Coronavirus

Bill Gates lays out the two greatest threats to humanity

The Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist has highlighted what he feels are the biggest concerns for human survival after predicting the covid-19 pandemic.

0
Bill Gates, covid-19, pandemia, cambio climático
TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA AFP

When Bill Gates speaks of threats to the survival of the human race his words tend to carry great prescience. Never has that been truer than when the Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist, first in a 2015 TED Talk and then later at an event organized by the Massachusetts Medical Society and The New England Journal of Medicine, spoke of the dangers posed by an as-yet theoretical infectious disease and the world’s lack of readiness to combat a pandemic on a global scale; effectively predicting the arrival and scale of the covid-19 crisis.

In both cases, Gates issued a stark warning to his audience: “There is an area where the world has not made much progress and that is in the prevention and preparedness for an eventual pandemic. And that should be of concern to everyone because if history has taught us anything, it is that there will be another deadly global pandemic,” Gates said three years ago.

“Watching Hollywood thrillers, one might think that the world is sufficiently prepared to protect the population against lethal microorganisms. We like to believe that somewhere there is a team of experts ready to jump into action, armed with the latest and greatest technologies. But in the real world, the infrastructure we possess could collapse quickly, even in the most developed nations,” he added.

Gates has been on the nail several times before and during the current pandemic, not least when he warned of a huge spike in cases towards the end of 2020 when some were expectant, or at least hopeful, that the worst of the covid-19 crisis may be over. In a recent interview with scientist and filmmaker Derek Muller, Gates laid out what he sees as the two main threats to the continued existence of the human race: climate change and bio-terrorism.

Climate change

Speaking about the threat posed by global warming and climate change, Gates painted a pessimistic picture and suggested the number of deaths caused per year worldwide could be “even greater” than that being recorded during the current pandemic. “

“To understand the type of damage that could be caused by climate change, you only have to consider the devastation caused by covid-19 and imagine a similar amount of damage over a much longer period of time. To put it another way, in 2060, climate change could be as lethal as covid-19, and by 2100 it could be five times more lethal.”

Bio-terrorism

Gates also broached a subject that he said people don’t like to talk about: bio-terrorism. “Somebody who wants to cause damage could engineer a virus and so that means the chance of running into this is more than just the naturally caused epidemics like the current one.”