Elon Musk, the CEO of the ~$798-billion market cap EV company, Tesla, has regaled a right-wing summit in Italy with criticism of climate-change “exaggerating” environmentalists, and called on the public to stop “demonizing” fossil fuels.
“I am objectively one of the world’s leading environmentalists in terms of doing things,” he said. “Of action, not talk,” adding that few could claim to have done more than he has to build a sustainable energy future.
The summit, organized in Rome by the right-wing Brothers of Italy party led by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, was gunning for a publicly stunt win, which it found in Musk, the summit’s guest star.
Speaking to the choir, Musk told those gathered that people had started to view humanity as “a plague on the surface of the Earth” and bemoaned what he viewed as an environmentalist movement that has gone “too far”.
“I think the climate change alarm is somewhat overblown in the short term,” he said. “It’s still a concern in the long term but I think it’s exaggerated in the short term.”
Over the coming few decades, Musk said, we need to gradually reduce carbon emissions, conceding that we are “running a climate experiment which is dangerous”, though not necessarily a “fundamental civilizational risk”.
“It won’t destroy humanity,” Musk said.
Musk told the Italian hard-right that it was time to be “pragmatic” and “sensible”, instead of demonizing oil and gas–at least in the medium-term.
When asked if Tesla would be investing in Italy, Musk said the country was a great place to invest, but expressed concern about the low birth rate and the future of the workforce, calling on the government to create incentives for families to have more children and avoid a demographic crisis.