Tesla CEO Elon Musk has told European energy leaders that the world needs to continue using oil and natural gas “otherwise civilization will crumble.”
While speaking to reporters at a conference in Norway on Monday, Musk also said nuclear power plants must be kept running while they invest in renewable energy sources.
“I want to thank the leaders and the people of Norway for their long-standing support,” he said.
“I do think we actually need more oil and gas for civilization to function.
“But simultaneously moving fast to a sustainable energy economy.
“Realistically I think we need to use oil and gas in the short term because, otherwise, civilization will crumble,” Musk declared.
“I actually am not someone who tends to demonize oil and gas, to be clear.
“This is necessary right now or civilization could not function.
“So I do think we need more oil and gas, not less.”
He said about expanding oil production, “I think some additional exploration is warranted at this time.”
“I know that’s not popular in some quarters but I think if you have a well-designed nuclear power plant you should not shut it down, especially right now,” he continued.
“One of the biggest challenges the world has ever faced is the transition to sustainable energy and to a sustainable economy.
“That will take some decades to complete,” he said.
“One of my less obvious things to be concerned about is the birth rate, and I think it’s important that people have enough babies to support civilization so that we don’t dwindle away,” Musk warned.
“I thought the words of the prime minister were spot on and I’m glad to hear there’s a large effort for ocean wind.
“That’s a massive untapped potential.”
Of the move to electric cars and the raw materials needed he said:
“A tremendous amount of processing needs to happen for that, at the sort of scale that is currently comparable to the world oil and gas industry.
“The scale is just tremendous.
“This is an optimistic and positive message – I’m not suggesting at all complacency – but obviously if we can make them go even faster then that’s better.”