Microsoft tech mogul and billionaire Bill Gates is on a mission to fix the planet.
He’s written a new book, complete with guidance about what we need to be doing to save the world.
Aptly called ‘How to Avoid a Climate Disaster’, Gates insists it’s possible for humanity to avert the disaster through technology. However, he adds that government policy will ultimately also be needed.
In an interview with the MIT Technology Review magazine, Gates recognised that some governments can only do so much depending on their wealth: “I don’t think the poorest 80 countries will be eating synthetic beef. I do think all rich countries should move to 100% synthetic beef.”
Mr Gates acknowledges the problem with livestock is “very difficult”.
But, he insists we’ll adapt to it: “You can get used to the taste difference, and the claim is they’re going to make it taste even better over time,”
Researchers found that cows bred for beef are a large part of the greenhouse gas problem, and it has now reached record levels.
Methane levels rose hugely between 2000 and 2017. The methane from cows burping could lead to a global warming increase of up to four degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
Gates realises that synthetic beef will never be the cheapest. One company, Memphis Meats, makes synthetic meat at a cellular level. Gates says: “I don’t think that [technique of manufacturing synthetic beef] will ever be economical.”
The billionaire acknowledges that companies such as Impossible and Beyond “have a road map, a quality road map and a cost road map, that makes them totally competitive”.
He recognises that political influence also causes problems in convincing people to try it: “There are all these bills that say it’s got to be called, basically, lab garbage to be sold. They don’t want us to use the beef label,” he said.
At the moment, synthetic meat makes up less than 1% of the world’s meat supply. Gates says “they’re on their way”, insisting that we’re on the way to solving the problem.
Gates has recently revealed he spends a huge amount to offset his carbon footprint. During an interview with Anderson Cooper, he was asked what steps he takes to put things right.
The tech billionaire confirmed he spends around $7,000,000 every year to offset the impact of his work.
Definitely putting his money where his mouth is.
Would you eat synthetic beef?
Images via Alamy