Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has called all those believing our planet is overpopulated to think again. It is depopulation, not overpopulation, that is going to be humanity’s doom, the Tesla CEO believes.
The world population is nearing 8 billion, but Musk believes there are still “not enough people” on Earth. “I think one of the biggest risks to civilization is the low birth rate and the rapidly declining birthrate,” the Tesla and SpaceX head, who is also a father of six, told Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council on Tuesday.
“So many people, including smart people, think that there are too many people in the world and think that the population is growing out of control,” Musk said, adding that the situation is “completely the opposite.”
“If people don’t have more children, civilization is going to crumble, mark my words,” the billionaire predicted. The World Bank’s data shows that the global birth rate has been in decline since 1963, with a slight recovery around the early 1980s.
Musk also said he does not really like any idea of people trying to “live for a super-long life,” not to mention immortality. This would only lead to stagnation as no new ideas would be allowed to thrive, he believes.
“I think it is important for us to die because most of the times, people don’t change their mind, they just die. If they live forever, then we might become a very ossified society where new ideas cannot succeed,” the entrepreneur said. He also said it was important for people in “very important” security positions to have “sufficient presence of mind and cognitive ability” to make good decisions, adding that he was not “poking fun at aging.”
Musk’s concern about birth rates might have something to do with his own future plans, though, since he spoke about the prospects of humanity becoming a “multiplanetary” species, and said that his SpaceX Starship rocket, which is currently under development, might just be the key to making this a reality.