Warren Buffet and Bill Gates have more in common than their wealth. They have wisdom. Each recognized it in the other when they joined forces in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, now Gates’s full time job.
Gates said recently that if he could have one miracle, it would be cheap, non-polluting energy, predicting that without it, the needs of China and India will overwhelm our planet bringing pollution, global warming rising oceans, deadly storms, starvation, plagues, extinctions, wars, terror, planetary destruction, and—fade out, fade in—a planet as different from today as today is from the age of the dinosaurs, and not a good place for humano sapiens.
Science has been producing miracles for 200 years, so why not cheap clean energy? But what if it were achieved? After shocks to the oil and coal industries, people would get on with their lives, cheap limitless energy would be turned to making food out of hydro-carbons, and the world’s exploding population would re-explode. A planet of 6.9 billion would become 12, then 20, and the Malthusian nightmare would descend. Humans would crowd out all other species, occupy rain forests, woodlands, farmland, plains, mountain tops, seas, underseas. They would overwhelm Earth and planetary destruction would resume.
If I had a wish it would be the same as a wise man in a fable. After his first two wishes brought no happiness, he said to the genie, “I wish for no more wishes!” Whereupon a great peace descended and he lived the rest of his life in simplicity and joy.
I fear that Bill Gates’s miracle is far more plausible.