Bill Gates attends Boao Forum For Asia Annual Conference 2015 on March 28, 2015 in Qionghai, Hainan province of China.
Photograph by ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images
By Benjamin Snyder
February 23, 2016

In his latest annual letter, Bill Gates said the world needs a miracle—an “energy miracle.”

The letter, which Gates wrote to the world’s high school students, centers on energy. The Microsoft co-founder said the world needs to try innovative ideas in order to combat climate change—and the government needs to help. “Governments have a big role to play in sparking new advances, as they have for other scientific research,” he wrote.

But Gates doesn’t strike a depressive tone in his writing. “When I say ‘miracle,’ I don’t mean something that’s impossible. I’ve seen miracles happen before,” he explained. “The personal computer. The Internet. The polio vaccine. None of them happened by chance. They are the result of research and development and the human capacity to innovate.”

In fact, Gates believes the world can achieve a sustainable form of energy soon. “I’m so optimistic about the world’s ability to make a miracle happen that I’m willing to make a prediction,” he wrote. “Within the next 15 years—and especially if young people get involved—I expect the world will discover a clean energy breakthrough that will save our planet and power our world.”

 

“Every day we are releasing more and more CO2 into our atmosphere and making our climate change problem even worse,” he added. “We need a massive amount of research into thousands of new ideas—even ones that might sound a little crazy—if we want to get to zero emissions by the end of this century.”

Gates posted a video to accompany the letter:

 

He also outlined two things people need to do to help: First, “Get educated about this energy challenge” and second, be outspoken and unafraid to try new ideas to help. “Study extra hard in your math and sciences,” Gates added.

Gates recently made headlines for saying that Apple should cooperate with the FBI to unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone.

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