Detroit – Outside the North American International Auto Show this month, temperatures were a bone-chilling nine degrees when electric vehicle entrepreneur and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk took the stage to declare that human-induced global warming was a threat to mankind.
“I think we’re really going to regret the amount of carbon we’re putting into the atmosphere,” said Musk, chastising the auto industry for its failure to head off environmental armageddon by producing more EVs.
No one in the packed room of journalists pointed out that the entrepreneur was wearing no clothes. No one noted the irony that the earth hasn’t warmed in two decades. Or that the single-digit cold wave had created a genuine crisis for Detroit’s homeless in a city that can’t afford enough shelters.
We’re not doing Tesla “as a way to get rich,” Musk said. Musk wants a carbon tax — he says we’re pumping it into the atmosphere and we’re all paying. “The potential harm to the climate is really much, much greater than it was before” because of fracking, the solar-power investor added.
Many in the auto industry admire Musk, founder of the first credible auto startup in decades — even as they profess confusion over his methods. But he seems a thoroughly modern businessman in the Obama age. Build a credible product — then use the government to handicap your competitors.