Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, often sparks controversy when he decides to take to his social networks to speak his mind. He recently decided to comment on a new study that suggests we are approaching a sixth mass extinction that would wipe out most species on the planet. Elon Musk suggested that there is a 100% chance that humans will end up relegated to extinction if we don’t do something about it.
The research in question is conducted by the University of Hawaii at Manoa. It reveals that the Earth has lost between 150,000 and 260,000, that is, between 7.5% and 13%, of the total of two million known species in a period of five centuries. And although for many these figures are far from being considered that we are heading towards mass extinction, Elon Musk believes that this is where we are heading and that the increase in the rate of extinction, including human extinction, is inevitable.
Elon Musk on the extinction of humans
In response to the publication of the research, Elon Musk commented: “There is a 100% chance of extinction of ‘all’ species due to the expansion of the Sun.”
But in the same statement he expresses what, in his opinion, would be the only solution to avoid the extinction of both humans and the species that accompany us on the planet.
According to the tycoon, the only way would be a “multi-planetary life”, meaning that we must undertake the search for a new host planet that meets the needs of humanity.
This is not the first time Musk has expressed his thoughts on the matter. He has shown great interest in taking the first humans to Mars. Moreover, in 2021 he gave an interview to Time magazine where he commented on an idea to build a kind of ‘futuristic Noah’s Ark’.
From his point of view, it is the only option we have to save animals and plants from extinction, in this way there would be a possibility to transport them to Mars to start from scratch in a new home.
“The next big thing is to build a self-sustaining city on Mars and take Earth’s animals and creatures there,” he said.
His statements have raised all kinds of criticism, as it is clear that Mars would not be a suitable natural habitat for Earth creatures. However, the point about extinction remains valid according to research from the University of Hawaii, which suggests that we are approaching a sixth mass extinction. But that, unlike the previous ones, this one would be caused entirely by man’s actions.
The conclusions of the study stipulate that the inclusion of invertebrate animals changes the figures we already knew before. With this, the percentages are raised and alarm bells are ringing as large numbers of species are being lost in very short periods of time.
“Including invertebrates was key to confirming that we are indeed witnessing the beginning of the Sixth Mass Extinction in Earth’s history,” said Robert Cowie, research professor at the University of Hawaii’s Pacific Biosciences Research Center.
So while controversy roils Elon Musk’s views, one thing is certain, we are pushing the planet to the limit. But far from looking to the Universe in search of a new home, we should first turn to the only one that can shelter us for now and transform our relationship with it.
Story originally published in Ecoosfera