Billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, who fathered 10 children, said on Monday the world needed to “make more babies” – and keep digging for oil.
The richest man on the planet, who has repeatedly warned that low birth rates pose a “danger” to civilization, said ahead of an energy conference in Norway that the world faces a ” baby crisis.
Asked about the biggest challenges facing the world, Musk cited the transition to renewable energy, but also said the birth rate was “one of my favorite things…to worry about.”
“We don’t want the population to drop so low that we will end up dying,” Musk, founder of US electric car maker Tesla and SpaceX, told reporters in Stavanger, southwestern Norway.
“Make at least enough babies to support the population,” he added.
Many Western societies and populous countries like China are facing declining birth rates and aging societies.
“They say civilization could die with a bang or with a groan,” Musk added. “If we don’t have enough children, we’ll die with a moan in adult diapers. And that will be depressing.”
He also said the planet still needs new sources of fossil fuels.
“I think realistically we have to use oil and gas in the short term, because otherwise civilization would collapse,” he said, adding that “further exploration is warranted at this time.” .
He went on to advocate keeping nuclear power plants, describing himself as “pro-nuclear”.
Several European countries had decided to phase out nuclear power, but after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February and Europe’s subsequent efforts to wean itself off Russian oil and gas, the nuclear debate revived.
“I know that might be an unpopular view in some quarters, but I think if you have a well-designed nuclear plant, you shouldn’t shut it down,” Musk said.
The businessman, who has been divorced three times, fathered 10 children, one of whom died aged 10 weeks.
Earlier this year, one of his children, who just turned 18, filed a petition in a California court to change his name and gender identity to female.
Court documents stated that she did “not want to be related to my biological father in any way” as one of the reasons for the name change.
Musk also has two children with musician Grimes, a girl they named Exa Dark Siderael Musk – although the parents said they would mainly call her Y – and a boy born in May 2020 called “X AE A- 12”, or more simply X
Musk announced last fall that he was “semi-separated” from the singer.
The American press recently revealed that he also had twins in November with an executive at Neuralink, Musk’s brain implant maker, weeks before Exa Dark Siderael Musk was born.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)