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How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need

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4.15  ·  Rating details ·  37,584 ratings  ·  4,031 reviews
In this urgent, authoritative book, Bill Gates sets out a wide-ranging, practical - and accessible - plan for how the world can get to zero greenhouse gas emissions in time to avoid a climate catastrophe.

Bill Gates has spent a decade investigating the causes and effects of climate change. With the help of experts in the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, p
...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published February 16th 2021 by Allen Lane
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Glynis I don't think holding people to perfectionist standards is a reason to dismiss what they have to say. After all, 100 companies are responsible for 70%…moreI don't think holding people to perfectionist standards is a reason to dismiss what they have to say. After all, 100 companies are responsible for 70% of all emissions. Instead of focusing on the minoot ways in which these people live their lives, how about we focus on the message and what it means for future generations. At the end of the day, would you like to do something about the climate crisis or not?(less)

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Emily May
Feb 22, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2021, arc
I wish I liked this book a bit more than I did because I'd love to counteract some of the negative comments from people who I suspect never read the book (ten years on Goodreads and this still makes my blood boil). Oddly, the negative reactions seem to fall primarily into two categories: 1) Bill Gates is a rich evil oligarch who only wrote this book to get even more money (muahaha), and 2) Bill Gates is an evil Marxist who only wrote this book to encourage the government to employ socialism (mua ...more
Jenna ❤ ❀  ❤
I wasn't going to mention the "controversy" over this book, but the more I think about it, the more I think I should. (If you aren't bothered -as you shouldn't be- by these hypocrisy claims and want to skip to my thoughts on the book, I'll note with a line of dashes where it begins.)

Reading all the one star "reviews" for this book almost kept me from reading it. "But he's a hypocrite!", the 'reviewers' claim. And my brain echoed, "But he's a hypocrite! Why should I listen to what he has to say?"
...more
Jessica
Jan 15, 2020 marked it as no-thanks
bill gates ‪is like the richest man in the world, he could probably singlehandedly pay to fix climate change and still be richer than most people, he does not need to write a book telling us that we’re the problem. especially when the real outcome of this book will be him profiting from the sales and getting richer and still not putting his money where is mouth is to fix shit. i’d rather read stuff like this from people who aren’t literal billionaires who could do a lot to save the planet if the ...more
Dr. Appu Sasidharan
Feb 26, 2021 rated it liked it
Summary

Do you think that climate change is a hoax created by billionaires to control developing countries? How can a person with a high carbon footprint like Bill Gates, who took his own private jet ironically for the Paris summit, talk about climate change? Bill Gates tries to answer many controversial questions like these and tries to give us solutions for avoiding a climate disaster through this book.

What I learned from this book
1) Nature’s defense against climate change
Nat
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Corvus
Feb 17, 2021 rated it did not like it
This just in: tech billionaire responsible for some of the worst pollution and disaster on this planet shares his wisdom about saving us from pollution and disaster on this planet while flying around in one of his multiple private jets to one of his mansions..

Do you all realize how much money this man has? Don't give him more by promoting and lifting up this garbage book. Spend your time reading and learning about grassroots radical environmental work instead of billionaires telling individuals
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Twerking To Beethoven
Feb 20, 2021 rated it did not like it
Shelves: load-of-wank
This...this...creature owns a mansion worth 120,000,000$, FOUR private jets (he boarded one of them to fly to Paris in order to attend the climate change summit in 2015), FIVE helicopters, SIX Porches, TWO BMWs, FOUR Mercedes and probably a big fuck-off yacht the size of a coral atoll.

BUT Bill says we're the ones who're supposed to quit the following:

1. going on international holidays,
2. driving a car equipped with a petrol engine,
3. using AC,
4. living in a house with more than 4 rooms,
5. etc
...more
Aaron Akbar
Feb 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Highly readable, and extremely practical, Gates sorts out the mess of data in concise terms without making the information feel like too much. Initially disconcerting, the first part of the book lays out the problem by merging hard facts with snapshots of possible futures. But then the book turns around and lays out exactly what we can and need to do, and the challenges we face in the process. And to be clear, this isn't individual fixes. The focus is on widespread policy and economics. The end ...more
Ryan
Feb 16, 2021 rated it did not like it
In America, we love our billionaires. We love when they "innovate," we love when they offer "bold solutions" to our greatest challenges. After all, they've beat the game. Their riches are proof of their cunning & genius.

It follows then, that we love when they write books. There's nothing in this you haven't heard before: five dollar buzz words, lots of talk of bringing things to market, grand plans for the entire world only a true monopolist could conjure. The problem with Mr. Gates' book, as i
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Olive Fellows (abookolive)
How to Avoid a Climate Disaster is an interesting and well-informed look at the current state of our ever-increasing energy consumption and the way it affects climate change. In light of that information, Gates proposes ideas of how we can change the way we produce and consume energy so that we can get down to zero carbon dioxide emissions while not making ourselves worse off in the process. This is a very industry-focused book as opposed to discussing what people can do on an individual level t ...more
Jeffrey Keeten
Mar 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
”To stop global warming and avoid the worst effects of climate change, humans need to stop adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

This sounds difficult, because it will be. The world has never done anything quite this big. Every country will need to change its ways, because virtually every activity in modern life--growing things, making things, getting around from place to place--involves releasing greenhouse gases.

If nothing else changes, the world will keep producing greenhouse gases, clima
...more
Khurram
Feb 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A great informative, optimistic, and ambitious plan and story. Bill Gates does an incredible job of explaining the extent of the climate disaster we are heading to, but where we are, what we can do and what we must do. Everything is well explained and easy to follow.

The other thing I really like is when Bill Gates shows he really knows his that readers are thinking by speaking directly. He will go from giving an explanation then write "I know it easy for a rich man like me to tell everyone what
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Elyse  Walters
Audiobook... read by Bill Gates and Will Wheaton

As we moved towards a zero carbon future....
we’re still allowed to eat toast.

There are some things we ( little us) can do to help:
.... conserve water
.... reduce, reuse, recycle
.... choose sustainable
....plant a tree....
....but....
"we have every reason to worry"!!!

With International cooperation and education....
Bill Gates is still hopeful we can save the planet. 🌍
...more
Mansoor
Feb 17, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Bill Gates is the biggest charlatan of all. The guy who's been investing in private-jet companies - and owns four private jets himself - tells you to eat synthetic meat and edible insects, instead of real meat, to battle climate change. ...more
Kathleen
Jan 29, 2021 rated it did not like it
Billionaires are the leading cause of climate change.
SoleTobel
Jan 26, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Fascist. Like ever. Disgusting human being.
B.K.
Jan 26, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
More fiction to drive Gates fortune to new heights.
Voyt
Feb 18, 2021 rated it did not like it
Ravings of the Globalist Trotsky Urban Yoda:

He claims that 20% of the carbon dioxide emitted today will still be in the atmosphere 10,000 years later. This is not true.

Gates believes that global warming will cause sea level to rise and this will cause a catastrophe. Wrong- sea level has been rising since civilization began.

He thinks that overall food production will drop in the future due to climate change, growing seasons will shrink, and food prices will rise. In fact, the evidence tells us th
...more
Martin Empson
Feb 23, 2021 rated it did not like it
Crap.

"Bill Gates' book personifies the interests of capital, and thus its only real use to the reader is to expose the system as a whole." Full review > http://resolutereader.blogspot.com/20...
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Claudia
"This is urgent work. We are at the same point today with climate change as we were several years ago with pandemics. Health experts were telling us that a massive outbreak was virtually inevitable. Despite their warnings, the world didn't do enough to prepare - and then suddenly had to scramble to make up for lost time. We should not make the same mistake with climate change."

As much as I dislike Windows, I've always admired Bill Gates for what he managed to create, and most of all, for his phi
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HBalikov
May 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
"There are two numbers you need to know about climate change. The first is 51 billion. The other is zero. Fifty-one billion is how many tons of greenhouse gases the world typically adds to the atmosphere every year. Although the figure may go up or down a bit from year to year, it’s generally increasing. This is where we are today. *1 Zero is what we need to aim for. To stop the warming and avoid the worst effects of climate change—and these effects will be very bad—humans need to stop adding gr ...more
Marianne
Feb 09, 2021 rated it did not like it
Bill Gates is accused of hypocrisy after joining bidding war to buy the world's largest private jet operator - one month before he releases his book preaching about climate change. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti... ...more
Jakub Dovcik
Feb 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: climate
It is very easy to dismiss this book upfront as another elitist rant on how we should feel guilty about our consumption or as another idealistic and removed from reality work on the ways in which we can avoid a climate catastrophe. And to large part, Gates acknowledges this at the very start of the book.
But that would be a huge mistake. Gates cuts through a lot of noise on both sides of the issue - coming from the world of global development (particularly global health and poverty alleviation wi
...more
Joy D
This is a well-organized and thoughtful analysis of the current issues regarding carbon emissions and climate change. Currently 51 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalents are released into the atmosphere annually. It is an understatement to say that getting this figure to zero will be a significant challenge.

The subject matter is ordered by major category of emissions, listing the primary causes and how they can be addressed. It contains numerous facts and figures based on the many contacts
...more
Numidica
Apr 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
3.7, rounded to 4.

First of all, I feel a little bad for Bill Gates. Unlike other billionaires who seem intent on living on Mars, Bill is actually interested in fixing the only planet we have. So kudos to him; give him a break, haters. That said, I really, really wish Bill had written this book as a collaborative effort with people like Bill McKibben or Elizabeth Kolbert or Hope Jahren, if for no other reason than to improve it's style, but also to increase the number of ideas circulating in his
...more
Ayibatari Ogounga
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
can't wait to read this, so cool .this might be better than what Vaclav smil has to offer ...really looking forward to it. ...more
Gary Moreau
Feb 16, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this relatively short and very readable book Gates provides a comprehensive overview of the who, what, why and where of global warming. (Not surprisingly, the issue is very much related to the Gates Foundation’s well-publicized interest in global health and the eradication of poverty.)

This is a great primer covering what is causing the problem today and what can be done about it, clearly delineating the technology that currently exists and that which should be pursued through a joint effort o
...more
Holly
Feb 19, 2021 rated it did not like it
A book so full of misleading information from a man who flew a private jet to the 2015 Paris climate change summit.

His bombardier private jet, which he uses extensively to travel the world telling poor people how evil they are for destroying the planet, consumes 486 gallons of petrol per hour. He owns 4 private jets and a fleet of helicopters. He lives in a 66000 sq foot mansion worth 127 million dollars that took 100 electricians to complete building and is built out of half a million board fe
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Murtaza
In this book Bill Gates offers a singles and doubles approach to mitigating climate change rather than a home run, which he centers around the long-term goal of reducing the present annual carbon emissions total of 51 billion tons to zero by 2050. The book is more like a set of fleshed out PowerPoint notes. Much of it will feel like beginner stuff to anyone who has read up on the subject previously. There is a disjuncture between the upbeat tone and the relatively cautious prognostications of ch ...more
Dev Pradhan
Oct 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
How to avoid a climate disaster: The solutions we have and the breakthroughs we need by Bill Gates.

This book first indicates to the catastrophe we can see in future if we won't do anything to the greenhouse gases emissions per year. Later, Bill Gates describes why is it so important for us to reach zero emissions per year from 51 billions. The causes of this are so many and some are our daily essentials without which we cannot imagine our life. So, reaching the target is not easy but it can hap
...more
Casaubon
When we have a fact-based view of climate change, we can see that we have some of the things we need to avoid a climate disaster, but not all of them. We can see what stands in the way of deploying the solutions we have and developing the breakthroughs we need. And we can see all the work we must do to overcome those hurdles.

Look at it this way. Talking about problems is better than running away from them. The environmental problems that humanity faces all under the bland term "climate change" c
...more
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Reading books is one of my favorite ways to learn new things and better understand the world. I try to read every day, even when I’m busy and traveling. I’m excited to share with you what I'm reading, the people I meet, and what I'm learning. I hope that you'll join the conversation here and on my blog, gatesnotes.com. ...more

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Believe it or not, we're halfway through 2021! As is our tradition, this is the time when the Goodreads editorial team burrows into our data to...
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“The cruel injustice is that even though the world’s poor are doing essentially nothing to cause climate change, they’re going to suffer the most from it.” 16 likes
“To sum up: We need to accomplish something gigantic we have never done before, much faster than we have ever done anything similar.” 8 likes
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