He’s very concerned about World War III…but not because of the horrific loss of life or the destruction of civilization, but because it might set back plans to colonize Mars. Therefore, we have to hurry up and get humankind into space before we blow ourselves up.
I don’t think we can discount the possibility of a third World War. You know, in 1912 they were proclaiming a new age of peace and prosperity, saying that it was a golden age, war was over. And then you had World War I followed by World War II followed by the Cold War. So I think we need to acknowledge that there’s certainly a possibility of a third World War, and if that does occur it could be far worse than anything that’s happened before. Let’s say nuclear weapons are used. I mean, there could be a very powerful social movement that’s anti-technology.
I agree that there’s a possibility of a cataclysmic war that would be far worse than anything that’s happened before. So, maybe, we should be concerned about, oh, I don’t know, stopping it? Working to change all the conditions that are leading us to this horrible eventuality, like over population, religious fanaticism, economic inequities, climate change, ignorance, disease?
I can’t help but notice that the Musk Plan is to help an infinitesimal fraction of the population run away, while the bloody big war goes off anyway, wiping out a big chunk of the human species and wrecking a significant portion of the wonderful planet we’ve got right now, all so a few survivors can live in sterile boxes on an otherwise uninhabitable barren wasteland, a planet with no breathable atmosphere. It seems to me that one underpaid social worker is doing more to help humanity than one multibillionaire egomaniac with tunnel vision.
And say, hasn’t Musk proposed setting off nuclear bombs to terraform Mars? I think he needs to imagine a future in which Christian theocrats take total control of the entire technological apparatus of the Western world, the same technology he hopes to use to send his tiny cohort of techno-salvationists to Mars to build a small, fragile colony, and they then slip a small explosive surprise into the next supply package. Or they just decide that they don’t want to support a distant heretical abomination. (There are Christians who oppose the idea of life on other worlds because Jesus is only coming to Earth, you know).
I should also point out that there could also be a social movement that is not anti-technology, but is anti-plutocrat-abusing-technology-to-neglect-humanity, which would be far more damaging to Musk’s selfish and short-sighted aspirations. That’s probably Musk’s worst nightmare, that the grown-ups would wake up and take his toys away.