Oxfam this morning launches an attack on eight billionaires whose wealth they label “grotesque“, claiming this “super-rich elite are able to prosper at the expense of the rest of us“. Guido has done some cursory digging and found that the eight billionaires lambasted by Oxfam have made at least $60 billion in charitable donations. By contrast Oxfam spends around £300 million a year on charitable causes. It would take more than 150 years for Oxfam to raise as much for charity as the eight billionaires they condemn today.
Once again it falls to Guido to point out the wholesale transfer of political operatives to the charity sector is backfiring. In 2014 the Charity Commission found Oxfam guilty of failing to maintain their political neutrality over their anti-Tory electioneering. Oxfam’s policy director Richard Pyle is a Labour supporter whose Facebook likes include LGBT Labour and a string of Labour candidates, MPs and MEPs. Oxfam’s treasurer David Pitt-Watson was Labour’s Finance Director for two years and was even appointed General Secretary of the party. The Red Cross secured a week of anti-Tory headlines with its overblown claims that the NHS is experiencing a “humanitarian crisis”, its new head of media is the left-wing former Guardian journalist Polly Curtis. Today’s Oxfam report effectively endorses Jeremy Corbyn’s new policy position, slamming pay ratios at FTSE 100 companies. People aren’t taking the naked political spin of the Labour-centric third sector seriously. It says it all that the best media hit Oxfam had today was the front page splash on the communist Morning Star…
Leave message: Gove makes case for Brexit, mocks Remainer’s scaremongering.
Remain message: All the smart people back Remain, including Bill Gates.
Cut through: Juncker’s pessimistic comments on EU meddling hit front pages.
Odds: Leave 13/8, Remain 4/7
Latest poll: Remain 52% (+1) Leave 43% (-1) (ORB, phone). Poll of Polls is now Remain 52 (+1) Leave 48 (-1).
Bill Gates says he is going to double his personal investment in innovative energy technologies to $2 billion over the next five years in an attempt to “bend the curve” in combating carbon emissions. He has already put a billion dollars into battery storage, next-generation nuclear and free air carbon capture — hoping they will lead to “breakthrough” technologies. He warns that the anti-capitalist demands of green fundamentalists could only be achieved at “beyond astronomical” socio-economic cost. Despite the Guardian targeting the Gates Foundation directly to disinvest from energy companies as part of their ill-conceived “keep it the ground” campaign he has rejected that as “high risk”.
Gates is dismissive of solar energy because battery technology is currently inadequate; “Power is about reliability. We need to get something that works reliably.” He has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in TerraPower, who build reactors powered by depleted uranium, the waste from today’s nuclear plants. Most environmentalists are pessimistic and doom laden, Gaia suspects primarily because they are ill-disposed to capitalism in the first place, so they advocate not only an end to technological and economic progress to “save the planet”. Gates is optimistic that carbon emissions can be reduced and even reversed, that solutions to energy problems will be invented: “The only way you can get to the very positive scenario is by great innovation, … Innovation really does bend the curve.”
The Guardian’s ‘Keep it in the Ground’ anti-hydro-carbon fuels campaign, conveniently launched after the Guardian pocketed $1 billion from the sale of gas guzzler’s weekly AutoTrader, is well under way with more than 74,000 readers signing a petition urging the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to stop investing in energy corporations. According to the Guardian, these investments pose a “real threat to us all” and are morally misguided.
Bill Gates’ foundation’s malaria vaccine programme alone is on track to save 8.7 million of the worlds poorest from an agonising death by 2020. That’s 8.7 million more lives than will be saved by windmills.