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Elon Musk: Fix ‘declining birth rate’ or ‘civilization is going to crumble’

Tech billionaire and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, said low and quickly declining birth rates are “one of the biggest risks to civilization.” His remarks come as more people are choosing not to have children, citing concerns like climate change.

“There are not enough people,” Musk said during a Wall Street Journal event on Monday. “I can’t emphasize this enough, there are not enough people,” he said.

Musk went on to say that too many “good, smart people” think the world is overpopulated and the number of people in the world is growing out of control. “It’s completely the opposite,” Musk said, encouraging people to seek out the data. “If people don’t have more children, civilization is going to crumble. Mark my words.” 

Musk was asked if this is why he has so many children, and the father of six responded that he is trying to set a good example. He added that he has to practice what he preaches. More and more people are deciding not to have children as they cite concerns like climate change and inequality in the world.

Analysts at Morgan Stanley said earlier this year 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.” 

The analysts pointed to surveys, as well as academic research and Google data that shows climate change is both directly and indirectly quickening the pace of the decline in fertility rates.

UCLA researchers demonstrated that the number of births in the U.S. fell in the nine months after an event of extreme heat, and a study of 18,000 couples in China last year showed that particulate pollution was associated with an increased likelihood of infertility.

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: CNET.COM

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