In his latest book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need
, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates lays out a plan to stop global warming by reducing greenhouses gas emissions to zero. In reality, a closer look into his million-dollar investments and his political agenda show little alignment with the goal of truly curving climate change, helping alleviate world hunger, or lift the poor out of poverty.
While his many investments are all seemingly justified by a noble humanitarian and environmental cause, they actually allow him to impose his strategy through direct influence over all types of global development protagonists
. He uses his million-dollar grants to align public opinion and the media, international and state policy as well as private companies to open up new markets for his investments and promote the idea that any problem can (and should only) be solved through technology, innovation and the rules of the private market
. This technological solutionism mentality is a common thread in all of the Gates Foundation’s initiatives, from food and agriculture to health and climate change.
Through examples such as one of Gates’ most prominent investments funds, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, or his push for plant-based fake food, this brief shows how this notion of technological acceleration as the only solution to the world’s problems results in the same people, giant corporations and power structures that created our current crises to sell back to us their own proposed ‘solution’.
In the end, this agenda ensures the further concentration of failed industrial models, diverting attention away from the deep systemic changes that are needed to address the crises we are facing today.
We do not need to go further down the path that has destroyed health and biodiversity. Instead, we have the opportunity to truly foster an ecological approach to food and agriculture, taking into deep account the web of biodiversity, food sovereignty, and local food communities, to help protect Earth and human health. This transformation is possible through agroecological approaches, which use biodiversity in food systems to build resilience, providing a long-lasting solution to climate change.