Book Review: How to Avoid a Climate Disaster by Bill Gates

Every day the evidence that climate change poses a major problem for humanity’s existence on this planet mounts, no matter how much some people might try to convince you otherwise. Despite this however, very little is seemingly being done to fix the problem before it’s too late, which to some degree at least it already may be. In his latest book, Microsoft founder Bill Gates sets out to inspire people into action on the issue, though by “people” he mostly means governments and large corporations. The solutions proposed within are large scale projects like geo-engineering and rapid deployment of green energy as opposed to the sorts of things everyday citizens can do like remembering to turn off the lights or cleaning your recyclables; and there is a good reason for that. It isn’t that those things don’t help, as they certainly do, rather that they will never help on a big enough scale to really matter on their own. So what can you do? Gates suggests contacting your local representatives or the executives in charge of your favorite companies and demanding that they start making changes. The rest of the book is taken up with a primer on what exactly climate change is, which while well-written, doesn’t contain much that anyone who hasn’t been following the issue won’t already know, and unfortunately is unlikely to be read by those who could really benefit from it. This is ultimately an optimistic book, as Gates seems to firmly believe that this is a fixable problem, it’s just going to require some major work on the part of those in power, which is a welcome change from the usual messaging that places too much of the responsibility on the little guy and not enough on the people who can actually affect major change. ★★★★ – Sean Farrell

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★★★★★ = Excellent | ★★★★ = Very Good | ★★★ = Good | ★★ = Fair | ★ = Poor

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