You may notice that it is rare for Elon Musk to talk with reporters. In a gesture of love for Norway and it’s people, he stopped and had an informal conversation with reporters outside under the beautiful trees on his way into the ONS 2022 Conference (on August 29, in Stavanger). Here is the conversation and major highlights. I also share my informal outlook at the end of the article.
- Gratitude from Elon Musk to Tesla owners in Norway
- Why we need to maintain oil and gas production
- Is it possible for Norway to produce more wind and hydropower?
- Norway possibly storing wind power from North Sea in large battery packs
- World’s Biggest Challenges: Underpopulation and transition to sustainable energy
- Underpopulation is at a crisis level
Elon Musk visits Norway to show appreciation for the support of the Norwegian people for electric vehicles
Elon Musk: Hello everyone, I look forward to speaking today.
Reporter: Why did you come to Stavanger?
Elon Musk: Actually I came in appreciation for the support of the Norwegian people for electric vehicles. I wanted to say thank you to the people of Norway for their tremendous support for sustainable transport over the many years.
Reporter: What’s your message for today?
Elon Musk: Actually I came in appreciation for the support of the Norwegian people for electric vehicles. I think I’m going to maybe answer some questions and provide some ideas for the transition to a sustainable energy world, But, like I said, the reason that I’m here is in appreciation for the support that the people of Norway have provided for electric vehicles, so once again, thank you very much for that!
Civilization depends on energy and would crumble without it
Reporter: What do you think about the oil and gas now? Should we use it?
Elon Musk: I think, realistically, we do need to use oil and gas in the short term, because otherwise, civilization would crumble. So, in order for civilization to continue to function, we do need oil and gas. And I think actually, especially these days, with the Russia sanctions, we do need to provide oil and gas to keep civilization running. I think any reasonable person would conclude that. While at the same time accelerating the advent of sustainable energy.
Winters in Norway may benefit from stationary battery packs storing wind, hydropower
Reporter: So, Norway should explore more?
Elon Musk: I think some additional exploration is warranted at this time, and also continue to support the transition to electric vehicles.
I was sort of wondering if it’s possible for Norway to produce more perhaps hydropower, and wind power as well? And potentially export that to Southern Europe?
But overall, I’m very glad to be here and I’m looking forward to a lovely day, and I always have a great time here in Norway.
Reporter: Would you consider yourself endorsing oil and gas?
Elon Musk: No, ha ha, I’ve got to focus on sustainable energy, electric vehicles, stationary battery packs, and solar.
But, one of the things I was wondering, is if there might be sort of the North Sea, places where it’s very windy, there might be a potential for a tremendous amount of wind power. And then, when combined with stationary battery packs, this could be a very strong sustainable energy source in the winter. So, that seems like something that would be worth exploring as well.
Reporter: You were here in 2014, what is the biggest difference now?
Elon Musk: I don’t know, Norway looks great, ha ha! I mean I just got here, so… I don’t know, I love Norway, it’s a great place!
World’s Biggest Challenges: Underpopulation crisis and transition to sustainable energy
Reporter: What is the biggest challenge for the world right now?
Elon Musk: Definitely, one of the biggest challenges that civilization has ever faced, is the transition to sustainable energy. And having a sustainable energy economy, so obviously, we’ve got that. But that will take some decades to complete.
And then one of my sort of less obvious things to be concerned about, is the birth rate. You know, I think it’s important that people have enough babies to support civilization. and we don’t sort of dwindle away. Because they say like, civilization may end with a bang or a whimper. and if we don’t have enough kids, then we will die with a whimper in adult diapers. and that will be depressing, and…
Reporter: So make more babies?
Elon Musk: Yes, make more babies! At least make enough babies to sustain the population. you know, we don’t want the population to drive so low that we just eventually die, you know? haha
Sorry, I’ve got to go inside guys.
Reporter: Energy crisis, climate crisis, and also the war crisis?
Elon Musk: And the baby crisis! Let’s not forget the baby crisis.
Reporter: More babies means more demand for energy.
Elon Musk: Trust me, the baby crisis is a big deal.
Elon then said goodbye to the press and was soon talking to Xenia Wickett inside at the ONS 2022 Conference. You may enjoy that interview here, on Elon Musk Interview with Xenia Wickett in Norway (ONS 2022 Stavanger Conference August 29th) Less than 25 min long and packed with information (full interview)
Norway is a leader in the support of EVs. On his way to the ONS 2022 Conference, Elon Musk expressed gratitude for this, saying “I came in appreciation for the support of the Norwegian people for electric vehicles.” Norway has promoted EVs by giving certain benefits at different times to EV owners. (These have included lowering taxes on EVs, some free parking and toll road access for EV owners.) About 75% of NEW cars sold in Norway are electric and most are Teslas. Tesla vehicles are also known to perform well in cold weather.
I agree that keeping civilization running smoothly depends on energy, and today that has to include gas and oil. Norway currently supplies about 22% of the EU’s natural gas demand using subsea pipelines. Elon Musk said he does not specifically endorse this, and said more exploration is warranted due to the Russian sanctions. He did emphasize that he wonders if Norway could produce more hydropower and windpower and export that to Southern Europe. He also said that stationary battery packs could store wind power from the North Sea and that could provide Norway with power in the winter.
When asked what is the biggest challenge for the world right now, Elon spoke about both the transition to sustainable energy and underpopulation. He said, “Definitely, one of the biggest challenges that civilization has ever faced, is the transition to sustainable energy.”
For the last 70 years, fertility rates have significantly decreased worldwide, with a total 50% decline, according to numbers from Our World in Data. Elon spoke with conviction about the low birth rate, saying “I think it’s important that people have enough babies to support civilization. and we don’t sort of dwindle away.” He later called it a baby crisis and urged people not to forget that the baby crisis is a big deal. I agree with Elon Musk and hope to offer my personal encouragement in a future article, written from the viewpoint of a mom with 5 kids.
If this topic interests you, you may also read Elon Musk: Discussion About Underpopulation. I think you’ll enjoy it!
Exclusive to What’s Up Tesla – This article was created by Gail Alfar with the goal to preserve this interview in text or written form for the purpose of 1. education and 2. preserving the brilliant insight and words of Elon Musk. All Rights Reserved. September 11, 2022