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Bill Gates Optimistic About Science's Ability to Crack Alternative Energy

Bill Gates thinks the world needs an "energy miracle" to tackle climate change, and he's optimistic about our chances. The Microsoft co-founder and his wife, Melinda Gates, laid out their vision for the future today in an annual letter published by their eponymous philanthropic organization. Unlike previous letters, this year's version is geared toward teenagers, and is centered around a very childlike question: "If you could have one superpower, what would it be?" For Bill, the answer is energy; for Melinda, it's time.

In his half of the letter, Gates succinctly outlines the environmental and economic quandary that the world faces: a growing population, growing demand for services, and increased energy use. Each of these factors contributes to rising carbon dioxide emissions, a major driver behind climate change, and there's no sign that their upward trends will reverse. But Gates argues that we could still avert environmental disaster by focusing on the carbon dioxide produced by energy — specifically, by reducing it to zero.


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