Ah, Elon Musk.
The eccentric billionaire and real-life Tony Stark has courted controversy and made headlines for all the wrong reasons lately, but he’s also had some remarkable success in developing world-changing technology.
For all his bluster, attacks on journalists, and odd behavior, he does seem genuine in his offer to help solve some of humanity’s most dire problems.
He’s put his money where his mouth is. Climate change? Musk’s electric car company, Tesla, has made electric cars exciting. Traffic woes and all the negative health effects of congestion-caused pollution? Musk created The Boring Company to dig a network of tunnels below Los Angeles to avoid gridlocked freeways. Colonizing other planets to save ourselves from extinction? SpaceX is working on it.
Beyond these moonshot initiatives, Musk has delivered real results. After Hurricane Maria knocked out power for millions of Puerto Rico’s residents last year, Musk donated hundreds of solar-powered batteries to the island.
Below, we check in on a few of humanity’s problems Musk said he wants to solve. Here’s where he’s at — and whether or not he’s actually helping.
SEE ALSO: Elon Musk called a British diver from the Thai cave rescue a ‘pedo guy’ — then deleted the tweets hours later with no explanation
SEE ALSO: Elon Musk’s Boring Company will sell Lego-like bricks that can be used to construct affordable houses in just a few days
The Crisis: Rescuing Thailand’s cave boys
The Fix: A “kid-size” submarine.
During the mission to save 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in Thailand, Musk gathered engineers from Tesla, SpaceX and the Boring Company to create a “kid-size” submarine using rocket parts.
The chief of the rescue mission said the device was not practical, and the rescue was completed successfully without Musk’s device. A British diver involved in the rescue also called Musk’s actions a “PR stunt” and said the submarine had no chance of working in this scenario. In response, Musk called the diver a “pedo guy” in a tweet, which has since been deleted.
In September, the diver filed a defamation lawsuit against Musk in California, and he is reportedly also considering suing Musk in the United Kingdom, which has strict libel laws.
Still, a Thai military official said Musk’s submarine could be useful for future missions, and engineers from SpaceX have met with members of the Thai Navy to train them on using it. Musk tweeted that the engineers also received feedback from British divers about improving the technology.
The Verdict: Not helping — at least for this specific mission.
The Crisis: Flint’s lead-contaminated water
The Fix: Replacing pipes, adding water filters.
Flint, Michigan, continues to grapple with the effects of a water crisis in which dangerous levels of lead were detected after the state switched the city’s water supply (from Lake Huron to the Flint River) in 2014.
Residents who got sick reported experiencing skin lesions, depression and memory …read more
Source:: Business Insider