Elon Musk says civilization will collapse when individuals cease having youngsters

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Entrepreneur and business tycoon Elon Musk gesticulates during a visit to the Tesla Gigafactory, which is under construction, on August 13, 2021 in Grünheide near Berlin, eastern Germany.

Patrick Pleul | AFP | Getty Images

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, wants people to have more babies.

“There aren’t enough people,” Musk said Monday at a Wall Street Journal event. “I can’t emphasize this enough, there aren’t enough people,” he said.

The tech billionaire said low and rapidly falling birth rates were “one of the greatest risks to civilization”.

His comments come as a growing number of people choose not to have children, citing concerns such as climate change and inequality.

Musk added that too many “good, smart people” think that there are too many people in the world and that the population is getting out of hand.

“The opposite is true,” said Musk, urging people to look at the data. “When people no longer have children, civilization will collapse.

When asked whether this is why he has so many children, the father of six says that he is trying to set a good example and that he must also practice what he preaches.

Morgan Stanley analysts said in a statement to investors in July that the “trend not to have children due to fears about climate change is growing and affecting fertility rates faster than any previous trend in fertility decline”.

To back up their argument, they cited surveys, academic research, and Google data showing that climate change is directly and indirectly accelerating the decline in birth rates.

UCLA researchers have shown that the number of births in the US has decreased in the nine months following an extreme heat event, while a study of 18,000 couples in China last year showed that climate change, and particulate matter in particular, increased by 20% were linked to the likelihood of infertility.

Of course, at some point humanity would cease to exist if everyone stopped having children. A fringe antinatalist group believes that is exactly what should happen, but most people do not share this view.

Indeed, many people see children as a basic human right that can bring happiness and joy to families.

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