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Elon Musk of SpaceX: The goal is Mars -

Stashed in: Ecology!, Science!, The Universe, economics, Mars!, Energy!, @elonmusk, SpaceX

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What part of business do you dislike?

Sometimes the ways rules are set up make people do bad things. For example, the CO2 capacity of the atmosphere and oceans. We've not put a price on CO2 emissions, so the oil, gas and coal industry continue to pretend that CO2 dumping into the atmosphere is fine. [They say] that scientists disagree [about climate change].

The vast majority do not; you can find 2% of any group to disagree with anything — that the sun revolves around the Earth. We saw the same thing with the tobacco industry. The evidence was overwhelming, and yet the tobacco industry would say, "Scientists disagree." Naaah, not really!

Now, if the rules are set up correctly — and those who would lose if the rules were changed would fight them — then business functions well, and the economy functions well.

The whole CO2 thing — we're all culpable because we all do things that create CO2. Even though I've got companies trying to address the problem, I drive cars, I use more electricity than I should. It's tough to tell people you're causing long-term harm to the world, and even if you don't pay the penalty, your children or grandchildren will. So essentially we need to tax it, the way we tax cigarettes and alcohol, for the public good.


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