Climate Solutions

Bill Gates: Boost federal funds for energy research to fight climate change

There’s an urgent need – recognized by leaders of such venerable corporate giants as Xerox, GE and Lockheed Martin – for the American government to inject a lot of cash in a big hurry into alternative energy research, Microsoft founder Bill Gates told 1,200 climate activists and business people in Seattle on Tuesday.

To head off climate catastrophe, “the innovation piece is so important,” Gates said at a fundraising breakfast for the Seattle-based non-profit Climate Solutions. “The lip service that has been paid to energy innovation over the last few decades is disappointing.”

Gates and others from the upper echelons of the corporate world banded together as the American Energy Innovation Council and pushed hard for a boost in federal energy research spending from $5 billion to $16 billion annually.

“President Obama did see us. He said nice things, and I think he meant them,” Gates joked during an on-stage interview by Jabe Blumenthal, a former Microsoft executive who is co-president of Climate Solutions.

Nevertheless, the CEOs’ bid ultimately was shot down. Gates said that at a less dire time financially, it’s likely the group would have succeeded, and that the executives must keep trying.

Gates advocated research into many different energy sources, including nuclear, solar and wind power, that do not produce the gases scientists say are unnaturally heating the earth’s atmosphere, chiefly carbon dioxide. Many research projects won’t get very far but lots of them should be tried, said Gates, who is known widely for his philanthropy as well as his success at Redmond-based Microsoft.

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Push for strong climate treaty still underway, says Seattle climate activist in Copenhagen

By Alexander Kelly and Blair Kelly

In the final installment of InvestigateWest’s conversation with KC Golden, policy director of Seattle-based Climate Solutions, we ask for Golden's impression of how the talks have unfolded so far and what he expects for the coming week.

Also, hear Golen discuss the Northwest’s role in overcoming the stigma of indifference to climate change that has plagued the United States in recent years and a comment on the African delegations’ responses to the proceedings so far.

Seattle climate activist KC Golden discusses how Copenhagen talks can affect NW economic growth

By Alexander Kelly and Blair Kelly

In the second installment of InvestigateWest’s interview with KC Golden of Seattle-based Climate Solutions, we ask how Pacific Northwesterners can get involved in the global effort to arrest climate change and how a deal in Copenhagen may affect the Northwest’s emerging green economy.

Seattle climate activist KC Golden in Copenhagen to push for ambitious global climate treaty

By Alexander Kelly and Blair Kelly

InvestigateWest caught up with KC Golden, policy director for Seattle-based Climate Solutions, who is in Copenhagen for the United Nations climate talks. He is attempting to let foreign delegates and world leaders know that the United States is getting serious about climate change. Hear more: