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How to avoid a climate disaster.

Author- Bill Gates

Ratings- 4/5

  • Understanding the meaning of the book As the title of the book suggest Mr. Bill Gates talks about the measures and the breakthroughs we need to avoid a climate catastrophe. This book contains a lot of methods and alternatives which we need to take upon to avoid the worst-case scenario of climate change. Mr. Bill also highlights factors that are just adding up more and more carbon into the atmosphere and various alternatives we can use instead of using the ones which are causing global warming. There are two terms that we need to remember throughout this book the first one is 51 billion and the other is 0. Every year 51 billion metric tonnes of greenhouse gases are emitted in nature, half of the gases are absorbed by trees and oceans while the other half stays in the atmosphere itself which causes an increase in the temperature of the earth. We need to get these emissions to zero. The net emission should be brought to zero.

  • 51 Billion to zero Every single bit of carbon adds to the change in the temperature. The earth is warming because of human activity and the impact is going to be much worse in the next coming years. At some point, this impact is going to be catastrophic but we don't know when it's gonna strike so we need to start from now. Because we have already increased the earth's average temperature by 1 degree Celsius since the pre industrialist time and if we don't decrease the temperature now then we will have to face a severe average temperature increase from 4 to 8 degree Celsius till the end of the century. All the heat will cause various changes in the climate. Climate disasters are becoming more intense and more frequent due to climate change also the frequency of wildfire is increasing every year. Also, the wood is becoming drier which means it is likely to catch fire easily. These climate disasters leave tons of debris which puts end to the decade's progress. Also, seawater is increasing due to the melting of polar ice, and also water expands on heating. As climate change gives rise to disasters the climate will also cause various health-related issues like malaria and dengue because of the after-effects of floods and cyclones. Heatstroke is going to be another big problem due to rising temperatures. The rainfall is becoming more and more unpredictable it's sometimes really less or it's too much. This causes a huge effect on crops and also on the farmer's income. By the end of the century if the emission growth stays high climate change will be responsible for more than 75 deaths per thousand people as compared to a pandemic which is 14 deaths per thousand people. There is a danger of more pandemic-like situations every decade if the emissions of greenhouse gases remain constant throughout. The journey from 51 billion to zero is very long and has many obstacles but we will have to start at some point.

  • The effect of fossil fuels.

Fossil fuels are like water. Fossil fuels are everywhere. The world uses 4billion gallons of oil every day. Fossil fuels are cheap and are used abundantly we need to find substitutes for the fuels which are just as cheap as fossil fuels. The developing countries are giving out more and more greenhouse gases as the infrastructure and standard of living are improving. The fuels used to build these huge infrastructures and big monuments are harmful to the environment. It's a piece of good news for the people living in these developing nations but it's bad news for the climate. We need to provide substitutes to the poor nations so that they would develop without affecting the climate. Transitions for the fuels take decades and decades to adopt the newly formed energy sources. Also, the transition in the automation industry is taking a lot of time. Our laws and government policies are so outdated that they are causing a barrier between the transition of clean fuels. Many government policies were made keeping in mind the economic problems or others but they were not designed for resolving climate change issues. Climate issues are going to be worse they are going to make the poor nation poorer. Fuels are affecting the climate so we need to find a pocket-friendly alternative for fossil fuels.

  • What are Green Premiums Green premiums are the sources that focus on the zero-emissions factor rather than focusing on the price of the source. Here’s an example of a Green Premium: The average retail price for a gallon of jet fuel in the United States over the past few years has been around $2.22, while advanced biofuels for jets cost around $5.35 per gallon. The Green Premium is the difference between the two, which is $3.13, or an increase of more than 140 percent.

  • What alternatives we can use The thing is we need to approach the sources like wind and solar to reduce climate change. But some countries might face problems like, some might not have wind but would have sunlight and some would not have sunlight but wind. Also, the obstacle of the capital comes in between. Also, the sunlight and wind are not 365 days a year and we need electricity all the time so it is difficult to make a transition. Solar energy generation faces over-generation of electricity in summers and under-generation in winters. This will not be reliable in the times of winter as the sunlight would not be there, so people will have to switch to the batteries but they are not convenient economically. We have to produce more and more renewable sources to reduce their cost. Just like solar panels whole systems cost decreased by 11% in 2019. People should shift to solar or wind sources as possible provided that the cost of these sources is manageable. Getting all the world's electricity from a green source won't be easy. Fossil fuels account for 2/3rd of the world's total energy generation. (As of 2020). Nuclear energy causes fewer carbon emissions but as of increasing accidents, we stopped developing the nuclear field. Instead, we need to develop more measures to reduce the accidents happening in the nuclear field. It's just like people not using cars due to fear of accidents in the 19thth century. But after that in the 20th and the 21st century, we developed various safety measures to avoid car accidents.

  • Change in the transportation facilities Transport services are causing a lot of global warming issues. So that's the next big thing that needs to be fixed. Ev's are very expensive cars but they are green premiums also. Most importantly Ev's will be cheap when the gasoline prices are very high so that the people would select electric vehicles instead of gasoline cars. Batteries are more expensive than gas. Another drawback is that it takes an hour or so to charge the whole car. Also, liquid fuel is one type of alternative to gas cars. Liquid fuels do not let out extra carbon in the atmosphere. Cargo trucks can't be electrocuted because they will need a lot of batteries and eventually they would carry almost 25% less cargo. We should switch to alternative fuels or electric vehicles instead of using vehicles that run on gasoline.

  • How can we adapt to a better world? Poor people are going to face a lot of problems with this transition of climate change. As we become rich we start using the things which cause more emissions. That's why we need to develop the sources which emit less carbon so that the poor can improve their life without causing any harm to nature. As the weather is becoming drier it becomes more difficult to find water in soils that make a huge problem regarding farming and stuff. The health issue rising due to climate change is worse in poor countries because they are unable to produce more or the people are unable to find the right amount of nutritious food. For that, we need to increase the primary healthcare systems and by providing vaccines like diarrhea and pneumonia. Conditions in central Africa are much worse than any other in the world they are unable to get vaccines as well as they are not getting proper sources of nutrition through food. Women should be made equally accessible to the government facilities for agriculture because a research from the UN shows that if women are given the equal opportunity and resources for producing the food grains and agriculture they produce 20 to 30 times more food than male farmers which can reduce the hungry people in the world by 12 to 17%. We also need to develop weather forecasting systems for the temporary evacuation of people and animals. Storms are just going to get worse so we need to develop the infrastructure disaster-proof. A simple method to decrease the risk of storms is by planting mangrove trees. They grow around coastlines and they live on saltwater they also reduce storm surges and reduce coastal flooding's and protect fish habitats. In total mangroves help the world by saving 80 billion dollars a year from losses and floods. We need to develop the desalination process because there is going to be a clean source of water shortage in the future. We need to fund the new sources of avoiding climate change. Not only for the government but also for the people. We need to get ready for the worst-case scenario. Geoengineering is one of the methods we need to work on to reduce the temperature of the earth and cause fewer problems of climate change.

  • What each of us can do

Our voice and our vote should be used to transform the political conversation regarding climate change. We need to think about the climate change issue just as important as jobs and sanitation. Use Ev's if possible. People need to buy them instead of buying a gasoline car and investing again and again in petrol and maintenance. If people buy a lot of Ev's companies will make lots of them. Private sectors should impose carbon taxes on the percentage of carbon emissions done by each one of us. Innovations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are required. Also, we need to accept these changes as early as possible. We should not only be the conversation of climate change but instead, take adequate steps to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases. "When we have a fact-based world view we can see that the world is not as bad as it seems and we can see what we have to do to keep making it better". We need to work together just like we did during the outbreak of covid19.

  • Conclusion This book is all about how we have made a mess of our planet and how we still can fix it by the breakthroughs suggested by Mr. Bill. We need improvisation and different new fixes to save our planet from global warming and the disasters we might face in the future.


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