“Why run this crazy experiment of changing the chemical composition of the atmosphere and oceans by adding enormous amounts of CO2?… That’s crazy. That’s the dumbest experiment in history, by far.”
Elon doesn’t discount the benefits or technological advancements that the use of fossil fuels have allowed us to make. However he says, now that we have data to show how bad it is for the environment, and we have the advancements with other forms of cleaner energy, there’s no point in continuing to rely so heavily on fossil fuels.
Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, and chairman of SolarCity, and the guy who dreamt up the hyper loop, says we shouldn’t need an environmentally motivated reason to transition to clean energy. We’re probably going to run out of oil sometime; why find out if we can destroy the world while we do it, if an alternative exists?
“If we don’t find a solution to burning oil for transport, when we then run out of oil, the economy will collapse and society will come to an end,” Musk said this week during a conversation with astrophysicist and Cosmos host Neil deGrasse Tyson.
“If we know we have to get off oil no matter what, we know that is an inescapable outcome, why run this crazy experiment of changing the chemical composition of the atmosphere and oceans by adding enormous amounts of CO2 that have been buried since the Precambrian Era?” he added. “That’s crazy. That’s the dumbest experiment in history, by far.”
Tyson sounded surprised: “Can you think of a dumber experiment?” he asked Musk.
“I honestly cannot. What good could possibly come of [staying on oil],” Musk said.
Musk, with his supercharger stations, SolarCity (his solar energy company), his electric car company that will soon rely on a “Gigafactory” to create its batteries, has a huge financial stake in the future of clean energy. He stands so much to gain from the clean energy boom in part because he’s realized that not only are fossil fuels dirty, they’re unnecessary—and of finite supply.
Listen to the whole dialog here: