What just happened? It's hard to imagine Elon Musk, the man behind electric vehicle giant Tesla, calling for the world to find more oil and gas, but he believes such things are necessary for survival and the transition to renewable energies. The world's richest person also revealed his hope that Tesla's self-driving tech will be ready and receive widespread release by the end of the year, and he issued a warning about falling birth rates, a subject Musk is passionate about.
Musk made his comments at an energy conference in Norway, where he said his attention was currently focused on his SpaceX spacecraft and self-driving Tesla vehicles.
"The two technologies I am focused on, trying to ideally get done before the end of the year, are getting our Starship into orbit [...] and then having Tesla cars to be able to do self-driving", he said via Reuters.
Musk also spoke about fossil fuels, insisting that he was not someone who demonizes them. Europe is experiencing record energy prices as Russia lowers its gas deliveries to the continent. "Realistically I think we need to use oil and gas in the short term, because otherwise civilization will crumble," he said, adding that "we must have a clear path to a sustainable energy future."
Tesla's self-driving technology was another subject Musk visited. The CEO is focused on having fully self-driving Tesla cars on sale by year-end with a wide release in the US and Europe, providing the tech receives regulatory approval. The comments come after Musk this month said Tesla's FSD beta software price would rise for the second time this year to $15,000 in North America.
One person who isn't a fan of FSD is Dan O'Dowd, founder of the Dawn Project and CEO of Green Hills Software. He's behind a viral ad showing the vehicles running over child-sized mannequins while in FSD mode. It resulted in a cease-and-desist letter from Tesla, which O'Dowd has responded to by calling Musk a "crybaby."
In addition to oil and gas, Musk believes the world needs more babies. He warned that low birth rates are a danger to civilization and that it's "one of my favorite […] things to be concerned about."
(And I do think global warming is a major risk)— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 26, 2022
"They say civilization might die with a bang or with a whimper," added Musk. "If we don't have enough kids, then we will die with a whimper in adult diapers. And that will be depressing."
I mean, I'm doing my part haha— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 14, 2022
Musk has nine children, including twins he secretly fathered with a top executive from his AI startup Neuralink last year. The billionaire previously said he is "doing my part" in increasing the world's population.