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BIll Gates Warns the Next Crisis Could Be Five Times as Deadly as COVID-19 Pandemic

2019 New York Times Dealbook
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 06: Bill Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation speaks onstage at 2019 New York Times Dealbook on November 06, 2019 in New York City. (Photo : (Photo by Mike Cohen/Getty Images for The New York Times))

Microsoft co-Founder and Software developer, Bill Gates, stated on his blog that climate change is still worse than the current pandemic that we are facing, the COVID-19.

In the business magnate’s blog, Gates Notes, he said that even though the current pandemic that we are experiencing is “awful”, climate change could still be worse, especially in the years to come. Gates gave his own opinion on a projection of the possible global crisis in the future, which is climate change.

“I realize that it’s hard to think about a problem like climate change right now.” Gates said. “But the fact that dramatically higher temperatures seem far off in the future does not make them any less of a problem-and the only way to avoid the worst possible climate outcomes is to accelerate our efforts now.”

Bill Gates expressed his feelings about the Novel coronavirus, saying that it is causing an “economic hardship not seen in many generations”. He admits that its effect is affecting not just in his country, but also the whole world. Despite claiming this, Gates still reiterates that climate change poses a massive threat to the environment and soon, to the human race.

Gates projected that in 40 years time or 2060, Climate Change will be just as deadly as the pandemic that we are currently facing. However, by the year 2100, we will be leaving the world with a global crisis that is five times more catastrophic that will be very difficult to solve.

He predicted that climate change could be blamed for as many as 73 deaths per 100,000 people by 2021. That compares to the current number of deaths due to COVID-19, which is around 14 per 100,000 people.

Climate Change call to action

climate change
(Photo : Unsplash)

This statement by Gates is a wake-up call for everyone, citizens and professionals alike, to accelerate the efforts in researching and innovating devices that will help in reducing the planet’s demise. Gates mentioned and gave importance to the greenhouse gas emissions that significantly contribute to the world’s shift in climate.

Gates warned not to be blindsided by the fact that the world is on lockdown, that being economic activity slowing down and decreasing compared to last year’s projections. The efforts and action being taken to address this global crisis are being “overstated”.

“And yet we are still on track to emit 92 percent as much carbon as we did last year. What’s remarkable is not how much emissions will go down because of the pandemic, but how little.”

Gates stated that in a report by the International Energy Agency, emissions this year is down by eight percent. However, it took a global virus to do so. He notes that 600,000 people have already died and “tens of millions” are unemployed, and that is what it took to reduce emissions by as little as eight percent.

It is still expected that the world will emit 47 billion tons of carbon waste, compared to the 51 billion last year. This projection still poses a considerable threat to the planet and its inhabitants. If this goes on, climate change will prove to be a catastrophic problem for the future generations that will up the death rate, five times more than what we face today.

What Bill Gates wants the world to do

Business Insider highlighted Bill Gates’ effort in addressing a possible pandemic in a TED Talk video dating back to 2015. He advocated for pandemic preparedness and talked about its devastating effects since then.

Bill Gates added to his blog that the key take away from everything he said is climate change not being “disastrous” or what its effect will be in the coming years, instead, COVID-19’s lesson of inaction to specific approaches. “The current global crisis can inform our response to the next one.”

Gates also gave three takeaway points for everyone:

  1. Let science and innovation lead the way.
  2. Make sure solutions work for poor countries too.
  3. Start now.