WHEN I CONGRATULATE Bill Gates for reaching No. 1 on the New York Times Bestseller list with How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, his alarming yet weirdly upbeat take on our global environmental crisis, he notes that the book has held the post for three weeks now. “For a climate book, that’s good,” he says. Bill, that’s good for any book. But the success is not surprising: Few humans have the authority of Gates, who is a widely recognized expert not only in technology and business but on subjects as disparate as global health and energy, as a result of his work in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He was ready to publish his environmental tome a year ago, but he held off because he (and the rest of the world) was focusing on another big problem, Covid-19. We haven’t beat that yet, but the climate won’t wait. Apparently a lot of book buyers agree.