Tesla’s billionaire CEO worries about a declining world population as he sets out to conquer Mars.
Elon Musk keeps his word.
The CEO of Tesla (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc. Report, who has become one of the world’s most influential voices, for several months has been warning about what he considers the most serious global threat: the decline of the world population and mainly in rich countries.
“Unless something major changes on the human birth rate level. But this, by the way, is, I think, the biggest single threat to civilization right now,” Musk, 51, said during a virtual appearance at the recent All-In Conference held in Miami on May 16.
To back up his claim and warning, the tech tycoon has for several weeks been posting news articles focused on the continued population decline in Japan, Hong Kong, China, South Korea, and Italy and the decline in the birth rate in the U.S.
“Past two years have been a demographic disaster,” Musk wrote on Twitter on June 14, speaking about the U.S. The post brought back a tweet from May, in which he was already worried about the declining U.S. birth rate.
Musk Has Two New Kids
“USA birth rate has been below min sustainable levels for ~50 years,” Musk tweeted at the time.
A recent study projects that the world’s population will peak at 9.7 billion in 2064, before decreasing to 8.8 billion in 2100. But if we follow the curve of the growth rate of world population, demographers say, the population would begin to decline around 2060.
The annual growth rate of world population was 2.1% in the 1970s. Today, this rate is around 1%. And it should go to zero between 2060 and 2070, demographers also say.
The serial entrepreneur — he founded the rocket developer SpaceX, infrastructure provider Boring Co., and medical-technology company Neuralink — says that one way to solve this major problem is to have children and celebrate humanity.
“I mean, I’m doing my part haha,” Musk said in another tweet on June 14
This last sentence can be understood in different ways. The first is that the billionaire is already doing everything to warn about this issue.
On a personal level, the billionaire also seems to be following his own advice: He expanded his family at the end of last year by welcoming a seventh child, a girl named Y, with the Canadian singer Grimes.
But we have to believe that he did not stop there since the charismatic business manager seems to confirm a report from Insider stating that he has two other children, twins, with a senior Neuralink executive, Shivon Zilis.
The two babies were born last November. Musk and the executive in April asked a Texas judge to change the children’s names to reflect both their surnames, according to Insider. The request was granted.
“Doing my best to help the underpopulation crisis,” Musk tweeted on July 7, several hours after the Insider article was published. “A collapsing birth rate is the biggest danger civilization faces by far.”
Five minutes later he posted a second tweet saying: “Mark my words, they are sadly true.”
These messages were followed by other tweets including one celebrating big families.
“I hope you have big families and congrats to those who already do!”
“Far too many people are under the illusion that Earth is overpopulated, even though birth rate trends are so obviously headed to population collapse,” Musk said in another tweet.
‘Zero People’ on Mars
The twins bring Musk’s offspring to nine. Indeed, the billionaire already has two children, Y and X, with Grimes. He also has a set of twins and a set of triplets — Griffin, Vivian, Jenna, Kai, Saxon, and Damian — from an earlier marriage with Canadian author Justine Wilson.
Musk and Wilson lost their first child, Nevada, from sudden infant death syndrome at just 10 weeks old.
The billionaire’s tweets about having a large family have been met on social media with comments from users who believe he can afford to have as many children as he wants because he is wealthy. But the billionaire had already anticipated this criticism several weeks ago.
“It’s somewhat counterintuitive, because people will say, like, well, ‘it’s too expensive to have a baby’. No. The wealthier they are, the fewer kids you have; the more educated you are the fewer kids you have,” he said in May.
The expansion of his family and alarm about the decline of the world’s population come as Musk wants to conquer other planets, Mars in particular, through his SpaceX exploration company. He wants to build the project into a global ambition.
“Population of Mars is still zero people!” Musk repeated in a July 7 tweet.