Time magazine names Elon Musk its Person of the Year
“Had the 800,000 Teslas sold in the last year been gas-powered cars, they would have emitted more than 40 million metric tons of CO₂ over their lifetimes - equivalent to the annual emissions of Finland,” Time magazine wrote in its profile of Musk.But curbing emissions is just a part of his grand vision for humanity. Musk also wants people to start colonising Mars. “The goal overall has been to make life multi-planetary and enable humanity to become a spacefaring civilization,” Musk told Time.
When asked by Time about the timeline for sending people to Mars and refueling on the Red Planet to come back to Earth, Musk responded: “I’ll be surprised if we’re not landing on Mars within five years.”Back here on Earth, Musk is working to close the digital divide with Starlink, a satellite broadband service with nearly 2,000 launched satellites to date. He hopes to launch as many as 42,000 more to provide internet service to underserved developing and rural communities around the globe. Musk is also in talks with Brazil’s government on how Starlink’s satellites can help combat the Amazon’s deforestation and forest fires. And he’s taking steps to provide internet services to rural India. But things are not all starry-eyed for the billionaire. Some former employees have accused his companies of fostering an environment where sexual harassment, poor working conditions and racism are prevalent. Earlier this year, a federal jury ordered Tesla to fork over $137m to an African American former employee at the EV maker’s factory in Freemont, California, who said that Tesla turned a blind eye to racial abuse.
Tesla has been fined for regulatory violations. And the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into the safety of Tesla’s Autopilot software after a complaint implicated it in a crash.Musk’s Midas touch and expanding net worth have also landed him in the inequality crosshairs and the debate over whether the government should force the rich to pay more taxes. “A lot of the push for higher government involvement and expropriating of assets by the government is pushed by a bunch of politicians who are actually saying that resources in control of private individuals should be in control of the government. They are basically saying that they want control of the assets,” Musk told Time magazine in an interview. Born in Pretoria, South Africa, Musk moved to the US to attend Stanford University as a PhD candidate, but dropped out. He co-founded internet mapping service Zip2 and e-payment company PayPal, which were then sold to Compaq and eBay, respectively. Tags: 4IR, Fourth industrial revolution, Elon Musk, 4irw, Industry 4, Person of the Year