Tesla CEO Elon Musk believes the biggest threat to humanity is the falling birth rate, warning that civilization “will collapse” if people don’t start having more children.
“I think one of the biggest risks to civilization is the low birth rate and the rapidly declining birth rate,” the father of six told The Wall Street Journal’s annual CEO Council Monday night.
“And yet so many people, including smart people, think there are too many people in the world and think the population is getting out of hand,” Musk continued.
“It’s completely the opposite. Please look at the numbers – if people don’t have more children, civilization will collapse, take note of my words. ”
The billionaire’s remarks came in response to a question about how his company’s yet-to-be-released Tesla Bot could solve workforce issues.
At an unveiling event in August, Musk said the 5-foot-8, 125-pound robot could be ready as early as next year and would have a “profound” impact on the economy by cutting costs. labor.
On Monday, he added that the Tesla Bot could be a “widespread substitute for human labor over time” – which will become increasingly critical for businesses if the supply of human labor decreases.
The global birth rate has been falling steadily since 1960, according to World Bank data.
This is not the first time Musk has warned of declining birth rates for the world’s population. In 2017, he responded to a New Scientist article that explored whether “the demographic bomb” might explode soon.
“The world’s population is accelerating toward collapse, but few seem to notice or care,” Musk said at the time .
In July of this year, analysts at Morgan Stanley attributed the drop in the birth rate to concerns about climate change.
The “movement not to have children due to fears over climate change is growing and is impacting fertility rates faster than any previous trend in fertility decline,” they said. stated at the time.
“Having a child is 7 times worse for the climate in terms of CO2 emissions per year than the next 10 most discussed mitigators that individuals can do,” Morgan Stanley analysts said, adding that many potential parents are giving up to the family in order to reduce their own carbon footprint.
Despite research suggesting that having fewer children would reduce a household’s impact on climate change, scientists said population control was not a practical way to respond to climate change because it would be too late anyway.
Kimberley Nicholas, a sustainability science researcher in Sweden, said in an interview with Vox earlier this year that “it is true that more people will consume more resources and cause more greenhouse gas emissions.” .
“But that’s not really the relevant timeframe to actually stabilize the climate, given that we have this decade to cut emissions in half. “