The story of Bill Gates is somewhat legendary. From his early days with Apple to his mission to make computers for every household with Microsoft, he has lived a rather storied life. With Microsoft having failed at various spots along the way, the story reads more like a rollercoaster. Now, it seems like his time working with the early soldering guns may have damaged his memory.
Presenting at the Lowy Institute, an Australia-based non-partisan international policy think tank, he decried that the resurgence of China is something that should be celebrated. Joined by their executive director Michael Fullilove, the two had an in-depth conversation on the stage and discussed his favorite topics of climate, environment, pandemic preparedness, and public health. As the two spoke to the wonderment of other think tankers, Gates gave his unabashed views on China making a comeback.
“I tend to see China’s rise as a huge win for the world. I mean, that’s 20 percent of humanity. China is a very innovative country, very important, you know, arguably the number two innovator, but the distance [from the US] is unbelievable.” He expanded on this by explaining that he sees the weakened US (thanks Biden) leading the way is “scary for the world.” He instead proposes that “middle-income countries, including China and India, need to play a strong role in world governance,” as their wealth continues to grow.
Forget about the fact that those two countries are becoming wealthier due to their lack of oversight into the conditions they have employees working in. Children are running around sweatshops sewing clothing or assembling cheap toys in both countries. Paying them pennies an hour, these children and their entire households are working 80-hour weeks with no ability to climb the ladder or get more money.
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Keeping with the idea of profiting off child labor, he also focused on nations that have closed themselves off from trading natural resources that are used for electric vehicles like copper, lithium, and cobalt. “It is sad that … we’re devolving into a world where the willingness — certainly of the US — to be dependent on things from China, at least for a decade here will be low, and it’ll create significant inefficiencies.”
His inability to recognize that this “dependence” on China is coming from people like himself. Cellphones and other devices that use Microsoft technology are built in overseas factories. The Microsoft X-Box is made in a factory in China. His poorly received Zoom (early 2000’s iPod competitor) was also made in China.
Given his rant about natural resources, the evolution toward climate change was inevitable. “Climate change is worth investing in massively because it will get worse and worse over time. And if you allow the warming to go to an extreme level, say, three degrees centigrade to four degrees centigrade, then all sorts of natural ecosystems disappear. And all sorts of places in the world, you can’t do outdoor work.”
This kind of transition is not only shortsighted but also showcases just how badly the visibly aged computer genius has lost touch with reality. Climate change is coming from a variety of places, and the factories in China and India are contributing more than their fair share of the pollution. The extraction of the aforementioned minerals for electric vehicles strips the earth and destroys the land. Nothing grows there after that.
Despite all destruction, he and other “climate activists” continue to push for electric vehicles like it is going to suddenly save the planet. Unfortunately, the lithium and cobalt in those batteries cannot go back into the ground once it’s been used. They aren’t cost-effective to fix either, so it becomes yet again more waste.
He tried ending on a high note: “the amount of innovation that is the improvement overall in the human condition is still going to be dramatic” with things like obesity and diabetes being cured. Oddly enough, those with diabetes and obesity are some of his highest-paying customers.
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