Elon Musk’s $100million XPrize Carbon Removal Contest

Elon Musk and Peter Diamandis

Elon Musk declares that going to Mars is not "Just for the Rich" during a meeting announcing a $100 Million prize for the XPrize Carbon Removal Contest.

On Thursday, SpaceX Owner and the world's second-richest man, Elon Musk conducted a live stream with Peter Diamandis, the chairman of XPrize, in Florida. The two talked about several things that included the recent XPrize Carbon Removal Contest as well as Elon Musk's interest in space exploration as well as planetary colonization of Mars.

The XPrize Carbon Removal Competition essentially asks for teams of scientists to develop smart solutions for large-scale carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere to combat the effects of global warming. It's hoped that by developing such large-scale carbon dioxide removal technology, the Earth's dangerously high levels of CO2 emissions can be reduced to a more safe and sustainable level. Elon Musk has a long history of supporting such ventures, and his announcement of a $100 million prize for the first team to successfully develop such a technology demonstrates his newfound commitment to altruism, which he has been accused of lacking in the near past.

The competition's website states that the winner of the competition must develop technology that can remove carbon dioxide at the 1000 tonnes per annum level, develop a model for the costs of doing so at the million ton per annum level and also demonstrate knowledge of how to reach a gigaton per annum level as well. The criterion is relatively demanding, but many teams of scientists across the globe have been intrigued by its prospects and no doubt also enhanced by the reward of $100 million.

During the meeting Elon Musk sported a mullet and sat barefoot with Peter Diamandis, showing his relaxed style and informal manner of speaking. The prize money of $100 million is being provided by the Elon Must Foundation, which is a relatively new philanthropic enterprise founded by Elon Musk himself. Although the organization is relatively young, the prize of $100 million is its largest single amount of money provided by the organization so far. The organization has also contributed to some other smaller projects, but it expects that the XPrize Carbon Removal Competition will be its first great achievement as Elon Must himself has often voiced interest in environmental matters and expressed support for sustainable causes. It's also speculated that Elon has contributed this much to philanthropy recently in direct response to criticisms that he has received for not contributing enough to altruistic causes despite being the second richest person on Earth.

Elon Musk and Peter Diamandis both discussed the sheer difficulty of matching the strict criteria of this competition with Elon Musk claiming that he hopes enough intelligent people invest themselves in this competition that they can receive some creative solutions. The most important aspect of this competition, according to Musk, is that they should a technology-based solution for the excessive carbon dioxide problem that is fully scalable to a massive level. Peter Diamandis likened the prize money to essentially be free venture capital, and Elon Musk stated that he regards the prize to be a sort of "seed money" for intelligent people who can develop creative solutions that can solve real-world issues.

During the informal chat, Elon Musk also discussed his interests in planetary exploration and extraterrestrial colonization. Elon Musk has long been known for his fascination with space exploration, and his company SpaceX is currently leading the field of space exploration. Elon Musk explained his ambitions and clarified his stance on the nature of the planetary colonization that he supports.

Explicitly, Elon explains that his desire to colonize Mars is not some attempt to create an 'escape hatch' for wealthy people. Elon Musk has long received criticism from the media for his plans to colonize Mars which has been termed as elitist and a way for rich people to simply avoid the mess that they've created on Earth by traveling to a different planet. Elon Musk has long denied such accusations. During Thursday's live stream as well, he explains that the voyage to Mars will not be some form of escape for the wealthy and countered that the voyage would be extremely dangerous for all those who undertake it, especially in the start.

Elon stated that he fully expects "a bunch of people" will die during the earliest phases of Mar's exploration. Elon Musk has long been noted for his non-callant attitude towards the idea of people dying during his proposed space explorations and during Thursday night, he retained this bleak sense of humor. Elon further explains that while the risks of space exploration certainly do exist, they are still necessary to undertake and that the risks associated with space exploration are not unlike those associated with previous voyages and explorations carried out on Earth.

Many people speculate that Elon Musk has chosen to support the XPrize Carbon Removal Competition to demonstrate to critics that his space exploration strategies are not simply a means of providing an escape valve for himself and similarly wealthy people.

Many other topics that Elon Musk and Peter Diamandis covered included Elon's fear of the possibility of population collapse in developed countries due to decreasing birth rates as well as his fear of the possible dangers of AI.

Peter Diamandis also voiced questions by the public which included people asking Elon Musk about his productive routine and strong work ethic which Elon claims to have been a product of his strong youthful curiosity and an existential crisis that he experienced during his adolescence.

Peter Diamandis also expressed his support for Elon Musk's efforts as well as his work which he termed as having been greatly beneficial to mankind. Elon Musk maintained a casual and relaxed tone during the whole course of the live stream which is characteristic of his public demeanor. Overall, Elon Musk and Peter Diamandis managed to provide an interesting public Livestream that revealed many details about the XPrize Carbon Removal Competition as well as Elon Musk's intended exploration of Mars.

 
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