Bill Gates – How To Avoid A Climate Disaster

I launched Impact Capital Partners because I obviously agree with Bill Gates that it is important to address the world’s most difficult issues. The essence of How To Avoid A Climate Disaster is that we are putting 51 billion tons of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere every year, and to avoid a climate disaster, we need to get the net number to ZERO within 30 years. Importantly, Bill is optimistic that we can solve these problems because of his belief in innovation, but we need breakthroughs to get there.  Bill is focused on this challenge, and one of his goals for writing this book is to spark conversations so that we are all focused on it too. I highly recommend this book and I’m even placing it on my MUST READ LIST!

  • Every year the world adds 51 billion tons of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
  • As we keep doing that, the consequences for human life will be catastrophic.
  • We need to get to ZERO net emissions within 30 years, while still meeting the world’s basic needs.
  • That means we need to transform the way we do almost everything.
  • We need breakthrough innovations.
  • Entrepreneurs and investors have to build new businesses and change existing businesses to get these solutions deployed.
  • Governments leaders have to enact new policies that drive the market for clean energy.
  • Advocates have to keep their voices loud to hold all of us accountable for rapid progress.
  • Avoiding a climate disaster will be one of the greatest challenges humans have ever taken on.
  • Innovation provides optimism and hope that we can achieve the breakthroughs that will be needed.


  • Introduction: 51 Billion to Zero
  • 1:  Why Zero?
  • 2: This Will Be Hard
  • 3: Five Questions to Ask in Every Climate Conversation
  • 4: How We Plug In
  • 5: How we Make Things
  • 6: How We Grow Things
  • 7: How We Get Around
  • 8: How We Keep Cool and Stay Warm
  • 9: Adapting to a Warmer World
  • 10: Why Government Policies Matter
  • 11: A Plan to Get to Zero
  • 12: What Each of Us Can Do

Other Resources

Age of Sustainable Development

My Review

The Age of Sustainable Development, an online course by Professor Jeffrey Sachs, is a wonderful introduction and overview of WHY we need the sixth Kondratiev Wave to be a wave of sustainable technologies. In Prof. Sachs words, we need to find ways to produce energy, ways to mobilize energy, ways to transport ourselves and transport goods that take the massive pressure and the destructive forces off of our ecosystems. This is the great challenge ahead of us, and this course is an amazing way to better understand this challenge!


About edX

edX is a trusted platform for education and learning. Founded by Harvard and MIT, edX is home to more than 20 million learners, the majority of top-ranked universities in the world and industry-leading companies. As a global nonprofit, edX is transforming traditional education, removing the barriers of cost, location and access, and fulfilling the demand for people to learn on their own terms.

SDG Academy

The SDG Academy creates and curates graduate-level courses on sustainable development for learners around the world. From sustainable cities to human rights to climate action, each of their courses addresses the fundamental challenge facing our world today.

Age of Sustainable Development – Online Course

Sustainable development is the most urgent challenge facing humanity. Its fundamental question is: How can the world economy continue to develop in a way that is socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable? This course provides a broad overview of the interactions between the economy and our environment and humanity, from the constraints of finite resources, to the activities that drive climate change, to equality for all.

  • Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University
  • Price: FREE
  • Length: 14 weeks
  • Time: 4-6 hours per week
  • Course Type: Self-paced on your time

Additional Resources

Kondratiev Waves – Will Sustainable Technologies be Next?

Four Fish by Paul Greenberg

Four Fish was an eye opening journey that I highly recommend if you are interested in the future of our oceans and the fish that live there. Greenberg does a wonderful job of blending his personal narrative with the science and mega trends that are driving aquaculture to be the fastest growing food production system on the planet. Importantly, he also addresses the dangers of overfishing our oceans and explores the strategies developing to save the species while also satisfying the planet’s growing appetite for fish protein. It is hard not to get HOOKED by this book!




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