Bill Gates: Pandemic 'Misery' Will 'Happen Regularly' Without Corrective Action
Microsoft founder predicts rising death toll
Billionaire Bill Gates said the pain of the coronavirus pandemic could be extended over a longer period of time if the United States doesn't treat climate change with the "same sense of urgency."
The Microsoft co-founder wrote on his blog:
"If you want to understand the kind of damage that climate change will inflict, look at COVID-19, and spread the pain out over a much longer period of time."
"The loss of life and economic misery caused by this pandemic are on par with what will happen regularly if we do not eliminate the world’s carbon emissions."
Gates predicted the death toll from climate change would match that of the coronavirus by 2060, and exceed it fivefold by 2100.
Gates said the economic impact of climate change could be "as bad as having a COVID-sized pandemic every ten years."
The billionaire argued that the temporary restrictions in place to tackle COVID-19 are not enough to combat increasing emissions.
“What’s remarkable is not how much emissions will go down because of the pandemic, but how little," he said.
"Has closing off major parts of the economy avoided emissions at anything close to $100 per ton?" Gates asked.
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"No. In the United States, according to data from the Rhodium Group, it comes to between $3,200 and $5,400 per ton," he continued.
"In the European Union, it’s roughly the same amount. In other words, the shutdown is reducing emissions at a cost between 32 and 54 times the $100 per ton that economists consider a reasonable price."
Gates also said that flying or driving less wasn't going to help.
"So just as we need new tests, treatments, and vaccines for the novel coronavirus, we need new tools for fighting climate change: zero-carbon ways to produce electricity, make things, grow food, keep our buildings cool and warm, and move people and goods around the world," he said.
"And we need new seeds and other innovations to help the world’s poorest people — many of whom are smallholder farmers — adapt to a less predictable climate."
In June, Gates warned that the "final hurdle" for a new COVID-19 vaccine would be ensuring that the public takes it.
The Microsoft founder also worried that people may refuse to use the drug .
Last month, the Microsoft founder also warned that the coronavirus vaccine might need several doses in order to be effective.
Gates also accused Trump of making "serious mistakes," before warning that schools may not return to normality until the fall of 2021.
Gates insisted people would need "unbelievably big numbers" of doses of the vaccine for it to work.
"None of the vaccines at this point appear like they'll work with a single dose," Gates said.