The Entrepreneur That Plans To Save The World By Destroying It

Also known as the "da Vinci of the twenty-first century", "the real life Tony Stark", or simply "genius," Elon Musk is a man characterized by exaggeration. This South-African entrepreneur has been in the spotlight for a decade now due to his ambitious projects and view of technology, with which he plans to radically change life as we know it.

The outstanding founder of SpaceX and Tesla Inc. has been featured in dozens of columns, journals, and magazines. These two are also the most remarkable and avant-garde enterprises in the aerospace industry, and play an important role in the design of electric vehicles and storage systems.

Musk always presents his intentions for the future as the best ones. So it is difficult to imagine that something dark could be lurking behind the use of renewable energies, the creation of electric non-polluting vehicles, or the development of aerospace engineering to stop global warming.

Still, if we analyze a bit more the current context and listen carefully to this multimillionaire when he presents his plans, there's no chance for a hopeful future. The conglomerate of Musk enterprises is positioning itself at the front of scientific development, so they will determine the outcome of human evolution in the following decades.


Mars: Elon Musk's obsession

It's no secret that the most important enterprise for Musk is SpaceX. Since its creation in 2002, from its Falcon to its Dragon prototypes (and to that juicy contract with NASA to supply the ISS), the enterprise's rush to catch up with other leading industries has a short-term purpose, as evident as it seems far: to take humanity to Mars.

On September, 2016, during the International Astronautical Congress (IAC), Musk revealed the initial phase of the masterplan that would make him the first man to take human life to the red planet in 2023. From that moment on, the official discourse of SpaceX and its founder acquired a darker and apocalyptic tone, and focused on an obligation that could become a necessity in decades to come. Everything comes down to one single dilemma: to stay on the Earth and face our extinction or to transform humanity in a multi-planetary species. Elon Musk's assertion sounds deceptive.


For Musk, our time on Earth and our existence has a limit. He has mentioned an inescapable final extinction event several times, but has never stopped to elaborate more on its causes or details. In the view of such a situation —sticking to Musk's scenario— there are only two possibilities: either we stay on the planet that we consider our home to wait for our dramatic end, or we become a "multi-planetary species." However, I think that we must also be skeptical about his words, plans, and ideas.


Musk's success as entrepreneur and ability to make millions is not in question. Paypal, SolarCity, and even the revolutionary company Neuralink are different sides of highly ambitious projects that try to innovate taking advantage of cheap applied technology. But his plan to take humanity to Mars whatever it takes sounds like a pronounced sentence for the Earth, which is, at the same time, a contradiction disguised of good intentions that could equally take human civilization to its downfall. This primary proposal by the founder of SpaceX gives rise to many questions that require a broad discussion in all sense:

Is it really so necessary to make it to Mars in order to prevent a final extinction?

Or worse: could it be that the Earth cannot be saved and we can no longer revert the damage caused by pollution, global warming, and the mark of that species that wants to colonize Mars?

Is the potential terraformation of the red planet to inhabit it in the next fifty years really affordable and efficient? Wouldn't it be better to use current technology to ensure Earth's ecologic sustainability as a living organism?

Why is our arrival on Mars such a high priority, instead of preventing the destruction of the only place we know able to support human life?


Finally, does tourism and mining play a role in Musk's plan?

The risk of letting ourselves be swept away by this wave of optimism and Musk's messianic halo is becoming unable to see that the real intentions of his projects are right in front of us. Most importantly, it is still unclear what are the intentions of SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, Deep Spaces Industries, and other companies that want to leave for Mars in this new stage of space exploration, which could come from private funding.

Surprisingly, the ideas of the entrepreneur seem to be partially endorsed by the scientific community. Let's take for instance Stephen Hawking, who stated at the beginning of May that humanity had just one century to colonize a new planet, or else die on Earth.

Strangely enough, just a month before his controversial statements, Virgin Galactic's founder, Richard Branson, invited the British cosmologist to get to know the space aboard the VSS Unity, the first vehicle to take people outside Earth's atmosphere. Is that a coincidence?


After this, you may also want to know about Elon Musk's plan to merge the human brain with a computer. You can also read about the great stories of Silicon Valley that aren't as they look.


Translated by Andrea Valle

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