Bill Gates is mainly worried about one thing. It’s not nuclear, nor war or a natural disaster.

Bill Gates believes that the most likely thing to kill the excess of 10 million people in the 21st century. According to Bill, he believes that there is a 50% chance of a widespread epidemic in his lifetime. In the diagram below, you can see the second biggest killer is infectious diseases.

death graph 20th century
20th Century Death Chart- http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/20th-century-death/

“The Spanish Flu”(1918-1920) was a widespread influenza killing 50-100 million people; compared to 38 million people dying in world war 1.  Yet not many people will know about it.  We don’t grieve the deaths of the people who died in the Spanish Flu, yet WW1 is remembered every year.

With the Ebola crisis, it took a long time to come up with a vaccine. And as transportation standards very high, meaning that you can travel across the world in a day, an infection can spread a lot quicker than they can back in the early 20th century.

If you were to imagine that virus three times as worse as Ebola was worldwide, the damage would be massive. This would cause maybe millions of people to die.

What’s my perspective?

I believe that Gates is right, more action is needed to prevent a possible worldwide influenza.

I also believe that people should donate more to developing countries, to stop these outbreaks from happening. And if they are to occur, third world countries need to able to treat and cure many thousands of patients in a short period of time to stop it spreading.

I still believe that stuff like climate change needs to be sorted, but maybe we need to divert some of our focus to events nearer the future.

For more information, click here to visit Vox’s Ezra Klein interviewing Bill.

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