Summary: Articles and posts from around January, in particular ones that cover Gates’ patent-encumbered investments/lobbying
YESTERDAY we explained the purpose of these posts, which are an ongoing investigation of the activities of the Gates Foundation. It mortgages the future of many poor people whom it makes dependent on patents of Western enterprises. Today we share some news links from back in January (we may revisit January at a later stage again). The excerpts contain just key parts of the whole and hopefully they make it self explanatory.
It’s a fairly surprising and — dare we say — hypocritical move for Gates, considering that he’s been a vocal champion of green energy in the past. He’s chairman of the board of alternative energy advocacy group American Energy Innovation Council, which includes business leaders like GE’s Jeffrey Immelt and Xerox’s Ursula Burns.
“The innovation that would be the most important for the world is a way of generating electricity that’s less than half as expensive as the way we do it today but has no bad environmental effects, and, in particular, emits no CO2,” Gates says (italics mine) in an AEIC video embedded below. I’ve reached out to the AEIC for comment, but haven’t heard back.
In fact, the AEIC’s recommendations includes a call for the U.S. to invest $16 billion a year in innovative energy research and development, even hinting that the U.S. spends too much money — $16 billion every 16 days — overseas for oil.
Gates is also an investor in cleantech venture capitalist Vinod Khosla’s green fund. He has backed biofuels company Sapphire Energy, nuclear plant designer TerraPower, low-emissions car motors startup EcoMotor, and Pacific Ethanol. And the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation headquarters was designed as a green building, with a roof that doubles as a natural habitat for birds and is sustained via rainwater.
The new maize trials will not be run directly by Monsanto, but will instead be conducted by a company called Africa Agricultural Technology Foundation, which receives its funding from Monsanto – and notably, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
So, does the Gates Foundation try to end oil-based agriculture and pharmaceuticals and industrial food? No, of course not. Its goal has nothing to do with the betterment of humanity and the earth.
Take a look at the sources of talent Gates’ Foundation pulls from, and then compare that with where its greatest financial support goes. The financial interests of the people associated with the Foundation and the interests of the agencies and corporations it supports, whether directly or indirectly, coincide. The Foundation has placed huge investments in the places that will return profits to the people and corporations with which it’s associated.
Rather than trying to stop land-destroying agricultural practices, like McDonald’s destruction of productive agricultural and rainforest land for cattle and Monsanto’s health and soil destroying GMOs, they are either ignored or supported. The ability of small-scale farmers to continue to produce crops is being destroyed by these practices, so the welfare and way of life of masses of people is being destroyed. The Foundation’s response is to push the products that cause it. Vaccinations are being pushed on the world’s poorest children in Africa, rather than trying to promote genuine health through access to good food, water, and shelter—but this helps bring profits to Big Pharma, with whom the Gates Foundation has strong associations. All of these practices are profitable for the petroleum industry, and the Gates Foundation is a big holder in ExxonMobil.
The Gates Foundation supports some of the most destructive practices in the world and associates with some of the worst corporations. The future of the world—the environment, wildlife, and humans—is at risk from all of the Gates Foundation’s major financial associations. The Gates Foundation supports them, and ultimately stands to profit from them.
The Gates Foundation is intimately tied to the oil industry and the industries most intimately tied to it: pharmaceuticals, agribusiness, and the prepared food industry. To the detriment of the entire world, the Foundation promotes those industries in its so-called philanthropic activities. In the end, the primary beneficiaries of the Gates Foundation appear to be members of the Wealthiest People in the World Club.
MOSQUITOES bearing bacteria will be let loose around Cairns today as part of a trial to rid the area of the insects that carry dengue fever.
“The project took off when we received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,” said Professor O’Neill
Here’s a good story from Sandi Doughton of the Seattle Times describing Campbell’s struggle to get this program launched. He’s had some help from the Gates Foundation, which has put $35 million into the effort.
Campbell said there’s no question Zambia has made a significant dent in malaria illness and mortality. Official estimates say they have cut child deaths from malaria by 20-30 percent, as reported in 2007 and 2008. Others say much the same thing, calling Zambia one of Africa’s best examples for the massive global effort to combat the parasitic disease by distributing millions of bed nets, spraying homes with insecticides and so on.
The failed polio eradication efforts in India twelve years ago have not been sufficiently analysed or explained. See the attached. Where is the potential failure in Bill’s cartoon?
Is the Gates Foundation gliding to ‘success’ on the coat-tails of past efforts? Or are they headed for their first serious failure? A failure that can be measured in lives lost and children crippled.
So for some of us it was surprising to note the enthusiastic and unquestioning response to the recent announcement that Bill Gates and Warren Buffett were launching an initiative to have billionaires around the world pledge to give more than 50% of their fortunes in their lifetimes to philanthropy. What a wonderful thing to do, crowed many foundation and charity leaders. It would spur an immediate outpouring of new resources to a financially starved nonprofit sector, they said, encouraging new commitments from their wealthy friends and admirers.
The media, which has always treated the Gates’, Buffett, Soros and other billionaire philanthropists with kid gloves, never thought to ask about what this new money would support, or how it would do so. The substance of the issue was lost on reporters and commentators who could only focus on the new dollars that might pour into nonprofit cash registers. They never questioned whether the prospective, phenomenal growth of mega foundations, some possibly larger than Gates, might be a dangerous development for American democracy. They never asked whether these new funds would be publicly accountable, or merely managed, as with the Gates Foundation, by two or three family members, without any public discussion or political process.
This is not the effect that either the Gateses or Buffett wanted for their well intended initiative. There is still time for them to repair some of the expected damage. They could strongly propose that their wealthy colleagues who take the pledge target a portion of their money — say a minimum of 25% to 50% — for disadvantaged groups and their nonprofit organizations. And they should publicly recognize that the failure to alter past patterns of giving by their “pledgees” will result in a civil society less vital and fair than it has been in the past.