The Paris Climate Agreement is an international treaty in which countries agree to plans that will prevent the world from heating up by more than two degrees Celsius. The goal is to slow down climate change and hopefully begin to reverse it.
When President Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, Musk left the two advisory councils that he served on. He insists that climate change is real, and addressing it needs to be a foremost concern for any government in the world today. Many of his business ventures are designed to move society away from fossil fuels to help reverse climate change.
NASA and SpaceX have been partnering to use greener fuels with fewer emissions and less toxicity to power people and rockets into space. This achievement is certainly noteworthy, but also a point of criticism for Musk, an ardent advocate for reversing our dependence on fossil fuels.
Many of SpaceX’s rockets have used kerosene, a by-product of oil processing, as fuel, and even the cleaner fuels still have emissions that are dangerous for the environment. Some people think that if Musk is going to follow through on his commitment to the environment, he has to develop fuels that are emission-free.
Tesla, what looked like a small-town start-up back in 2003, is now one of the most successful companies in the world. Its emissions-free cars have become so popular that factories are operating around the clock to keep up with orders. In 2017, the company was inducted into Fortune 500.
However, with this immense success comes the criticism that the working conditions at Tesla factories are unsafe. Workers are forced to work long hours without taking enough breaks, and at one point, Musk admitted that he was sleeping on the floor in his office.
In 2017, Musk announced that he wanted to take Tesla private, which would mean a massive restructuring of the company. Some shareholders complained that he was making misleading claims to increase the share price, and the Securities And Exchange Commission got involved. Tesla remains a publicly-traded company.
Following his role in the rescue attempt of a group of boys who became trapped in a cave in Thailand, lawsuits were filed against Musk for defamation. Specifically, he made a Tweet accusing one of the rescuers of being a pedophile. The accusation was false, and Musk later deleted the Tweets.
Though Musk has been the CEO of Tesla since 2008 and is the longest-serving CEO of an automobile company, the Securities And Exchange Commission requested that Musk not be allowed to serve as CEO in a publicly-traded company. This action is due to some public comments that Musk made about Tesla. A board now oversees him and his communications.
Maybe his dreaming works best when he is beset by failures and setbacks and has to muster up the courage to continue pursuing what he loves. Visionaries don’t work for financial success, and acquiring a vast fortune has turned previous visionaries into business people.
Musk’s dreams have become a reality, from launching an internet payment service to building rockets because he got spit on by a Russian official. From helping to develop concept electric cars to imagining something called a Hyperloop. All of these have taken society far into the future.
He has mainstreamed the possibility of using technology not requiring fossil fuels and developing infrastructure that supports renewable energy. He encourages progress that does not harm the environment and create additional climate change, making him a man of his century.
“A Timeline of Elon Musk’s Achievements!” V12 Society.
“Elon Musk.” Wikipedia.
“Elon Musk’s Failure Timeline Shows a History of Overcoming Setbacks.” Inverse. May 18, 2018.