Bill Gates: Unlike Elon Musk, I’m not a Mars person

Bill Gates and Elon Musk

  • Gates said we need to be focused some of the larger climate change problems here on earth.
  • “We’re basically not doing enough on the hard stuff: steel, cement, meat,” he said.
  • “And sadly, the things people think about — the electricity, passenger cars — are a third of the problem.

Unlike outgoing Amazon CEO Jeff Bezosand Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Bill Gates isn’t that interested in getting humans to space.

“Well, it’s important to say that what Elon did with Tesla is one of the greatest contributions to climate change anyone’s ever made. And you know, underestimating Elon is not a good idea,” Gates told Kara Swisher on her “Sway” podcast. But, he added that he’s “not a Mars person” and that he doesn’t “think rockets are the solution.”



The Microsoft co-founder, who is currently worth more than $130 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, has a new book out, “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster,” and in the interview he said we need to be focused some of the larger climate change problems here on earth.

He said that companies like Tesla are doing great work on “easy stuff, like passenger cars” but that we need to tackle other industries to make a bigger climate change difference.

“We’re basically not doing enough on the hard stuff: steel, cement, meat,” he said. “And sadly, the things people think about — the electricity, passenger cars — are a third of the problem. So we have to work on the two-thirds. And if all you pay attention to is those short-term metrics, not the green premiums across the board, then you miss out on what is the longest lead time, which is the hard stuff.”

Gates said he’d rather spend money on measles vaccines than traveling to space in a rocket. “I’m not going to pay a lot of money because my foundation can buy measles vaccines and save a life for $1,000. So anything I do, I always think, OK, I could spend that $1,000 buying measles vaccine.”

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