According to Calcalist newspaper from Israel:
Leaving the Earth Behind
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors wants us to perceive him as the savior of the human race, but is directly responsible for the bitcoin craze whose mining pollutes the environment.
The richest man in the world, is probably a false prophet. Suffice to look at the move the serial entrepreneur led his electric car maker Tesla, which last week announced it had purchased $ 1.5 billion worth of bitcoin and would begin accepting the virtual currency as a means of payment.
After weeks and months of Musk promoting interest around the currency and contributing to its rise through Twitter tweets, the so-called green company he runs has also joined the celebration. The poster boy of the future and renewable energy invests all the wheels of his electric car in a currency that much has been written about the environmental damage involved in producing it.
Tesla is careful to attach to its annual reports a section that addresses its energy impact. Today this report is beginning to be established as part of proper corporate governance, but in the early 2000’s it was groundbreaking, a kind of environmental perspective that was mostly the domain of green organizations, but even then Tesla they made sure to place it at the forefront.
Tesla is just one part of the mosaic that Musk has designed for himself, one of a future that devotes itself entirely to concern for the human race.
Other pieces that make up the puzzle are the solar panels company Solar City in the field of renewable energy; Neuralink designed to give humans a technological advantage over artificial intelligence; SpaceX which builds reusable missiles for space and designed to allow humanity to inhabit Mars; And a Boring company building futuristic underground transportation systems. As proof of Musk’s tremendous commitment just a month ago, he offered $ 100 million to anyone who would invent a way to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or oceans to improve the environment. The environmental Messiah, flesh and blood.
All of this is good and beautiful and helps the hype around Musk and Tesla, but the truth is of course more complex: Musk, like many of the tech barons, tries to strike a delicate balance between fulfilling their Utopian visions and utilizing the earth resources needed for it. The Bitcoin illustrates this dilemma well: the University of Cambridge, which consistently measures the global energy consumption of the virtual currency, noted that if it were a country, the annual electricity consumption used to produce it would rank it 30th in the world, with higher consumption than Israel, the Netherlands or Argentina. And this reality is getting worse as participation in its decentralized financial system gains more and more momentum.
When Musk, a businessman who is a role model for many, announces an increase in his participation in this arena, he is not only actively participating in an industry that is in stark contrast to Tesla’s sustainable world statements – he is pushing many millions more to participate. Apparently, immediately after the announcement of Tesla’s huge bitcoin purchase, the currency’s exchange rate jumped by 25% and began trading at an all-time high of almost $ 50,000. What does this mean for the planet? Not good stuff. The power consumption involved in producing the virtual currency is so polluting that the significance of the leap in its hair on the real-world climate crisis cannot be ignored.
Musk’s army of fans, already nicknamed Musketeers, is in a hurry to revolt against any criticism of the genius of the groundbreaking entrepreneur. Indeed, he is gifted with a talent for recognizing trends and needs and the ability to imagine another world, and a talent for mobilizing the best forces in the world to make his visions come true. And yet, it’s hard not to be amazed at the inconsistency: an energy-efficient electric car – yes; An energetically efficient financial system? less.
Musk, it seems, is conducting a unique process of rationalization. As Tyler Winklevoos summed it up, a crypto entrepreneur who sells more than half of the twin duo who sued Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg at the time, claiming he stole the idea from them on the social network: That he shares a review article from Reuters about Tesla’s major bitcoin acquisition. “Sometimes technology is so revolutionary and important to humanity that society accepts the compromises. Bitcoin is such a technology. ” Winklevoos, who had previously crowned Musk as the greatest entrepreneur of our generation, used his tweet in the word company, but actually meant Musk. After all, it was Musk who, as part of his risk assessment, found it appropriate to compromise on the environment for the sake of the revolutions that Bitcoin treasures.
This is not the first time Musk has shown strong inconsistency in protecting the environment. Last October, the Tesla car that launched into space two years ago passed Mars for the first time. The car, a space junkie for all intents and purposes, was launched as a publicity stunt and as part of what was perceived as his and his opponent’s mutual muscle-swelling in the space billionaires race, Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos. The two barons are currently investing all their energy in personal but well-publicized projects that include exchanges of insults, accusations and even mutual lawsuits: once they quarrel over a NASA space contract, and another time over the number of satellites and the height of their orbit in the sky.
Seemingly what is so bad about some billionaires dreaming of the future? On the face of it nothing, but it depends on how – and why – they dream about him. Various studies over the years have pointed to a link between men’s insecurity in their masculinity and lack of environmental conscience. The space race, it seems, is merely a fresh expression of this connection. Perhaps it is because Bezos and Musk are already so rich that they can evacuate and fantasize about a future where they lead human settlement outside the Earth’s borders.
The mid-life crisis of Musk and Bezos, who even recently retired from managing Amazon and is expected to devote most of his energy to space racing, now envelops us all. The rivalry between the two is maintained by private capital, government subsidies and public resources in the form of inflating stock prices and polluting currency exchange rates. Damn the environmental impact and the main thing is that they will be the first to occupy space. That’s the way it is, it’s called a compromise.
Price of Compromise
But do we as a public and as those who are also hurt by the price of competition have to agree to this compromise? Bezos, Musk and their colleagues are willing to consume any public resource in pursuit of what they perceive as the future of the human race. But they are not really required to compromise: they can devote time and energy to both the future and the people they claim to try and save. They can repay the company by reducing their tax maneuvers or by paying a fairer wage to employees. They can avoid pumping up interest in virtual currency while ignoring the environmental price. In short, they can think a little more about the implications of their steps here in this world, before focusing solely on the next planet.