Saturday 4th of February 2023

an example to follow.......

Europe’s gas supply and affordability crisis is actually “good for the long run,” Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates told CNBC on Tuesday. He explained that it would ultimately force the continent to embrace renewable energy, adding that “people won’t want to be dependent on Russian natural gas.”

Gates acknowledged that the public “did get a little optimistic about how quickly the transition [to renewables] could be done,” admitting the need to find “non-Russian hydrocarbon sources.”

Elaborating on the matter, the founder of climate-oriented venture capital fund Breakthrough Energy Ventures published an essay titled ‘State of the Energy Transition’ on his blog on the same day. Speaking about global greenhouse gas emissions, Gates noted that the ultimate goal of going “from 51 billion tons a year to zero” should be achieved “in the next three decades.” 

The billionaire insisted it wouldn’t be right to “drain all the money away from [fossil fuel] sectors,” because “that’s how people get to work today, it’s how people avoid freezing to death in the winter.” However, he said, markets can't be trusted to move toward renewables on their own — a “plan” is needed “to speed the process up.”

Describing his plan, he said new technologies to produce clean energy should be invented and scaled up in a “fair” manner that doesn’t leave developing countries in the lurch. It will be necessary to help people adjust to the new circumstances by funding industries such as ‘crop science’, which Gates and his Breakthrough Energy Ventures are invested in.

The EU recently agreed to cut gas demand by 15% this winter “in order to prepare for possible disruptions of gas supplies from Russia.’’


Earlier this month, however, Germany’s natural gas regulator revealed that the country had actually used 14.5% more gas in September than the five-year average, warning that a shortage would be unavoidable unless consumers cut back on their usage.






his bicycle.....


It’s no secret that the rich like to splurge their wealth on several assets to enhance their luxurious lifestyle. Microsoft founder Bill Gates is no exception.

Currently the fourth richest man, Forbes estimated his net worth at US$131.6 billion. Gates was the wealthiest man in the world from 1995 to 2017, barring five years in between. He spent a part — a small part, albeit — of his wealth in getting the finest of cars and private jets. Famous for owning a fleet of Porsche cars, he indeed loves the German automobile maker to this day.

Adding to his choicest collections of vehicles, the flamboyant genius aimed to literally fly high. So Gates bought some of the most luxurious private aircraft to aid his plush travels. Contrary to popular belief, Bill Gates doesn’t own a yacht. In February 2020, the billionaire was in the news for a reported purchase of a US$645 million (RM2.7 billion) hydrogen-fuelled ‘Superyacht’, but it was soon confirmed that he hadn’t commissioned it.

So, what type of machines does Bill Gates owns? Have a look.







composting bill gates.....


We, 50 organisations focused on food sovereignty and justice worldwide, want you to know there is no shortage of practical solutions and innovations by African farmers and organisations. We invite you to step back and learn from those on the ground.


Dear Bill Gates:

You were recently featured commenting on the global state of agriculture and food insecurity, in a recent New York Times op-ed by David Wallace-Wells and also in an Associated Press article.

In both articles, you make a number of claims that are inaccurate and need to be challenged. Both pieces admit that the world currently produces enough food to adequately feed all the earth’s inhabitants, yet you continue to fundamentally misdiagnose the problem as relating to low productivity; we do not need to increase production as much as to assure more equitable access to food. In addition, there are four specific distortions in these pieces which should be addressed, namely: 1) the supposed need for “credit for fertiliser, cheap fertiliser” to ensure agricultural productivity, 2) the idea that the Green Revolution of the mid-20th century needs to be replicated now to address hunger, 3) the idea that “better” seeds, often produced by large corporations, are required to cope with climate change, and 4) your suggestion that if people have solutions that “aren’t singing Kumbaya,” you’ll put money behind them.

First, synthetic fertilisers contribute 2% of overall greenhouse gas emissions and are the primary source of nitrous oxide emissions. Producing nitrogen fertilisers requires 3-5% of the world’s fossil gas. They also make farmers and importing nations dependent on volatile prices on international markets, and are a major cause of rising food prices globally. Yet you claim that even more fertiliser is needed to increase agricultural productivity and address hunger. Toxic and damaging synthetic fertilisers are not a feasible way forward. Already, companies, organisations, and farmers in Africa and elsewhere have been developing biofertilisers made from compost, manure, and ash, and biopesticides made from botanical compounds, such as neem tree oil or garlic. These products can be manufactured locally (thereby avoiding dependency and price volatility), and can be increasingly scaled up and commercialised.

Second, the Green Revolution was far from a resounding success. While it did play some role in increasing the yields of cereal crops in Mexico, India, and elsewhere from the 1940s to the 1960s, it did very little to reduce the number of hungry people in the world or to ensure equitable and sufficient access to food. It also came with a host of other problems, from ecological issues like long-term soil degradation to socio-economic ones like increased inequality and indebtedness (which has been a major contributor to the epidemic of farmer suicides in India). Your unquestioning support for a “new” Green Revolution demonstrates willfull ignorance about history and about the root causes of hunger (which are by and large about political and economic arrangements, and what the economist Amartya Sen famously referred to as entitlements, not about a global lack of food).

Third, climate-resilient seeds are already in existence and being developed by farmers and traded through informal seed markets. Sorghum, which you tout in your interview as a so-called “orphan crop”, is among these already established climate-adapted crops. You note that most investments have been in maize and rice, rather than in locally-adapted and nutritious cereals like sorghum. Yet AGRA (the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa), which your foundation (the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) created and financed, has been among those institutions that have disproportionately focused on maize and rice. In other words, you are part of creating the very problem you name. The AGRA initiative, which your foundation continues to fund, has also pushed restrictive seed legislation that limits and restricts crop innovation to well-resourced labs and companies. These initiatives don’t increase widespread innovation, but rather contribute to the privatisation and consolidation of corporate monopolies over seed development and seed markets.

Finally, your assertion that critics of your approach are simply “singing Kumbaya,” rather than developing meaningful (and fundable) solutions, is extremely disrespectful and dismissive. There are already many tangible, ongoing proposals and projects that work to boost productivity and food security–from biofertiliser and biopestiside manufacturing facilities, to agriecological farmer training programs, to experimentation with new water and soil management techniqueslow-input farming systems, and pest-deterring plant species. What you are doing here is gaslighting–presenting practical, ongoing, farmer-led solutions as somehow fanciful or ridiculous, while presenting your own preferred approaches as pragmatic. Yet it is your preferred high-tech solutions, including genetic engineering, new breeding technologies, and now digital agriculture, that have in fact consistently failed to reduce hunger or increase food access as promised. And in some cases, the “solutions” you expound as fixes for climate change actually contribute to the the biophysical processes driving the problem (e.g. more fossil-fuel based fertilisers, and more fossil-fuel dependent infrastructure to transport them) or exacerbate the political conditions that lead to inequality in food access (e.g. policies and seed breeding initiatives that benefit large corporations and labs, rather than farmers themselves).

In both articles, you radically simplify complex issues in ways that justify your own approach and interventions. You note in the New York Times op-ed that Africa, with the lowest costs of labor and land, should be a net exporter of agricultural products. You explain that the reason it is not is because “their productivity is much lower than in rich countries and you just don’t have the infrastructure.” However, costs of land and labor, as well as infrastructures, are socially and politically produced. Africa is in fact highly productive–it’s just that the profits are realised elsewhere. Through colonisation, neoliberalism, debt traps, and other forms of legalised pillaging, African lives, environments, and bodies have been devalued and made into commodities for the benefit and profit of others. Infrastructures have been designed to channel these commodities outside of the continent itself. Africa is not self-sufficient in cereals because its agricultural, mining, and other resource-intensive sectors have been structured in ways that are geared toward serving colonial and then international markets, rather than African peoples themselves. Although you are certainly not responsible for all of this, you and your foundation are exacerbating some of these problems through a very privatised, profit-based, and corporate approach to agriculture.

There is no shortage of practical solutions and innovations by African farmers and organisations. We invite you to step back and learn from those on the ground. At the same time, we invite high profile news outlets to be more cautious about lending credibility to one wealthy white man’s flawed assumptions, hubris, and ignorance, at the expense of people and communities who are living and adapting to these realities as we speak.


Community Alliance for Global Justice/AGRA Watch

Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA)

Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI)


African Centre for Biodiversity

Kenya Food Rights Alliance

Growth Partners

Grassroots International

Agroecology Fund

US Food Sovereignty Alliance

National Family Farm Coalition

Family Farm Defenders

Oakland Institute

A Growing Culture

ETC Group

Food in Neighbourhoods Community Coalition

Detroit Black Community Food Security Network

Sustainable Agriculture of Louisville

Haki Nawiri Afrika

Real Food Media

Agroecology Research-Action Collective

Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN)

Les Amis de la Terre Togo/ Friends of the Earth Togo

Justiça Ambiental/ JA FoE Mozambique

Friends of the Earth Africa

Health of Mother Health Foundation (HOMEF)

Committee on Vital Environmental Resources (COVER)

The Young Environmental Network (TYEN)

GMO Free Nigeria

Community Development Advocacy Foundation

African Centre for Rural and Environmental Development

Connected Advocacy

Policy Alert

Zero Waste Ambassadors

Student Environmental Assembly Nigeria (SEAN)

Host Community Network, Nigeria (HoCON)

Green Alliance Nigeria (GAN)

Hope for Tomorrow Initiative (HfTI)

Media Awareness and Justice Initiative (MAJI)

We The People

Rainbow Watch and Development Centre

BFA Food and Health Foundation

Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA)

Women and Children Life Advancement Initiative 

Network of Women in Agriculture Nigeria (NWIN) 

Gender and Environmental Risks Reduction Initiative (GERI) 

Gender and Community Empowerment Initiative 

Eco defenders Network 

Urban Rural Environmental Defenders (URED) 

Peace Point Development Foundation (PPDF)

Community Support Centre, Nigeria

First published in CommonDreams Nov 10 2022









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