来源：观察家In a recent interview with The Atlantic, billionaire techmagnate Bill Gates announced his game plan to spend $2 billion ofhis own wealth on green energy investments, and called on hisfellow private sector billionaires to help make the U.S.fossil-free by 2050. But in doing so, Gates admitted that theprivate sector is too selfish and inefficient to do the work on itsown, and that mitigating climate change would be impossible withoutthe help of government research and development.“There’s no fortune to bemade. Even if you have a new energy source that costs the same astoday’s and emits no CO2, it will be uncertain compared with what’stried-and-true and already operating at unbelievable scale and hasgotten through all the regulatory problems,” Gates said. “Without asubstantial carbon tax, there’s no incentive for innovators orplant buyers to switch.”Gates even tacked to theleft and uttered words that few other billionaire investors woulddare to say: government R&D is far more effective and efficientthan anything the private sector could do.“Since World War II,U.S.-government R&D has defined the state of the art in almostevery area,” Gates said. “The private sector is in generalinept.”“When I first got intothis I thought, ‘How well does the Department of Energy spend itsR&D budget?’ And I was worried: ‘Gosh, if I’m going to besaying it should double its budget, if it turns out it’s not verywell spent, how am I going to feel about that?’” Gates told TheAtlantic. “But as I’ve really dug into it, the DARPA money is verywell spent, and the basic-science money is very well spent. Thegovernment has these ‘Centers of Excellence.’ They should havetwice as many of those things, and those things should get aboutfour times as much money as they do.”In making his case forpublic sector excellence, the Microsoft founder mentioned thesuccess of the internet:“In the case of the digital technologies, the path back togovernment R&D is a bit more complex, because nowadays most ofthe R&D has moved to the private sector. But the originalInternet comes from the government, the original chip-foundry stuffcomes from the government—and even today there’s some governmentmoney taking on some of the more advanced things and making surethe universities have the knowledge base that maintains that lead.So I’d say the overall record for the United States on governmentR&D is very, very good.”The ‘Centers for Excellence’ program Bill Gates mentioned is theCenter for Excellence in Renewable Energy (CERE), which is fundedin part by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NSF, whichoperated with roughly $7.1 billion in 2014, is the source ofone-fourth of federal funding for research projects at over 2,000colleges, universities, K-12 schools, nonprofits, and businesses.The NSF has even funded research by over 200Nobel laureates, including 26 in just the last 5 years alone. TheNSF receives more than 40,000 proposals each year, but only gets tofund about 11,000 of them. Bill Gates wants this funding to bedramatically increased.“I would love to see atripling, to $18 billion a year from the U.S. government to fundbasic research alone,” Gates said. “Now, as a percentage of thegovernment budget, that’s not gigantic… This is not an unachievableamount of money.”As evidence around theworld shows, the U.S. doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel to be agreen energy juggernaut — it can simply look to currently-existingexamples in countries with socialist policies — like Germany andChina, for instance — on how to become a leader in green energy.And according to Bill Gates, the rest of the world will follow thelead if the biggest countries set the bar.“The climate problem hasto be solved in the rich countries,” Gates said. “China and theU.S. and Europe have to solve CO2 emissions, and when they do,hopefully they’ll make it cheap enough for everyoneelse.”This past July, Germanyset a new record by generating 78 percent of its electricity fromrenewable sources, beating its previous record of 74 percent in Mayof 2014. Germany generated 40.65 gigawatts from wind and solarenergy, 4.85 gigawatts from biomass, and 2.4 gigawatts fromhydropower, for a total of 47.9 gigawatts of green energy whentotal electricity demand was at 61.1 gigawatts. Over the past year,Germany decreased its CO2 output by 4.3 percent. This meansgreenhouse gas emissions in Germany are at their lowest point since1990.But in terms of raw investment, China’s $80 billion greenenergy investment is more than both the U.S. ($34 billion) andEurope ($46 billion), combined. And those investmentsare already paying dividends. While coal is still China’s biggestsource of electricity, the world’s biggest polluter aims to haveits use of fossil fuels peak in 2030, and trend downward afterthat. Additionally, China’s solar production outpaces all othercountries combined.Between 2000 and 2012,China’s solar energy output increased dramatically from 3 megawattsto 21,000 megawatts. And its solar output increased by 67 percentbetween 2013 and 2014 alone. In 2014, China actually managed todecrease its CO2 emissions by 1 percent, with further reductionsexpected in the coming years.China also powers more homes with wind energy than everynuclear power plant in the U.S. put together. China’swind output provided electricity to 110 million homes in 2014, asits wind farms generated 16 percent more power than in 2013, and 77gigawatts of additional wind power are currently underconstruction. China’s energy grid is currently powered by 100gigawatts of green energy, and aims to double green energy outputto 200 gigawatts by 2020.Bill Gates wants the U.S.to be an additional green energy leader, and expresses hope thatthere may still be enough time for the U.S. to take green energyinvestment seriously, and that the public sector can beinstrumental in preventing a 2-degree increase in globaltemperatures.“I don’t think it’shopeless, because it’s about American innovation, American jobs,American leadership, and there are examples where this has gonevery, very well,” Gates said.