During a recent interview with the satirical publication Babylon Bee, billionaire Elon Musk seriously spoke about environmentalism, clean energy, and fossil fuels.
The podcast hosts asked Musk if he agrees with fellow environmentalists about population control being a prerequisite for combating climate change.
Musk disagreed with the assertion and responded, “Earth is far from overpopulated—far, far from overpopulated.”
The South African-born entrepreneur and father of seven recently said civilization will crumble if people don’t have more children.
Instead of population control, he recommended moving to “sustainable energy generation and consumption.” He offered three solutions: energy sources, battery storage for continuous power, and sustainable transportation of the electric variety.
Regarding sustainable energy generation, Musk named solar, wind, geothermal, hydropower, and even nuclear as viable alternatives. He declared to be “pro-nuclear” back in September, commenting, “I’m not saying we should go build a whole bunch of nuclear plants, but I don’t think we should shut down ones that are operating safely.”
Musk said of sustainable energy generation:
You really don’t need a very large land area to generate enough power to power, for example, the United States. It’s on the order of, you know, roughly a little over 100 miles by 100 miles square miles of land, with solar panels, would power the entire United States—like a little corner of Utah or Texas … can power the whole country.
Unlike other electric vehicle proponents, Musk’s interest in them wasn’t fueled by environmental politics.
“My original interest in electric vehicles was not so much due to environmental concerns but rather from the concern that we’d run out of oil eventually and/or become extremely scarce and expensive,” he explained.
The world’s richest man lamented taking subsidies from the Department of Energy, tweeting, “We learned our lesson with $465M DoE loan received in 2010/2011 – onerous terms exceed value of money received. That’s why we paid it back so early, despite an early repayment penalty.”
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO also made stunning admissions about his climate change views and why he’s not dismissive of oil and gas anymore —a major departure from past fuel statements he made championing the industry’s demise in 2018.
“I’m not, like, in the camp of the super alarmist global warming,” Musk added. “I don’t think we’re, like, screwed because of, like, the current parts per million of CO2 in the ocean’s atmosphere. I think, like, this is actually not a terrible level, however.”
“The world is still overwhelmingly dependent on mining and burning hydrocarbons,” he said of oil and gas.
“I’m not sort of into, like, vilifying the oil and gas industry because I think the reality is like if, uh, if we don’t have oil and gas right now civilization would collapse and everyone will be starving—so we obviously need oil and gas right now,” Musk continued.
In March, my IWF colleague Charlotte Whelan detailed how Elon Musk offered up to $100 million in prizes for carbon removal technology. “Private climate philanthropy” – as Charlotte explains – is something everyone can support, compared to top-down policies from the federal government.
Musk’s growing skepticism about government interference in our lives, even in energy and environmental issues, is refreshing. Hopefully he will inspire others to take a more realistic approach to combating climate change and focus on encouraging new innovation to power a cleaner future.
Watch the full Elon Musk interview HERE