Bill Gates and Elon Musk have shared somewhat of a strange relationship that has culminated in an unorthodox version of a rivalry. More recently, Gates was interviewed by the BBC, where he called Musk’s visions of eventually colonizing Mars as very expensive and not a good use of his finances as it could be spent on other things to improve life here on Earth.
“It’s actually quite expensive to go to Mars,” Gates said during the interview. “You can buy measles vaccines and save lives for $1,000 per life saved, and so it just sort of grounds you, as in: don’t go to Mars.”
Gates, who was the world’s richest person at one time, has spent much of his fortune on things like vaccine development and philanthropy. He believes that, despite Musk’s commitment to the colonization of Mars, the Tesla CEO will “be a great philanthropist.”
“Obviously, you know, things like Tesla are having a positive impact, even without being a form of philanthropy.”
Musk has always been confused by Gates’ tone on Tesla, especially as it is the company that is widely regarded as the undisputed leader in EVs. Additionally, it has helped move the mission of sustainability forward through not only vehicles but also viable energy solutions.
Gates, at one time, asked Musk if he would be interested in working together for philanthropy possibilities. “Do you still have a half billion dollar short position against Tesla?” Musk said in return. Gates confirmed he had not yet closed it out, and that was enough for Musk to deny any possibility of working together.
“Sorry, but I cannot take your philanthropy on climate change seriously when you have a massive short position against Tesla, the company doing the most to solve climate change,” Musk said.
Elon Musk shoots down Bill Gates’ request to discuss philanthropy in new leaked texts
“Well, you know, I think Tesla’s an amazing company. Uh, I wish I’d, you know, owned, been more on the long side,” Gates said in an interview with Bloomberg just a few days later. “But, you know, it’s great. And you know, I have lots of relatives who own Teslas that I’ve helped buy for them. So you know, nothing but positive thoughts about Tesla and its role.”
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