Gates Foundation ignores global warming - 1/3

“The last temptation is the greatest treason, to do the right thing for the wrong reason”.          - T.S Eliot

Before a gathering of Techno-elites Bill Gates released mosquitoes into the audience as a way of forcing empathy for malaria vaccine research.  But at the same time, Bill Gates may be doing far more harm to the world than his foundation could possibly balance in good deeds.   To ignore global warming harms our future.

Last year the Gates Foundation said about Global Warming:  “The fact of the matter is we don’t think about it. We haven’t paid a lot of attention to environmental issue.”

It is clear that they have been thinking about it quite a bit and have crafted carefully calculated stances that work to delay climate action, work to influence public policy to allow massive carbon dioxide releases to continue. 


Global warming can no longer be ignored.  Any business related to generating CO2 is hastening our demise.  That means all carbon fuel companies - oil, coal, gas and related industries automotive - are active or passive enablers.

Climate warming worsens disease.   Even if the Gates Foundation confines its works only to malaria, it cannot ignore global warming.   The WHO Technical Report Series on Malaria Vector Control and Personal Protection says:

Climate change has potential effects on coastal malaria.  Firstly, more frequent cyclones and floods will increase vector density and the risk of malaria.  Past epidemics were often associated with above average rainfall.  Second, flooding of low-lying areas, due to raised sea levels will expand breeding areas.  Within the Asia-Pacific region, many such areas are malarious and refugees from them could provide a large reservoir of infection.  Emergency relocation of refugees, particularly if aircraft, trains and/or buses are used, will increase the possibility of introducing exotic vectors into malaria-free countries.  Parasites resistant to antimalarials will add to the difficulties of treatment.  More than direct land loss due to seas rising, indirect factors are generally listed as the main difficulties associated with the rise in sea level.  These include erosion patterns and damage to coastal infrastructure, salinization of wells, suboptimal functioning of the sewerage and drainage systems of coastal cities, with resulting health impacts, loss of littoral ecosystems and loss of biotic resources.

Microsoft has been making billions selling computer operating systems so vital for expanding business.  An operating system is like a form of government for computers,  it is a way of handling all the complexity of a computer and put it to work.  An operating system handles every event in the computer, every detail, every obscure piece of data.  And the operating system prevents any misbehaving object from interfering with the whole system.  It must know how everything interconnects.  His statement “We don’t think about it” is like an operating system that is totally unaware of its power supply.

Bill Gates and Warren Buffet - two of the world’s richest men, lead the way:  promising entire fortunes to find a cure for the diseases that kill millions of children in the poorest countries in the world.

They had better start paying attention to global warming.  The World Health Organization has been paying attention
Dr Shigeru Omi, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific, said: “Global warming has already impacted lives and health, and this problem will pose an even greater threat to mankind in coming decades if we fail to act now.”

The UN, the Union of Concerned Scientists, economists, the insurance industry, all are sounding an alarm.  Anthropogenic global warming is like the Blue Screen of Death to our atmospheric system.   Something that should not be ignored, should not be denied.

I suggest The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation immediately change their statement to:
“Every individual, organization and state should be thinking about climate change right now” They should do this because of the science , because of the ethics, and most of all because to do otherwise shows they are misinformed and it will soon be horrendously embarrassed.   Gates, who made his fortune on operating systems, should think like a systems developer; he should know that such an unstable and changing part of the system cannot be ignored.  It affects everything else.  It is as if he built a computer operating system and ignored the power requirements.   By ignoring the climate system it suggests he is playing only with financial systems  - and along with many businesses is paying the price for short-sighted business decisions.   A philanthropic organization should be skilled in associated reasoning - knowing that help and investments here will do the most good over there.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has done so much, saved so many millions of lives, and its work will help save many more.  It is a wonderful and remarkable and shining example of gracious and enlightened capitalism.  Many, many thanks go to that foundation for the work they do, and will be doing.

See chart:   Climate change and vector-borne diseases. (2000). In UNEP/GRID-Arendal Maps and Graphics Library. Retrieved 22:57, July 17, 2009 from

About a year ago, the Gates foundation had a tiff with the World Health Organization.  The WHO has published many studies concluding that global warming will cause horrendous problems with world health - including a 322 page tome Climate change and human health - risks and responses.   But Gates ignores global warming as a cause of any health problems .  The public part of the tiff was over the malaria funding.  Gates is doing great research and may have a cure or fix for malaria… we will know soon. 

The Gates foundation really did not want to rely on data from the WHO saying that Anthropogenic Global Warming is serious, and we should do something about it.  So the Gates Foundation built their own instituion to do the research — the Seattle based,  Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IMHE)  whose sole purpose is to gather data about health problems in the world.  It does much the same thing as the WHO does, even has snagged some WHO executives.  They deliver tremendously useful data on the state of disease globally.  The only difference is they do no projections on future threats - no global warming issues.  They segregate data on disease, and health problems from global warming.  After all few deaths from global warming, rather it is famine, disease, thirst, or fire or any precisely definable cause.  The WHO has dozens and dozens of serious science peer reviewed reports and studies on the subject of human disease and global warming .  But the IHME has none.  But they are not in business for that purpose  And so the Gates Foundation has been using them as a data source and so can ignore global warming.

Well the Emperor has no clothes, and the Foundation has its head in the sand   Now can you guys wake up and look around?


Given all the information available, how can the Gates Foundation ask us to ignore global warming?

This year the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be spending 7% of its multi-billion dollar endowment on hundreds of efforts to fund research, knocking out polio, malaria and other noble efforts. 

Very soon (and starting now), climate changes from global warming will be the top health danger, the greatest stressor to humans, the biggest killer of population and productivity.  Millions will be dying from starvation, thirst, flood, storms and fires.  With sea level rise, expect to see millions of climate refugees - and with refugees expect to see climate wars

More than two-thirds of the world’s large cities are in areas vulnerable to global warming and rising sea levels, and millions of people are at risk of being swamped by flooding and intense storms, according to a new study released Wednesday.

In all, 634 million people live in the threatened coastal areas worldwide — defined as those lying at less than 33 feet above sea level — and the number is growing, said the study published in the journal Environment and Urbanization.

More than 180 countries have populations in low-elevation coastal zones, and about 70 percent of those have urban areas of more than 5 million people that are under threat. Among them: Tokyo; New York; Mumbai, India; Shanghai, China; Jakarta, Indonesia; and Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Gwynne Dyer - Military analyst and producer of “Climate Wars”

… I did start to look into this idea that global warming could lead to wars. It turned into a year-long trek talking to scientists, soldiers and politicians in a dozen different countries. I have come back from that trip seriously worried, and there are four things I learned that I think you ought to know.

The first is that a lot of the scientists who study climate change are in a state of suppressed panic these days. Things seem to be moving much faster than their models predicted.

The second thing is that the military strategists are right. Global warming is going to cause wars, because some countries will suffer a lot more than others. That will make dealing with the global problem of climate change a lot harder.

The third is that we are probably not going to meet the deadlines. The world’s countries will probably not cut their greenhouse gas emissions enough, in time, to keep the warming from going past 2 degrees celsius. That is very serious.

And the fourth thing is that it may be possible to cheat on the deadlines. I think we will need a way to cheat, at least for a while, in order to avoid a global disaster

Bangladesh faces 5 feet of sea level rise by 2100.   “As many as 30 million people would become refugees in their own land, many of them subsistence farmers with nothing to subsist on any longer.”

James Lovelock, the originator of the notion of Gaia - predicts a global population decimation.   An earth population of nearly 9 billion humans, will soon be reduced to 1 billion.  And not many climate scientists can say that’s impossible.

United Nations studies, recent NOAA reports, Union of Concerned Scientists, NRDC, Pentagon studies, even the Bush administration reports serious danger ahead.  The Gates Foundation is located near the highly respected University of Washington Atmospherics department. Even your local journalist has a science overview They have no excuse for such paltry attention.

The most dangerous denial is that of the tipping point feedback events - such as methane releases - a greenhouse gas 25 times more active than carbon dioxide - that can accelerate warming beyond all anticipated levels. We are playing with fire.

The writer Bruce Sterling thinks this year 2009 - will be a Year of Panic.  He says:

The climate.  People still behave as if it’s okay.  Every scientist in the world who isn’t the late Michael Crichton knows that it’s not.  The climate is in terrible shape; something’s gone wrong with the sky.  The bone-chilling implications haven’t soaked into the populace, even though Al Gore put together a PowerPoint about it that won him a Nobel.  Al was soft-peddling the problem.

It’s become an item of fundamentalist faith to maintain that the climate crisis is a weird leftist hoax.  Yet, since the rain falls on the just and the unjust alike, an honest fear of the consequences will prove hard to repress.  Since the fear has been methodically obscured, its emergence from the mists of superstition will be all the more powerful.  Unlike mere shibboleths of finance, this is a situation that’s objectively terrifying and likely to remain so indefinitely.

It is an old American saying “When you are up to your ass in alligators, it is easy to forget that your original goal was to drain the swamp”   The Gates Foundation is heroically smiting the ferocious alligators of disease and low productivity.  Thanks for that.  Really.  But the swamp waters are rising.  The seas literally rising - and within the next few generations we can expect at least a few feet of sea level rise and as much as twenty feet within a century.  Children alive today will witness tremendous chaos.

In Part 2  Why is the Gates Foundation in denial?

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