Notes from a rare planet: Bill Gates puts up $700,000 to fight Prop. 23 and support climate legislation

Melinda French Gates, Bill Gates - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2009

Bill Gates puts $700,000 against effort to suspend California’s climate rules

  • “Bill Gates contributed $700,000 to the “No on 23″ campaign, giving a critical boost to the effort to fight a ballot proposition that would suspend California’s rules to curb greenhouse gas emissions until state unemployment levels fall. “

The economic invisibility of nature is one of the main drivers for the loss of biodiversity

  • “In a previous report from TEEB, the convention estimated the value of devastated environmental assets to be at least $2 trillion dollars a year. Now, the group is trying to find a way to enact their assessments in a meaningful way that governments will agree upon globally. The Convention on Biodiversity hopes their latest report will help establish a new international goal for curbing the loss of biodiversity by 2020.”
  • “One such example of nature’s service that has yet to be measured monetarily is the tireless work of pollinating insects which makes agriculture possible. “A bee doesn’t send you and invoice,” says Sukhdev, indicating the importance of determining the value of its labor, lest it be exploited or placed in jeopardy.”
  • “Reports have placed the value of insects that pollinate human crops at over $211 billion.”

Bluefin Tuna Quotas May Be Substantially Reduced by EU Next Year

  • “Another quick update on the plight of Atlantic bluefin tuna and what’s being done to stop them from going extinct in literally a couple of years due to overfishing: Economic Times reports that the European Commission has indicated it may substantially cut next year’s quota of the critically endangered fish.”
  • “The current catch limit is 13,500 tons, with actual catches due to rampant under-reporting and poaching closer to 60,000 tons. WWF has recommended a quota of less than 6,000 tons.”

Seafood was food of the poor, now seafood is the food of the rich

  • Over fishing and unsustainable fishing practices are taking away one of the primary sources of food for the poor — seafood.
  • “With a rising demand, there of course came a dwindling supply, which naturally increase the price. Due to diligent trapping, lobster populations have decreased drastically. The spiny red creatures within commercial fishing waters are also no longer allowed to grow to the gigantic sizes they once naturally did. Scarcity and the attendant higher prices, all contributed to the humble lobster being the rich man’s delicacy it is today.”

conservation? “St. Lucia is the most beautiful place in the world”