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Category — Energy R&D (Manhattan Project)

Bill Gates: Energy Visionary? (energy Manhattan project, yet again)

“If America can put a man on the moon, why should we stay in servitude to the first and second laws of thermodynamics? What we plainly need is a Manhattan Project–like the one that gave us the atomic bomb but not like the one that narrowly missed finding a cure for cancer.”

- Paul Samuelson, “Tragicomedy of the Energy Crisis,” Newsweek, July 2, 1979, p. 62.

“A group of industry leaders, including Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and General Electric boss Jeff Immelt, stepped up calls for a Manhattan project for low carbon energy last week urging the US government to significantly increase investment in energy research and development.”

- Danny Bradbury, “Gates and Co Demand Manhattan Project for Energy.” BusinessGreen.com, June 14, 2010.

Just as as the polls start finding that nobody thinks global warming matters much, and just as hockey stick predictions of catastrophe fall apart in a scientific scandal, guess who turns up at the White House?

Bill Gates! And the billionaire wants your money to federally fund research on “breakthrough” energy technologies to cope with carbon, an increase between $3 billion and $16 billion a year, possibly forever. The Wall Street Journal apparently lost its secret decoder ring and quotes him: “It’s the only way you’re going to get to the goal of not driving extreme climate change without extreme pain.”

In a video clip he says that ten years of research would mean that by 2030 “we’d be in a position to change the transportation infrastructure to zero carbon,” and likewise for electricity. Red ink in Washington a problem? No problem with “a modest energy tax,” or “cutting subsidies to fossil fuels.”

Subsidies? The U.S. Energy Information Administration defines them and finds that in 2007 coal got $932 million and gas and petroleum liquids got $2.1 billion. Even if your Congressman votes to kill them totally, that’s still only $3 billion. But before even hoping for any of this recall that your Congressman is the person who put the subsidies in place. Since $3 billion is rock bottom in Bill’s wish book, we are probably talking taxes or bonds for the rest.

Meet the New Energy Experts

Bill Gates didn’t go to Washington alone. He is a member of the American Energy Innovation Council (AEIC), made up of: [Read more →]

June 18, 2010   16 Comments