The billionaire CEO and soon-to-be owner of Twitter warned that “population collapse” would be the biggest problem faced by the world in twenty years.
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Elon Musk was humiliated after his warning about “population collapse” was ridiculed by experts. The billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX has repeatedly warned that falling birth rates in many countries around the world are a major global threat. Currently the world’s richest man, Mr Musk even added that the crisis could be a greater risk to civilisation than climate change. Throughout millennia, human populations have by and large continued to grow, with the birth rate exponentially increasing after the industrial revolution in the 1800s. However, these trends show that the birth rate in many countries has begun to slow down, and even reverse in some cases, like in Japan.
In August, Mr Musk tweeted that “population collapse due to low birth rates is a much bigger risk to civilization than global warming. Mark my words” adding that he did consider global warming to be a major threat.
However, demographers, who study population trends, note that despite declines in some parts of the world, the global population is growing, and is unlikely to collapse any time soon, even as the birth rates today are lower than in the past.
Joseph Chamie, a consulting demographer, author and former director of the United Nations Population Division, said: “He’s better off making cars and engineering than at predicting the trajectory of the population.”
Having written several books on population issues, he said: “Yes, some countries, their population is declining, but for the world, that’s just not the case.”