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Solving for Zero: The Search for Climate Innovation

Nuclear batteries. Eco-friendly cement. Hybrid crops. Explore innovative solutions to the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced.
Solving for Zero: The Search for Climate Innovation is rated 4.3 out of 5 by 20.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating course! This is eye opening course for all enthusiasts at the frontline of the climate debate. In these short number of interview style presentations, this course spans from simple introdctions to more advanced topics fronted by good science rigor, engineering focus and innovation charsima. I'd love to see another set of topics covers soon. Thanks Wondrium for producing this one.
Date published: 2023-09-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Easy-to-consume overview of challenge + solutions This isn't an academic course, but rather is like a mini-series about the key factors contributing to the greenhouse effect, and the various solutions that are being developed to mitigate emissions. It's a good overview of the challenge and possible solutions. The explanations are straightforward and sufficiently high-level for a layperson to comprehend. Naturally, some topics were more interesting to me than others, but overall I found this interesting and enjoyed learning about this field.
Date published: 2023-04-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Interesting Developments for Getting to Zero There are any number of interesting innovations out there related to getting to zero carbon emissions to combat climate change. There are some gaps. As an example, while battery technology for cars is coming along, the course doesn't really discuss negative effects which might accrue in relation to mining for necessary materials for those batteries. There is also a documentary related to this same video and some of the material is repeated in both. But, otherwise, a very interesting overview of where the world might be headed.
Date published: 2023-01-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Tech leader sees tech, not biology, as solution Course was clear and very well produced. But it only emphasized one of the most striking dichotomies in science. "Science" teaches that biological evolution is what got us here. That adaptation and survival of the fittest was the primary mechanism by which mankind overcome environmental challenges, but science presents absolutely no biological vision for the evolutionary processes we should expect to take place to adapt to global warming. For example, the 1995 film Waterworld presents this vision. The Mariner (Costner) has evolved functional gills behind his ears and webbed toes to help him adapt to his environment. This is exactly what evolution teaches. But this kind of biological vision for mankind is never taken seriously as it pertains to the future. Why not? Why does science not explore the evolutionary DNA that got us here, and see if we can catalyze things like gil production, better UV resistant skin, digestive system that can consume salt water, etc? Evolution supposedly overcame exponentially greater environmental challenges than 2 degree temp change, but all of a sudden this miraculous process that has functioned so well for 14 billion years can't help mankind overcome 2 degree temp increase? No, for that challenge, only man made technology can get us out of this climate change whopper.
Date published: 2022-12-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Zero chance of success, unfortunately I have in-excess of 300 courses yet until now I've failed to make an effort to review one. I was a weather forecasters who ultimately resigned 3 times..... This course allows me to 'break my duck'. Specifically focusing on aspects of the climate change issue in relation to this course and others more broadly on this site, I draw attention to the course's underlying theme, that 'If you have enough smart people working on a problem, you can make anything happen, within the laws of physics, of course!" It is impossible for this course, or any course dealing with western civilization & its advancement, to honor this. Why? Because there is a law in all of nature that stands out as the pre-eminent. The one. And that is the '1st law of thermodynamics'. It should simply be called 'The first law' and is equitable with the saying 'life is a zero sum'. For every winner there is a loser. Our entire trajectory as a civilization has failed to appreciate & adhere to this principle. None of the religious, political, social, economic or philosophical courses here or anywhere else touch on this issue beyond a rudimentary acknowledgement. It is the most important law of them all. It is brutal. So this course simply cannot be successful because society isn't playing by the laws of physics so we need to completely change society. Having said this, one cannot but appreciate any endeavor in life that is achieved whereby it looks to optimize the situation. Though ultimately the zero-sum law works against this [think about it]. I acknowledge the insights teased out by those involved here but unfortunately the depth of the issues at stake here will over-ride all of this. Hence the 3 stars. Worth a watch to appreciate the thought that has gone into it but our current trajectory is 'too big to fail'. I'll leave it to others as to whether Bill Gates's life journey adhered to the overall 'zero-sum' constraint nature plays on all of us. I think he is clearly an outlier, so doesn't represent as 'one of us'.
Date published: 2022-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Superb Catalog of Potentials For Our Future! I found this course to be a wonderfully upbeat series of lectures presented by the leaders in each of their field. There is so many chances to try solving our climates future I was amazed! Well worth the money!!
Date published: 2022-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent course Excellent course that states the causes and facts about climate review very well. Also if offers positive practical solutions companies are making to help offset/prevent climate change. This gives us all hope for the future.
Date published: 2022-08-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A superb overview. This course could have been titled “The Problem Solvers’ Guide for Planet Earth.” An excellent choice for a gift.
Date published: 2022-07-14
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To avoid the worst climate change outcomes, we need to reduce CO2 emissions to net zero. Our deadline: 2050.

It’s the world’s greatest opportunity for innovation, and those game-changing inventions are at the core of Solving for Zero: The Search for Climate Innovation, a 10-part learning series highlighting lessons from the documentary, Solving for Zero, based on the best-selling book by Bill Gates. From nuclear batteries to hydrogen electric engines, delve deeper than ever into mind-blowing technology that can mitigate the disastrous effects of climate change. Because if there’s a will to innovate, there’s a way out for us.


Bill Gates

If you have enough smart people working on a problem, you can make anything happen, within the laws of physics, of course.

Bill Gates is a technologist, business leader, and philanthropist. In 1975, he cofounded Microsoft with his childhood friend Paul Allen; today, he is cochair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In addition to authoring How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, he launched Breakthrough Energy, an effort to commercialize clean energy and other climate-related technologies.

By This Expert

Solving for Zero: The Search for Climate Innovation
Solving for Zero
Solving for Zero: The Search for Climate Innovation


How We Got Here

01: How We Got Here

Since 1880, global average temperatures have steadily increased. Now, these overall warming trends have started to impact the Earth’s climate—taking a system we depend on to live out of balance. How is human-related activity responsible? In this introductory lesson, get the background science on how we arrived at our current climate challenge.

29 min
This Will Be Hard

02: This Will Be Hard

The primary driver in the transition to carbon-free technologies? Economics—not the environment. Here, explore some of the many difficulties involved in decarbonizing five key sectors that are the major sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and consider the difficulty of reducing the cost of clean technologies to be as cheap as those we use today.

29 min
How We Plug In

03: How We Plug In

Electricity is central to much of everyday life, but it’s also one of the leading contributors to climate change. How can we scale clean electricity in the coming decades—and use it to decarbonize in other sectors? Consider nuclear batteries radically different (and smaller) than power plants, innovative carbon-capture solutions, and more.

31 min
How We Make Things

04: How We Make Things

In the coming decades, building construction will skyrocket. Which means we’ll need to invent new ways of manufacturing without all the emissions they create. Hear from innovators making key breakthroughs in cement and steel production, and learn why reducing the green premiums associated with them can be another essential tool.

28 min
How We Grow Things

05: How We Grow Things

By 2050, the world’s population is projected to be up to 10 billion people. As a result, we’ll need to produce far more food than we currently do. In this lesson, explore some of the ingenious advances in the agricultural industry to lower greenhouse emissions, as well as breakthroughs in AI that can help preserve and restore the world’s forests.

24 min
How We Transport Things

06: How We Transport Things

Transportability, energy density, and cost make fossil fuels the primary means for how people and goods get around. How can we replace them with something as cheap and capable of fueling long-distance travel and shipping? Find out with a closer look at electric vehicles, hydrogen-electric aviation, and the largest sailing boat humanity has ever built.

32 min
The Buildings We Live In

07: The Buildings We Live In

Ironically, the very thing we’ll need to survive a warming world will make climate change even worse. That’s why heating and cooling is another sector that’s ripe for innovation. Peer over the shoulders of innovators as they reinvent ways to keep ourselves cool and warm, including electric heat pumps, carbon-free synthetic fuels, and better ways to seal ductwork.

28 min
Adapting to a Warmer World

08: Adapting to a Warmer World

Climate change is already happening, and whether you’re living on a remote farm or in a major global city, we’re all going to have to adjust. Discover how scientists are developing new crops to meet changing conditions, what rising sea levels will mean our planet, and a brilliant way to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere using the world’s beaches.

30 min
Why Government Policies Matter

09: Why Government Policies Matter

When it comes to climate change, the government is the only mechanism we have capable of ushering in the transformations we need. It can provide opportunities for developing ideas, testing designs, and proving them in the marketplace in ways the private sector can’t. Hear from leading experts about what we’ll need the world’s governments to do—and not do.

29 min
How We Do This Together

10: How We Do This Together

The choices we make in the coming years will determine how we handle the challenge in front of us. In this final lesson, examine some of the ways we can transform our world so everyone is lifted up and none are left behind. There’s much to be hopeful about in our quest to solve for zero. It’s just a matter of finding the collective will to do it.

29 min