How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need

Bill Gates. Knopf, $28.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-385546-13-3
Gates (The Road Ahead), Microsoft cofounder turned philanthropist, is optimistic in this cogent guide to avoiding “the worst effects of climate change.” Gates’s goal is to get from the 51 billion tons of greenhouse gasses added to the atmosphere annually to zero. This is possible, he writes, by making use of existing technologies and developing new ones to remove emissions: transportation’s “zero-carbon future,” for example, will mean using “electricity to run all the vehicles we can, and getting cheap alternative fuels for the rest.” (Such alternatives include electrofuels, which, he notes, researchers are developing.) Gates rounds out his advice with steps for governments and individuals: he encourages citizens to “make calls, write letters, attend town halls,” while Congress should financially incentivize green policies, and state governments can “test policies like carbon pricing” before they’re implemented countrywide. Readers will enjoy Gates’s sometimes breezy tone (“You have to be a pretty big nerd to write a sentence like ‘I’m in awe of physical infrastructure’ ”), and while his scientific solutions are never fringe, not all of his ideas strike as politically feasible. Nonetheless, those looking for an accessible review of how global warming can be countered will find this a handy—and maybe even hope-inspiring—guide. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 11/23/2020
Release date: 02/16/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 272 pages - 978-0-7352-8044-1
Book - 1 pages - 978-0-385-54614-0
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-593-21577-7
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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