“We’re running the most dangerous experiment in history right now, which is to see how much carbon dioxide the atmosphere can handle before there is an environmental catastrophe,” says one of the world’s famous tech entrepreneur.
Just like that, Elon Musk had us at his concern for the environment.
If you don’t know who this engineer is, then you must have been living under a rock. Any engineer dedicated to his/her field knows that Elon Musk has made a reputation in business and engineering. Hailed as “a Renaissance man this era that needs them” by Iron Man himself, Robert Downey Jr., Elon Musk is the closest person we can compare to the famous Marvel character.
If you think about it, Musk lived out the comic-book engineering prodigy behind Iron Man. Some really do consider him as the real life Iron Man. Well, that could be possible.
Born in South Africa, this Canadian-American inventor graduated with a physics and business degree in the University of Pennsylvania, went to Stanford for a PhD in physics but dropped out to hustle with the tech business. He is known as the “It boy of the Silicon Valley”, a risk taker, and many more amazing calls.
To back these up, he is called as such because of achieving unbelievable heights. He is a rare genius with futuristic ambitions. He pioneered the following companies and projects aligned with his aspirations in the areas of internet, energy, and outer space.
Musk is currently the CEO and CTO of SpaceX, a company that focuses on designing, manufacturing and launching advanced rockets and spacecraft. He is also the CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors, providing the world premium electric vehicles. CEO of Boring, a tunnel transportation company. As if being CEO of two big companies isn’t enough, he’s also the co-chairman of OpenAI, a non-profit artificial intelligence research company.
He has made it his mission to change the world and save humanity. How exactly will he be able to do these things? He plans to lead us in the transition to sustainable clean energy.
Being labeled as the 2nd wealthiest man in the world (with $183.4 billion in his pocket), he is set to make this happen. This is one of his motivations on why he started SolarCity, which is focused on providing the growing solar energy demands of the United States. How very noble for someone who has all the money in the world.
On His Achievements
For all of his innovations and groundbreaking projects, Musk has received numerous recognitions.
Some of which are as follows: In 2010, he was listed as one of Time Magazine’s 100 people who most affected the world. On the same year he was awarded by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale with the highest award in air and space, the FAI Gold Space Medal, for designing the first privately developed rocket to reach orbit. Musk was also named by Esquire magazine as one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century. Forbes listed him as one of “America’s 20 Most Powerful CEOs 40 and under”.
He is recognized as a Living Legend in Aviation in 2010 by the Kitty Hawk Foundation for creating the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft—the successor to the Space Shuttle. In 2010, he was the Automotive Executive of the Year (worldwide) for showing technology leadership and innovation via Tesla Motors. In 2012, he was awarded with the Royal aeronautical’s Society’s highest award, a Gold Medal.
Why He’s Different From Other Innovators
SpaceX, Tesla and Boring
Because of his great contributions, Musk is regarded as the most relevant personality among space nuts, business freaks, clean tech lovers, electric car enthusiasts, and coding nerds, among others.
But there’s more to Elon Musk than his wide variety of innovation fields that he is admired for – he appears at the front of the pack of innovation masterminds because of who he is as a person.
It doesn’t take so much of psychology and personality assessment to realize the main reason why he is well-loved by people. Musk shows us he is a human being just like us – unlike others who feel superior in a crowd, Elon Musk speaking in front of an audience feels like he is just talking with a friend, even when he is already delivering a speech full of tech jargons. The way he answers questions is so real, that his level of engagement is unparalleled.
The moment he is thrown with a question, he speaks with dignity not only with his mouth but also with his inquisitive and searching eyes. Elon may be interrupting himself at times but only to make his piece a more understandable context to the audience. Ultimately, his greatest asset is to make big dreams be a believable reality to his audience.
In their company, Solar City, Musk along with his cousins Peter and Lyndon Rive aim to power homes using solar energy. They plan to make clean energy available to homeowners, businesses, schools, non-profits and government organizations at costs that are lower than if they were to use energy generated by non-renewable energy sources.
Solar City has completed installations in 27 states with more than 90 operation centers. The company makes switching to clean energy easier by analyzing their customer’s energy usage and identifying the different opportunities for improvements. According to their website they are the only company “that offers integrated sales, financing, design, installation, monitoring and efficiency services from a single source, without requiring the services of multiple third-parties.”
Another reason why we admire Musk is his crazy ideas that could ultimately become true in the near future. A fun fact you might have missed about Elon Musk: He wants to make human life on Mars to be possible. As he phrases it, he is “making life multiplanetary.”
On Carbon Pricing and Energy Education
At the World Energy Innovation Forum held at the Tesla Headquarters last May 4th, Musk challenged the masses to be educated in order to spark a “sort of revolt” to end the “unrelenting and enormous” promises set by the fossil fuel industry.
Musk also announced his support for carbon pricing as a means to lessen the amount of subsidies that the creation and use of fossil fuels present.
Though subsidies are provided to electric vehicles, it still does not equal the subsidies that the gasoline powered vehicles get. Musk proclaimed that this “weakens the economic forcing function to transition to sustainable transport and energy.” As Musk showed his stand on the effects of climate change in the country, other people present in the forum have different takes on this “new direction” of the electricity magnate.
In one of his speeches, he expresses his take on coal and and carbon pricing:
“It’s not as though we can keep burning coal in our power plants. Coal is a finite resource, too. We must find alternatives, and it’s a better idea to find alternatives sooner then wait until we run out of coal, and in the meantime, put God knows how many trillions of tons of CO2 that used to be buried underground into the atmosphere.”
“The reality is gas prices should be much more expensive then they are because we’re not incorporating the true damage to the environment and the hidden costs of mining oil and transporting it to the U.S. Whenever you have an unpriced externality, you have a bit of a market failure, to the degree that eternality remains unpriced.”
How He Inspires Engineers and Innovators
More than a guy having a public speaking command is a guy who cares a lot about humanity. His dedication and commitment towards helping society proves so, through Tesla Motors which produces environmentally friendly electric cars; through SpaceX which will provide sooner or later an unprecedented transportation system that will benefit generations; and through SolarCity which gives clean, abundant, and socioeconomically decentralized source of electricity generation.
All these and more are enough reasons to admire our real-life Iron Man. With the magazine covers he is in, the media companies parading his name, his special television appearances, his fans are deeply reminded of how great Elon Musk is. There is no shame to be called an Elon fan boy or a fan girl, because Elon Musk’s accomplishments and himself are indeed worth celebrating.