Bill Gates: Getting The World's Shit Together

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When Steve Jobs died, many people heralded him during his passing in an almost reverent way, and yet during his life he did a few things that weren't what I would call cool. (I understand why outsourcing happens, but I do not understand why any company president would ignore that employees from his outsourced plants were being horrendously abused. I think this was completely inexcusable.) Bill Gates has also participated in actions over the years that I do not agree with, such as violating antitrust law. But Bill Gates has redeemed himself in my eyes. Over the years, I have come to view Gates as a throwback of industry, a present-day Andrew Carnegie: a man who made an empire with means that were not completely kosher, but then used the empire to change the world for the better. We at Poop Report have a friend in Bill Gates.

What is he worried about these days? Poop and world sanitation. Gates, who has also spoken out about attempting to find a cure for malaria, has set his sights on issues higher than many of the corrupt CEOs of our time. He recognized that 2.6 billion of the people on our planet do not have access to sanitation, and this, in turn, is killing men, women, and children daily... children especially. Of the 2.6 billion people in our world with nowhere to pee or poop but out in the open, over one billion of them are children. And one of them dies every twenty seconds. Yes, every twenty seconds. By the time you finish reading this article and (hopefully) viewing the video at its end, five to eight children will have died because they did not have access to proper sanitation or clean water.

Gates has a plan. With a contest already in the works, and grants given to scientists and colleges, he is seeking to do "something that hasn't been done for centuries: reinventing the toilet." According to an article that posted today on ABC news by Donna Gordon Blankenship, new ideas have been plopping up already. One that caught my eye was a design to use black soldier fly larvae to eat poop. This design is being tested in Cape Town, Africa, as we speak, one of the places in our world where poor sanitation exists. The scientists who developed this particular method of cheap sanitation state the end result of the flies is actually an animal feed. (We will surely report on this topic later this week.)

Gates expects new designs for a working toilet within the next three years and has already set aside 370 million dollars for reaching that goal.

Following is a video that runs for about one minute and thirty seconds from his blog about what he hopes to accomplish. The video is a bit overrun with cute references to shit, but in this way it allows for a transition to links directly below the video, ones which I have included here:

Extra links from the Gates' blog: You can read more about Bill and Melinda Gates' concerns about water, sanitation, and hygiene at this page from the Gates Foundation website. You can also read a nicely illustrated article about the world sanitation issue here, written by Co.Exist editor Morgan Clendaniel.

(Original picture by Girl.)

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7 Comments on "Bill Gates: Getting The World's Shit Together"

Anonymous's picture

Wow, i really like your take on Bill Gates. If Gates is Carnegie, can Jobs be Hughes at least?


Anonymous's picture

I think there are some better things you can spend 370 million dollars on than inventing a new toilet. Yes, its for sanitation, but I still don't see the purpose. I'd rather spend that money on actually sanitizing the places or giving out already designed toilets. *disapprove*

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ points

Well now anonymous disapprover, I think you didn't read the material carefully enough. We're talking about three deaths every minute, 24 hours a day.

Most existing toilets use water as a flushing medium and that is a luxury that we can not afford on a worldwide basis. As sources of fresh water are competed for globally this precious resource needs to be protected. One approach to this problem would be to stop pissing and shitting in it.

Aquifers all over the world are being depleted at a rate faster than they can be replenished by nature. It will only be a matter of time before wars are fought over water rights.

Bill Gates is doing the world a great favor by trying to redesign the method we use to dispose of our body wastes. Remember, pollution is a resource that has been misplaced. Poop that has been composted and reintroduced to the food cycle as fertilizer is a good idea. Crapping in the very limited water supply is a bad idea.

If I had two faces do you think I'd be wearing this one?

runninggrrl2's picture
Comment Quality Moderatork 500+ points

So, when these black fly larvae mature and you need to update the larvae supply, is Bill Gates going to charge you $150 for the newest version? Larvae 8, anyone? :P

An apple a day keeps the ExLax away!

daphne's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardSite AdminComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatore 6000+ pointsf 5000+ pointsg 4000+ pointsh 3000+ pointsi 2000+ pointsj 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

I wanted to apologize for the article's editing today. I was worn out yesterday when I wrote it, and there mass mistakes.

I cannot wait to see what he comes up with in the world of sanitation. And I wanted to respond to anonymous' comment (*disapprove*). Whenever I do anything involving animal rights, there are always people who find a need to squint and crinkle their eyes and say, "But what about all the humans who need help?" This bothers me for a few reaons: (1) I do take care of humans, because I support a kid and I give money to the Center for Patient Advocacy; and (2) nine times out of ten the nit-picker who asks this question donates no money him or herself. Almost always. I feel this way about anonymous. How can anyone be upset with someone giving so much of his fortune to good works? This amount of over one third of a billion dollars. It adds to the 28 billion dollars he's given to the charity in his lifetime so far. He's worth 61 billion; this means that he's given away over one third of his life's earnings. Not only this, but last year he cured the entire country of India of polio. That's right -- In 2011 India was polio-free for the first time in recorded history. I think we can forgive him if he didn't spend the 370 million dollars the way we think it should have been spent.

.....hugging bunnies since 1969

Poop John the First's picture
l 100+ points

Bill Gates is right on the money with his effort to re-invent the head. Ecological sanitation is the future!

Spreading the turd one poop at a time.

Anonymous's picture

Sanitation investment: Good! Public education turning into privatization with funds and agenda from The Gates Foundation as a business model: Disaster. There's good intent in the foundation, but there are some aspects we need be careful of.
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