Darkness or Light?

gatesIf anyone has the resources – and the interest – to figure out what’s ahead for mankind, it’s probably Bill Gates (at right). And he suggests the world might not be doomed after all.

But there’s a big “if.”

The billionaire Microsoft founder thinks a clean energy breakthrough is imminent. And that “miracle” would not only avert catastrophic climate change but also help to bring cheap energy to more than a billion people, powering them out of poverty.

In his annual letter, Gates predicts:

Within the next 15 years—and especially if young people get involved—I expect the world will discover a clean energy breakthrough that will save our planet and power our world.

The head of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation backs up his optimism with facts and figures. But he adds a crucial disclaimer. He argues that this breakthrough will come only if governments take the lead. He declares:

Governments have a big role to play in sparking new advances, as they have for other scientific research. U.S. government funding was behind breakthrough cancer treatments and the moon landing. If you’re reading this online, you have the government to thank for that too. Research paid for by the U.S. government helped create the Internet.

And that presents Americans with a critical choice. While President Obama and most of the developed world’s leaders have agreed on desperately needed measures to curb pollution, not one of the Republican candidates for the US presidency seems interested in protecting our precious environment.

Republicans view the threat of climate change as a hoax. And they rail against the dangers of “big government.”

You can be sure no Republican President or Congress would ever fund the kind of research Gates is calling for. Indeed, they are pledged to rescind President Obama’s environmental regulations.

That’s one more reason to get out and vote this November. You’re being asked to choose between a future of darkness or enlightenment. Not just for America but also for the world we live in.

Bill Gates’ annual letter.