Colonizing Mars to guarantee the future of humanity is an idea defended by billionaires Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, who point to the flight to another planet as a way to deal with climate change on Earth. But for Bill Gates, this plan is nothing more than “nonsense”, as he made clear in an interview with the podcast Sway of The New York Times, this Monday (15).
During the conversation with journalist Kara Swisher, whose main theme was climate change, a topic he addressed in his new book How to Avoid a Climate Disaster – The Solutions We Have and Climate Innovations, Gates argued that it is necessary to focus on resolving of Earth’s problems instead of thinking about going to another planet.
Among the most urgent work to be done, the philanthropist highlighted the importance of investing in the decarbonization of industries and in the distribution of vaccines that can help save lives, such as fighting the pandemic of the new coronavirus.
Asked if he would go to the Red Planet, he replied that he prefers to spend his fortune in another way. “I’m not going to pay a lot of money because my foundation can buy measles vaccines and save a life for $ 1,000. So, whatever I do I always think, Okay, I could spend that $ 1,000 buying measles vaccine, ”referring to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Praise and criticism
Despite the hints to fellow billionaires, Gates distributed praise, especially to the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, recalling his collaboration with the environment in the production of electric cars.
“Well, it’s important to say that what Elon did with Tesla is one of the biggest contributions to climate change anyone has ever made. And you know, underestimating Elon is not a good idea, ”he said.
But in the sequence, there were some caveats. For him, dealing with electrified vehicles is an “easy” job given what needs to be done to stop climate change, as well as investing in rockets and trips to Mars instead of becoming a more sustainable company.
“Basically, we are not doing enough on hard things: steel, cement, meat,” he commented, adding that the things currently being thought of – electricity and automobiles – are just one third of the problem. “Therefore, we have to work on two thirds,” he concluded.