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Elon Musk thinks we need a popular uprising against the fossil fuel industry.

Elon Musk, Obama and Leonardo DiCaprio in the National Geographic documentary Before the Flood:


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How do we overcome the interests of the biggest industry in the world?

"The fossil fuel industry is the biggest industry in the world," billionaire SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in an interview for the National Geographic documentary "Before the Flood."

The film features interviews with scientists, policy makers, and others working to combat the emissions that are dangerously destabilizing our climate.

Musk discussed his vision for a global shift toward more localized, clean energy system of solar panels and batteries.

But he said the power of the fossil fuel sector represents a significant concern.

"They have more money and more influence than any other sector. So I think the more that there can be a sort of popular uprising against that the better."

Musk argued though that because the fossil fuel industry represents such a titanic obstacle in the fight against carbon emissions, there's limits on what individual people can do to work against their influence.

"What’s really fundamental is that unless there’s a price put on carbon—"

The interviewer, Leonardo DiCaprio (who served as host and science journalist for the purposes of the film), cut in, saying, "We’re never going to be able to make the transition that we need to in time."

"Correct," Musk said. "And the only was to do that is basically with a carbon tax."

A carbon tax is basically a tax on fuels and other activities that leech carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. The idea is that it shifts a portion of the cost of climate damage from society writ large to the emitter, and disincentivizes behaviors that harm the environment.

DiCaprio also interviewed a prominent economist and former Bush and Romney advisor who supports the idea, and compared it to efforts to combat cigarette smoking.

Reddit comments:

I spent $1500 on a car and spend about $10/week on fuel. Make electric do that for me, please. I am poor.


It's not quite there yet, but a used Nisaan LEAF with a worn down battery* will set you back $7-8k and still get about 50 miles to a charge. If your daily commute is less than 50 miles and you are able to plug it in at home (a dryer plug in your garage will suffice) then you can have an EV and pay almost nothing for gas and pretty much nothing for maintenance.

Again, not there yet, but in a few years, the market will flood with used EVs.

*LEAFs are air cooled, so their batteries wear out much faster than offerings from Tesla, BMW, and Chevy

LEAF batteries "wear out much faster" sounds like they'd need to be replaced more often, not just recharged?

That person was referring to the mileage range of a LEAF on a charge.

I haven't heard of anyone having to replace their LEAF batteries yet. Still a relatively new car. 

But they said that a "worn down battery" still gets about 50 miles to a charge. I know nothing about these things, so makes me wonder about the mileage range on a not-worn down battery.