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Bill Gates: This Other Crisis Could Cause a Bigger Market Crash Than COVID-19

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Bill Gates, the founder of software giant Microsoft, always advocates that science and technology should lead the way in changing the world, and that’s where most of humanity’s focus should be right now. The scientific approach towards many of the world’s problems and challenges will inevitably lead to better solutions instead of politicizing everything and putting profits and money before the environment and humanity.

Bill Gates has been involved in many causes for humanity, and despite what many skeptics say, he has done some tremendous good in the world. His initiatives are about dealing with issues like diseases, overpopulation, scarcity of resources, education, and the environment.

Climate change: A more significant threat than COVID-19

Bill Gates urged the government to take climate change seriously and develop the same sense of urgency it did for COVID-19. Climate change is a big wheel turning and slowly gaining traction. Still, many of the governments, even the U.S., which is one of the largest contributors to global warming, typically tries to circumvent the issue. It’s one of the things that Gates condemns and believes that the governments most responsible for this mess should be the ones working on it.

According to an estimate quoted by Gates, COVID-19’s mortality rate falls somewhere around 14 deaths per 100,000. Climate change’s impact, if it continues to worsen at the same rate, will be 73 deaths per 100,000 by the end of the century. This makes it five times as deadly as the current pandemic.

Bill Gates believes that we should use what we’ve learned about responding to global emergencies and apply it to climate change. Otherwise, climate change will decimate more than humanity’s chances of survival; it will deal a much harder blow to the economy. In 20 years, economic damage from climate change will be like having a COVID-19 pandemic every decade.

Green stocks

If you agree with Bill Gates and understand the danger of climate change and you want your investments to reflect your belief in the protection of the environment, you may want to invest in one of Canada’s green companies — organizations focused on the environment and spreading awareness about it. Loblaw Companies (TSX:L) is in the list of Canada’s greenest employers in 2020, and it’s a healthy green stock you may need for your portfolio.

Loblaw is an eight-year-old Aristocrat, with a very modest yield of 1.8%. It’s a $24.8 billion market cap company and a food and pharmacy leader in the country. The company is divided into five different divisions: 475 stores under Market division, 507 stores under its Discount division, and 1,300 healthcare retail outlets under the Shoppers Drugs Mart division. It also has three major brands, including the famous (ironically) no-name brand.

The stock is currently trading at $69.5 per share, and even though it has recovered from its crash, it’s currently trading at a price-to-earnings of 14.9 and price to book of 2.3, so it’s not very overvalued. Apart from increasing its dividends every year, the company also offers decent capital growth. Its three-year CAGR is 10.3%.

Foolish takeaway

Canada ranks 20th in the greenest countries in the world. But that doesn’t mean that Canadians can’t or shouldn’t do anything about climate change. You might not have to do a lot, just making some small changes in your lifestyle, investing in and buying from green businesses, and preferring eco-friendly products can go a long way. Because when climate change truly hits, a ruined economy might be one of the lesser of our problems.

Speaking of a market crash...

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Teresa Kersten, an employee of LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Fool contributor Adam Othman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Microsoft and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $85 calls on Microsoft and short January 2021 $115 calls on Microsoft.

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