Bill Gates on the Climate Debate: U.S.-government R&D is Key, the Private Sector is too Selfish and Inefficient

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

The article Bill Gates: Only Socialism Can Save the Climate, ‘The Private Sector is Inept’ highlights a recent interview titled ‘We Need an Energy Miracle’ published in the 2015 issue of The Atlantic, in which billionaire tech magnate Bill Gates announced his game plan to spend $2 billion of his own wealth on green energy investments, and called on his fellow private sector billionaires to help make the U.S. fossil-free by 2050. But in doing so, Gates admitted that the private sector is too selfish and inefficient to do the work on its own, and that mitigating climate change would be impossible without the help of government research and development.

Gates even tacked to the left and uttered words that few other billionaire investors would dare to say: government R&D is far more effective and efficient than anything the private sector could do.

“Since World War II, U.S.-government R&D has defined the state of the art in almost every area,” Gates said. “The private sector is in general inept.” In making his case for public sector excellence, the Microsoft founder mentioned the success of the internet.

As evidence around the world shows, the United States doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel to be a green energy juggernaut — it can simply look to existing examples in countries with socialist policies — like Germany and China, for instance — on how to become a leader in green energy. And according to Bill Gates, the rest of the world will follow the lead if the biggest countries set the bar.

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Hugh Campbell is a seasoned financial professional, currently providing subject matter expertise on a variety of regulatory topics, including the Dodd-Frank Act, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and overall compliance monitoring. Hugh has previously held positions as Chief Risk Officer (CRO), Chief Audit Executive (CAE) and Director of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Compliance.

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