section, didn’t wait long to launch an all-out attack on Gates for his opposition to a carbon tax. Via an article littered with extreme “green” talking points, Romm even attacks Gates for advocating the development of “energy miracles” to help reduce carbon emissions. Romm writes,
“Gates is just wrong about everything here. He is wrong that energy miracles are needed by the industrialized countries to achieve CO2 levels in 2050 consistent with beating the 2°C target…
“He is wrong that achieving that target requires focusing on R&D rather than deployment. He is wrong that there is some sort of consensus to that effect,” Romm wrote. “He is wrong that a carbon tax isn’t important in achieving the rapid reduction the rich countries need. He is wrong to make it seem like boosting energy efficiency is not as vital a strategy as reducing carbon intensity.”
Romm, ironically enough, declares that it is Gates who is pushing a “bizarre position” and accuses him of being “someone who doesn’t really listen to the advice of experts.” It’s an “affliction,” writes Romm, “common to billionaires.”
Of course, Romm refers to “experts” who are approved by far-Left extremists like himself… not the experts at various universities and businesses around the world who do, in fact, advise Gates and his organization.
Romm’s reasoning offers insight in to the unbearable hypocrisy of the extreme “green” agenda. For Romm and far too many of his fellow activists, the “green” agenda is not about innovation or clean technology. It’s about lining certain pockets with new tax schemes at the expense of incentivizing innovation, the health of companies, and (in turn) the wellbeing of working families.
And, for what? So-called “solutions” that (time and time again) have proven to be ineffective.
Far-left activists like Romm attempt to cover their hypocrisy — and their attacks on those, like Gates, who are actually trying to make a difference– by positioning themselves as the champions of the environment, working to save us all from ourselves as they fight pollution and rising ocean levels. They present themselves as “green heroes” who could do not wrong.
But, experience has taught us otherwise. Scandal after scandal has exposed the “green heroes” myth. Far from acting out of a righteous desire to save the world, these green “villains” have proven themselves to be motivated by self-interest.
Romm’s ridiculous attack on Gates for pushing sensible solutions rather than policies that have proved ineffective only further exposes the extreme “green” agenda for what it is: a series of self-interested punishments that, ultimately, harm innovation.