Billionaire Microsoft founder and vaccinate philanthropist Bill Gates has provided an ominous view of the future far worse than what the world has seen during the coronavirus pandemic.
On the ABC's 7 .30 with Leigh Sales on Tuesday night, the business magnate, described by Sales as one the "most powerful figures driving the push for action" on global warming, discussed conspiracy theories and climate change.
Gates has been the centre of bizarre theories in recent months over his involvement with the development of COVID-19 vaccines, including claims he's using them to microchip the world's population by teaming up with top US infectious disease doctor Anthony Fauci.
The Microsoft founder previously said he was shocked at the level of "crazy" and "evil" conspiracies.
In his latest Australian interview, Gates said the spread of such theories around the vaccine are "tragic if they prevent people from wearing masks or be willing to take the vaccine as it becomes available".
The Gates Foundation is the second-largest financial backer of the WHO after the United States. The organisation has also committed about $250 million (NZ$346 million) for research and testing related to COVID-19.
He said social media networks face an overwhelming responsibility to police information on their sites and that the conspiracies spiralling online around the pandemic are dangerous.
He said "there are some things that are so extreme in terms of anti vaccine or holocaust denial that you can draw a line, but how you draw that line and who is put in charge of that … I'm not proposing solutions to that … I still haven't seen a good solution."
The philanthropist addressed misinformation online in October last year, telling The Wall Street Journal that people were drawn to the thrill of conspiracies, and facts were harder to spread.
"There's certainly a human weakness to very titillating things, like, someone made this virus, or, there's some conspiracy — those things can spread very quickly," he said.
GATES' OMINOUS PREDICTION
Spruiking his new book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, Gates, who warned five years ago that the world's greatest threat was a pandemic, said humankind is facing its biggest challenge yet.
He said achieving zero emissions will be "the hardest thing humanity has ever done", calling for a complete end across the globe.
"51 billion is the number of tonnes of CO2 equivalent that we're putting into the atmosphere every year and if we want to stop the temperature from rising, we have to reduce that all the way down to zero," said the software developer.
"And that's going to be very hard because there's a lot of sources of emissions."
He said the physical economy – cement, steel, transportation, agriculture – will have to make changes by focusing on innovation and right policies.
He warned without doing so, the world faces an "unliveable" environment with "millions of migrants and a death rate five times as high as the peak of this pandemic every year".
Only that way, "at a global basis can we achieve one of the hardest tasks that humanity's ever been asked to performed".
Gates gave a Ted Talk in 2015 in which he warned that "we're not ready for the next epidemic," but offered hope by saying "we can build a really good response system" to prepare.
His suggestions included setting up a medical reserve corps to be paired with the military, and "germ games" similar to military war games that could be used to run simulations.
"But between 2015 and 2020, less than 5 per cent of what should have been done was done," Gates said.
Gates has used his personal wealth to help in the global fight against various transmissible diseases for more than two decades, and has donated tens of billions of dollars to philanthropic causes.