Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates urged the government to address climate change with the same "sense of urgency" as it has the coronavirus crisis. If the proper measures aren’t taken, he wrote in a blog post this week, then the impact could be far more devastating.
Gates put the mortality rate of coronavirus at about 14 deaths per 100,000. By the end of the century, if the emissions growth rate stays its current course, he said we could be faced with an extra 73 deaths per 100,000 people due to rising global temperatures.
"As awful as this pandemic is, climate change could be worse," he wrote. "If you want to understand the kind of damage that climate change will inflict, look at COVID-19 and spread the pain out over a much longer period of time. The loss of life and economic misery caused by this pandemic are on par with what will happen regularly if we do not eliminate the world’s carbon emissions."
Gates projected that, within 20 years, the economic damage from climate change will be as bad as having the equivalent of a COVID-19 pandemic every decade, MarketWatch reported.