Tesla CEO Elon Musk has long harboured dreams of colonizing Mars, complete with a set deadline and plan of action. He recently took to Twitter to proclaim that population collapse is a bigger problem than people realize and that’s just for Earth. What prompted Musk to make such a bold declaration? The billionaire was responding to a tweet by a Twitter handle titled ‘Tesla Owners of the East Bay’.
“Mars has a great need for people, seeing as population is currently zero. Humans are the custodians of other life on Earth. Let us bring life to Mars!" Musk went on to write.
The fan club handle had brought upon the factor of population collapse and tweeted how it is upon earth with fewer children being born in the world.
“Population collapse could be upon us, but we appreciate that you good sir are still making tangible efforts to stave it off," it had written. Musk, father of seven, said in his response that he is trying to set a good example.
Population collapse could be upon us, but we appreciate that you good sir are still making tangible efforts to stave it off. @elonmusk 👶🏻💚🌎 pic.twitter.com/qlwz1JBUhj— Tesla Owners of the East Bay (@TeslaOwnersEBay) July 14, 2021
Responding to them, Musk tweeted the following:
I’m trying to set a good example! Population collapse is a much bigger problem than people realize and that’s just for Earth.Mars has a great need for people, seeing as population is currently zero.
Humans are the custodians of other life on Earth. Let us bring life to Mars!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 14, 2021
Musk, who is known for keeping Twitter on its toes, has always made headlines for his bold and controversial opinions. In May, the billionaire said dinosaurs “would still be around" if they had spaceships during the asteroid strike.
While this may sound ironic and a joke, Musk’s real goals aren’t too far from the suggestion, ‘Put it in a spaceship.’
Elon Musk has mentioned his plans of taking humans to Mars for a while - and he finally has a timeline for it. “Five and a half years," he mentioned in February. While that’s not a hard deadline, Musk listed a number of caveats — there’s a raft of technological advances that must be made in the intervening years. “The important thing is that we establish Mars as a self-sustaining civilization," he said.
Musk has also been at the receiving end of critique for his ‘send it to space’ approach: A billboard near the SpaceX headquarters may be proof that not everyone seems to agree with Musk’s interplanetary plans and would rather focus on saving the earth. A Los Angeles creative agency Activista placed a billboard outside SpaceX’s California headquarters which reads “Mars Sucks."
The billboard was placed right outside Space X’s campus ahead of Earth Day, 2021, and expresses disappointment over Musk’s focus on Mars rather than restoring Earth.
So how much of an actual threat population collapse is? It definitely holds some ground, according to a report in 2020 by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation of the University of Washington. The report said that fertility rate around the world is likely to face a serious decline by 2050 and 2100s. The study got published in The Lancet.