Elon Musk is big news. Pick a random day and one of his companies’ press releases probably made its way throughout Facebook. For instance, a few days ago he launched a speedy new SUV called the Tesla Model X that can drive 250 miles on a single charge. Not only that, it’s probably the safest car ever made, ranking off the charts. Another company of his, SolarCity, just announced that it has built the most efficient residential solar panel in the world. It is expected to cost only 55 cents per watt of energy. All this, and I didn’t even mention his plan for an airplane propelled by a fan!
But Mr. Musk makes the news in other ways, also. He is ruthless to his employees, often no-holds-barred insulting them. He’ll order major layoffs like he’s having breakfast with the family, and he makes offhanded comments about nuking planets.
Musk and the “S” Word
But on the whole, Musk is usually praised. He’s the talk of the social sphere for his different breakthroughs with the “S” word: sustainable travel, sustainable transport, and sustainable electricity. Unfortunately, he couldn’t care less about a sustainable economic system or a sustainable Earth. Because like every other industrialist before him, Musk wants infinite growth on our little, blue finite planet, and he’s not concerned if anything will remain for the rest of us. I mean, why would he? He’s already made a company to colonize the universe. In fact, he’s been running it for almost 15 years.
The stated goal of SpaceX, Musk’s dream corporation, is simply to “[enable] people to live on other planets.” And with the confirmation of water on Mars, he’s working harder than ever to promote it. If capitalist mega-corporations like the ones he loves use every last resource on Earth he can just go somewhere else and start over. All you have to do is buy a ticket. But it will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars at the very least, and only if his plan becomes a reality. Most of us will die in the fire. I surely will.
Apocalypse is a possibility, it seems. A group of scientists, engineers, and academics who study the risk of human extinction conducted a survey in 2008 if they thought humanity would make it through the next century. 19% didn’t. If we do face annihilation, at least Elon Musk and the other billionaires will survive…until they get to Mars and there’s no one there to serve them.