The Economist (subscription required) tells the inspiring story of Vinod Khosla, who wants to save the planet using venture capitalism:
His next move was characteristically unpredictable: he temporarily moved his family to India. “I wanted to see if I could have a social impact,” he says. “I quickly realised that any non-profit activity I could do would be no more than a drop in the ocean. Most non-profit organisations are completely ineffective. That’s when I decided that I needed to look for scalable solutions, which meant self-propagating solutions, which meant capitalist solutions. Proving the capitalist tool as a solution for poverty is high on my priority list.”
That’s exactly right. Profitable solutions are scalable. Expensive solutions are not.
Khosla also has sharp words for the environmental movement:
If Mr Khosla is unapologetic about making money while helping some of the world’s poorest people, he is equally outspoken when it comes to the environmental movement in the West. “Wind projects are a waste of time. And the reality is that electric cars today are coal-powered cars, because the USA and much of Europe have mostly coal-based electricity,” he says. “Environmentalists use artificial rates of return, buried assumptions and ‘what if’ assumptions about behaviour changes. It’s useless crap.”