Bill Gates and Elon Musk: The Battle of the Climate Change Hypocrites

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Elon Musk and Bill Gates are engaged in yet another billionaire food fight, this time about climate change.

Musk claimed that Gates was not a serious climate reformer, claiming that he had shorted Tesla stock. Gates quickly retorted, saying that he gives “a lot of money to help climate change” more than Elon or anyone else.

These billionaires know how to put on a 21st-century climate change show. Musk stated that climate change is the greatest threat to humanity, aside from artificial intelligence. Gates has advocated for all rich countries to move to 100% synthetic beef (cow farts can be “really” harmful to the environment).

Every day Americans don’t buy what they sell, which is understandable. The climate change crisis is the greatest manufactured crisis in history. None of the doomsday predictions made by its supporters have been fulfilled over the years. From Lower Manhattan being submerged by 2018, to 50 million refugees from climate change by 2000, to whole nations being wiped out by global warming by 2000, none of these doomsday scenarios have worked. They want you to quit eating meat and taking daily showers.

Here’s the problem: If one accepts their actions as they are, Gates or Musk don’t seem to be buying what’s being sold. While they aren’t making any sacrifices to save the planet, they don’t want to bother you with mandate after the mandate. Contrary to Gandhi’s advice that “live simply so others may just live”, these billionaires hypocrites believe we should do what their words say and not what they do. Ironically, Gates owns four private planes and was in a bidding battle for the largest private jet operator worldwide just one month prior to publishing a book about climate change. This is not the profile of a climate change activist; it’s the profile of a billionaire who seems to prioritize lavish living over all else.

Below, the BD-700 Global Express jet plane of Gates (below), consumes 486 gallons per hour. Stefan Gossling, from Linnaeus University, in Sweden, conducted a study that showed that Gates flew 59 private jets in 2017. His jets also emitted over 1,600 tons of carbon dioxide during his more than one-third of a mile of travel. This is nearly 90 times the annual “carbon footprint” for all activities, not just travel.

Anderson Cooper was recently admitted to in a CBS News interview:

“I probably have one of the highest greenhouse gas footprints on the planet, my personal flying alone is gigantic.”

But, Gates explained, he is paying about $7 million a year, a pittance for a billionaire, to “offset” his “carbon footprint.” If only regular people could afford such luxuries.

Yet Gates doesn’t want you to discharge anything, even for transportation, because “when you’re going to zero, you don’t get to skip anything.”

Musk is no different. He stated that “humanity” is “failing” and that Tesla “exists in order to reduce the risk of catastrophic climate changes.” However, he also has a penchant for flying private jets.

Business Insider reported in May that Musk had purchased two private jets within the last two years. Musk’s carbon-emitting lifestyle has a high “environmental cost”. The Washington Post reported in 2019 that Musk’s corporate jet flew over 150,000 miles or six times the distance around the Earth as he raced between his futuristic empire outposts.

If this is how you behave when “humanity is in crisis”, then how can it be possible for the sky to not fall?

Musk’s hypocrisy in this area is not new. Wired magazine reports, “Despite their green credentials, Tesla cars cause pollution and carbon emission in ways that are easily overlooked by consumers and investors.” The 2021 book Clean Energy Exploitations is a detailed exploration of this theme by Ronald Stein, an engineer, an energy consultant, and Todd Royal. Royal is an independent public policy consultant, focusing on the geopolitical consequences of energy. They explain:

“Tesla Motors’ dirty little secret is becoming a problem for the EV sector–and maybe humanity.” You might be wrong if you believe Tesla’s Model S to be the future green car. Electric vehicles are gaining popularity due to their promise of energy independence, lower fuel costs, and a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. All these claims are more fiction than reality, as it turns out.

Musk’s SpaceX has been criticized by environmental groups for threatening wildlife in Texas and sometimes violating its FAA launch license. His Falcon 9 rockets are not powered by renewable energy. They burn kerosene, which is a combustible liquid hydrocarbon liquid derived primarily from petroleum. Musk will continue to advise you on how to save the planet, but rest assured.

Musk and Gates can argue all they like, but it is distracting from the real issue. The fact that the climate movement they hold dear has no legs to stand upon, and their actions seem to support it, means that Musk and Gates can go on and on. Enjoy your cheeseburger, get a shower, and then drive to work. It’s what climate bosses do, so why should you?

Tom Harris is the executive director of Ottawa’s International Climate Science Coalition.