Annals of Philanthropy
I'm already reading some books on energy and the environment, but I will read a lot more two years from now and think whether there's something the foundation should do in those areas. The angle I'll have when I'll look at most things is, What about the 4 billion poorest people? What about energy and environmental issues for them?His reading will no doubt show that the world's poorest will be hit first and hardest by the consequences of warming. Whether it's the collapse of ecosystems, the lack of reliable freshwater due to drought and melting glaciers, or the inundation of lowlands by rising sea levels, the poor will indeed feel it. Moreover, they will be less capable in coping with and adapting to whatever upheaval climate change brings.
The Gates Foundation isn't the only name in the news. The newly appointed head of Google.org (the charitable arm of the search giant), Larry Brilliant, tells Wired magazine that he is focused on three areas: "climate crisis, global public heath, and global poverty, not necessarily in that order."
It remains to be seen how much impact charitable organizations can have in the effort to confront global warming, but a recent article in the Economist offers this prescription for effective giving:
One secret is to specialize. Small grants scattered across deserving causes are likely to have less effect than concentrated efforts. Expertise helps foundations take calculated risks--as an entrepreneur might and as governments rarely do well--and achieve the economies of scale that make as much difference in charitable work as in any other sphere in life.Here's hoping that some well-funded "venture philanthropist"--as the Economist calls Gates--will see fit to concentrate its effort on confronting climate change -- before it's too late.