Innovating to zero! Bill Gates on TED.com

Posted by: Emily McManus

At TED2010, Bill Gates unveils his vision for the world’s energy future, describing the need for “miracles” to avoid planetary catastrophe and explaining why he’s backing a dramatically different type of nuclear reactor. The necessary goal? Zero carbon emissions globally by 2050. (Recorded at TED2010, February 2010 in Long Beach, CA. Duration: 27:49)

Watch Bill Gates’ talk from TED2010 on TED.com, where you can download this TEDTalk, rate it, comment on it and find other talks and performances from our archive of 600+ TEDTalks.

Comments (36)

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  • vishal rathod commented on Mar 30 2012

    I really happy to see Bill Gates very near to me. And i enjoy to hear Bill Gates speech.I understood that the nuclear reaction, power station are one of the reason to produce CO2.

  • Free Mind commented on Feb 29 2012

    Good point Georgiana. I made the same observation and my comment was deleted.

  • Georgiana Ungur commented on Feb 29 2012

    Interesting talk, however, there is some fallacy to his statements. The first being his regard that the services people use are good, and should be preserved if possible, yet human beings should be decreased. That doesn’t sound very humane. That means that in order to get to Zero and keep people comfortable through services, my family in an impoverished country need to die.

    Another point (among many others) is that he begins his speech talking about the need for genetically modified seeds (which use a lot more C02 to produce than it’s native ancestor) and vaccines to help the poor populations. But, when he goes into his speech, he mentions that “if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health service we could lower (the population) by perhaps 10% or 15%). He just contradicted himself.

    The overall idea is impressive, but listen carefully to what he’s saying.

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  • Patrick McMahon commented on May 11 2011

    Great talk. Although the discount of true renewables was discouraging. Bill definitely loves technological solutions, not natural solutions – case in point his analysis on batteries. Batteries are a horrible utility scale medium because they are toxic and non-economic. Hydrostor is a company in Hamilton Canada that takes cheap off peak energy to fill large vessels under water, then uses the water pressure to drive the air out through turbines. If this were used in coastal areas with tidal advantages this could be a tremendous opportunity for storing intermittent energy.

  • Hobby Houston commented on Jan 10 2011

    Hot fusion using tritium currently works. Unfortunitly there is little to no tritium on earth. The surface of the moon is full of it.

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  • Maddy feltus commented on Mar 25 2010

    This design works on paper (so far) but it is NOT new. The Japanese have presented several “candle” reactors with the same wave of a moving central reaction area moving. But when you actually try to TEST the idea you will find that the materials damage issue (neutron bombardment or displacement per atom) cannot be solved with current steels and high temperature metals/ceramics. The fission products (fission fragments) that are produced during the fission reaction actually become parasitic poisons for the reaction, that is, they suck up neutrons and shut down reaction. There are many other engineering problems that are not just challenges but may be insurmountable for a 60 year design with one core. So just because they have the money, buzz, and “will” doesn’t mean it will be doable! Folks at big national labs have been working on similar designs for 40 years.

    How would I know? I am a research nuclear engineer with 33 years of reactor physics and mechanical systems experience, once

  • Roni Kristanto commented on Mar 2 2010

    the world is controlled by 2 major languages: language of feeling & the reality. if both have the same value or weight of a balanced (resulting stack, while the world needs to power the motion). Where is the highest interruption between them.