“Patient capital to support cutting-edge clean energy companies.”
Therein lies only one mystery. What the hell does that mean? Well, no clarification necessary. We know Bill and Melinda Gates. We grew up in his Seattle. We know where Bill went to school, and even the aspirations of his parents before Microsoft, and the roles they played in the community.
We know Bill and Melinda are dedicated like no others to eliminating the “low-hanging fruit” of endemic diseases in the World, and the World’s most poverty-stricken regions. They have, through their Foundation, now on Mercer Street, driven a wooden stake through the heart of malaria, and waged a war on polio as it re-emerges. They have taken on sickle cell disease and meningitis in Africa, as well.
What Bill and Melinda Gates have invested in clean, carbon-free renewable energy is also substantial. Microsoft openly, and through Bill and fellow investors, have invested $100’s of millions in General Fusion in Burnaby, B.C. Canada. General Fusion will, by 2030 make commercially available fusion power plants. A fusion power plant, by fusing hydrogen nuclei in a controlled and periodic way, generates vast amounts of energy for use in steam turbines for electricity.
Yet, despite an introduction that rivaled no other, by former Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Bill was hesitant to discuss this investment and where fusion energy has evolved at this crucial time. Instead, he discussed alleviating human misery and disease. In other words, for many Seattle observers, he took “the safer approach.”
With this slide he discussed “Agricultural Adaptation in Africa.” He mentioned Africa and climate change towards the end, however failed to mention the Congo Rainforests.
At one point, it was so “safe”, it became boring. Poor Bill!
I started answering email and looking at Instagram in the middle of his talk. Something I have never done before when Bill or Melinda spoke.
Here is the the AAAS President speaking AT Bill, as he sips Diet Coke. This was just after she insulted Bill Gates by saying how she was able to finish at “HA-VAD”, but he had dropped out. Bill did not laugh.
The crowd. The lights. The action. The…yawn…speeches. A LOT of suits, so unbecoming of Seattle for a talk by Bill Gates.
Final assessment. Bill was stuck between a hard-place and a rock. He certainly WANTED to escape, and get back to work on Mercer Street.