Does Elon Care?
Last night, right before I went to bed, I was scrolling through Twitter and saw something that disturbed me to my core. No it wasn’t examples of world hunger or someone’s home being destroyed by a natural disaster; it was someone dissing on my man Elon Musk (I know, my priorities are in perfect order). The tweet was the following:
Fuck all the billionaire "philanthropists" who want to "save the planet" but actually just want to build TOYS instead of GIVING MONEY TO FLINT MI or USING YOUR PRIVILEGE TO DRAW ATTN TO POVERTY or ACTUALLY DOING ANY. SINGLE. THING. TO ALLEVIATE HUMAN SUFFERING!!!!! Tyfctmtt https://t.co/7tx4iwKdLl— Rachel Partridge (@rpartridgebird) April 25, 2018
Now, this really rubbed the the wrong way. Not because she was voicing opposition to someone I highly regard (yes, I have the capability of critical thinking, even when it comes to those I love and admire greatly), but because her remarks couldn’t be farther off mark from the actual truth. So, I spent a good hour+ doing my research and responding to every point she made in her rebuttals to the many tweets I was throwing back her way.
In case you don’t want to read all my follow-up tweets (I don’t blame you), let me go over my main points as to why Elon Musk really is trying to help save the world, or at least shouldn’t be considered a bad guy.
- Right off the bat, Elon Musk has stated numerous times that his main goal for founding SpaceX is to one day colonize Mars with the express purpose of creating a good second-plan if something were to happen to Earth that made it uninhabitable (i.e. global warming, overpopulation, nuclear fallout, etc). In his biography he talks about how the money is a nice plus, but his main goal really is just to advance what we can do as a species and see us grow. I don’t know how you can get any farther from the original implied statement of Elon not wanting to “save the world.”
Now you may argue, “But Ian, what does that have to do with saving the world now, it only involves us leaving behind a dying planet!” And you’d be right, so here comes…
- Elon Musk also owns Tesla and Solar City, two companies who’s goals are to solve the problems of fossil fuels and run the world on solar power and batteries. This directly improves our planet and quality of life. You could try arguing too that this only helps those with wealth, and although this argument does hold merit, it doesn’t in it’s entirety. Solar City has a leasing program where you pay $0 out of pocket and only a monthly fee afterwards, which would still be smaller than your average electricity fee. This would also insure (if you bought thwart wall battery) that you’d likely never experience a power outage.
What about just those in need, those who cant worry about knowing all the intricacies of all of this? Well, thats covered too.
- Elon Musk also loves to help build out this infrastructure with cities, states, and countries, all with the hopes of making this a real solution for all. Take the example of when Tesla helped power an entire island in Hawaii, or when they helped power Puerto Rico after the massive hurricane in 2017. Elon and Tesla even donated thousands of batteries to the island in order to bring back power to a children’s hospital.
- Speaking of donating, he just loves to donate in general. He recently gave $1 million to build a museum for the famous scientist Nikola Tesla. He’s also created the Musk Foundation with his brother where he regularly donates to different organizations and causes he deems worthy.
- Also, to imply that someone isn’t a good person just because they have money and do silly things with it or because they don’t donate to a very specific cause is quite the nonstarter. By that same logic you can prove everyone to be a bad person to a certain degree. I side with the people of Flint, MI 100%, but because I didn’t donate does that mean I am bad? Does every person with a bank account above a certain point have to donate to specific causes when the time comes, or else they are bad? I do agree that donating is an important thing all should do, especially the rich, but to put specific requirements on it defeats the purpose of it being out of good will. It then becomes out of necessity and social status. Donate or else face public outcry simply because you have the funds to do so. That just isn’t right in my mind.
- Lastly, though its not the point of the tweet in question, Musk hardly every takes a vacation. He’s even stated that in the last 6 years he’s had only 2 short ones. Thats less than my family and I have. He works very very hard at what he does is believed to put in 80-90 hour works weeks to accomplish what he sets out to do. In fact, this entire month he’s been literally sleeping on a couch in the Tesla factory. He doesn’t live wild or waste millions, he truly just works hard to help others and accomplish the goals that will, in his mind, make the world a better place for everyone.