Human civilization is being threatened by a global decline in population, according to Elon Musk. "I cannot emphasize this enough, there are not enough people," he said Monday at the Wall Street Journal's annual CEO Council event.
"I think one of the biggest risks to civilization is the low birth rate and the rapidly declining birthrate," the Tesla CEO, who has six children, said. "And yet, so many people, including smart people, think that there are too many people in the world and think that the population is growing out of control. It's completely the opposite."
He then made a dire prediction: "Please look at the numbers — if people don't have more children, civilization is going to crumble, mark my words."
His comments come as a growing number of people are deciding not to have children, citing concerns such as climate change and inequality. …
Analysts at Morgan Stanley said in a note to investors in July that the "movement to not have children owing to fears over climate change is growing and impacting fertility rates quicker than any preceding trend in the field of fertility decline."
To support their argument, they pointed to surveys, academic research and Google data that shows climate change is directly and indirectly accelerating the decline in fertility rates.
UCLA researchers have shown that the number of births in the U.S. fell in the nine months following an extreme heat event, while a study of 18,000 couples in China last year showed that climate change, and particulate pollution specifically, was associated with a 20% increased likelihood of infertility.
On another, somewhat inverted topic, as reported by Yahoo!, Musk also suggested that people should not "try to live for a super long time."
"I think it is important for us to die because most of the times, people don't change their mind, they just die. If they live forever, then we might become a very ossified society where new ideas cannot succeed," he said.
"I'm not poking fun at aging," he continued. "I just am saying if we've got people in very important positions that have to make decisions that are critical to the security of the country, then they need to have sufficient presence of mind and cognitive ability to make those decisions well — because the whole country is depending on them."
Just last week Musk, who's 50-years-old, harped on age and politics in a tweet that said, "Let's set an age limit after which you can't run for political office, perhaps a number just below 70." Let's see how he feels about this 20 years from now.