Elon Musk in Paris: Solving the Climate Crisis

December 4, 2015

Published on Dec 2, 2015

Elon Musk is at Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne to talk about the danger of climate change and his vision of what we can do to help the world transition to a sustainable future.

03:34. Carbon cycle & temperature rise
08.10. Fossil Fuels Era
10:44. Carbon Tax
16:18. Importance of climate change
17:35. Effectiveness of incentives
19:50. Storing CO2
21:07. Lithium availability
22:30. Tesla PowerPack big projects
24:13. Government role
26:43. Colonising Mars
27:52. Future energy sources
29:16. Nuclear fission / Nuclear Fusion
31:45. Advices to energy entrepreneurs
33:22. Government incentives
35:00. Artificial Intelligence
36:22. Fund raising challenges (Tesla insight)
38:54. Changing society energy behaviour
41:19. Green energy lobbying
45:55. COP21 in Paris
46:50. Getting CO2-dependent countries on-board
49:21. Batteries carbon footprint
51:50. Sustainable future roadmap

Business Insider:

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk gave a speech in Paris on Wednesday at the Sorbonne, and he called in no uncertain terms for a carbon tax.

“We have to fix the unpriced externality,” he told the audience, shifting into the wonky quasi-academic mode that he actually appears to enjoy indulging in, when he isn’t running two companies and serving as the Chairman of a third, Solar City.

His entire speech hinged on this simple observation: that the addition of carbon to the atmosphere is effectively a worldwide subsidy that’s contributing to global warming and preventing humanity from freeing itself from the fossil fuel era.

Musk called this a “hidden carbon subsidy of $5.3 trillion per year,” citing the IMF. In response to questions after his speech, he said that a good outcome of the current UN Climate Summit (COP21) taking place in France would be that governments “put their foot down” and use a revenue neutral, gradually applied carbon tax to accelerate the shift from an economy driven by fossil fuels to one driven by sustainable energy.

Musk is convinced that the current fossil fuel era will end — it’s just a question of when. In his analysis, the transition will occur simply because we’ll run out of carbon-based stuff that we can dig out of the ground and burn. But the existing carbon subsidy, in his estimation, is slowing down progress.

He called this, variously, “the dumbest experiment in history” and “madness.”


5 Responses to “Elon Musk in Paris: Solving the Climate Crisis”

  1. Nick Tedesco Says:

    Mr. Musk continues to use his power and influence to help lead us to a clean energy future. Hopefully other business leaders will find inspiration in his vision and integrity.

  2. indy222 Says:

    I love listening to Elon Musk; his achievements are incredible. However, in his talk he seems very naive about how governments actually operate. His urging that all individual governments just “do the right thing” is sweet. Wonderful. And utterly at variance with reality. Surely he knows this. Maybe he just wants to be positive in this venue. As long as the 3rd world envy’s the 2nd and 1st world in their Good Life and high energy expenditures, governments are not going to “do the right thing” for the Globe. The evidence is massive, and especially so here in our red-white-blue U.S. of A. Economic elites control what laws are passed, and even citizen-based massive lobbies have only the tiniest correlation with that laws get passed (Gilens & Page 2014). Musk agrees that there’s no way we can compete with corporate big money lobbies. When organizations betray the truth and betray the future at the level that Big Oil has, they have little incentive to stroke genuine self-respect, which is gone. It was squandered long ago – sacrificed as just another cost of doing business.

    Colonizing other planets – I say leave them alone in their purity. As if they could be “terra-formed” like in an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie!

  3. andrewfez Says:

    I read through some studies months ago that dealt with replanting over MTR sites. Even when you shrug off mimicking what was there before the soil was stripped away, and just plant the most hearty plants, native or otherwise, you only get about 1/4th of the tree density that you had beforehand; I’ve forgotten the time interval for this endpoint. With that in mind, I would say we’d be much more likely to solve all our environmental crises than turn Mars into a diverse, living entity.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      You need to read some more. Mountaintop removal mining destroys what nature took hundreds of thousands and even millions of years to create, and it will take many millennia to return to anything approaching a “natural” state . A good quick read:


      And in the interests of being fair and balanced (Crock is NOR Fox News), here’s what the whores for coal at the National Mining Association have to say about MTR (with emphasis on jobs, of course, and little mention that it’s really all about coal company profits). The picture on the cover shows what anyone who has ever been to WV knows—-you CAN NOT put Humpty Dumpty or a totally destroyed landscape (or mountain ecosystem) back together again by planting some trees and grass and smugly patting yourself on the back.


    • dumboldguy Says:

      PS It’s obvious that we are “much more likely to solve all our environmental crises than turn Mars into a diverse, living entity”, since turning Mars into a a “diverse, living entity” is just BS from egotistical self-promoters like Musk and the folks at NASA who want to feed at the public trough for the next 20 years working on the Mars Death Mission. (I would question the use of “much”, though)

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