Tag: engulf

30
Sep
2020
Posted in technology

Elon Musk says humans must leave Earth “because sun will engulf our planet”

Elon Musk has said that humans have to become a "multi-planet species". (Getty)
Elon Musk has said that humans have to become a “multi-planet species”. (Getty)

When Elon Musk launched a Tesla into space, it carried a sign saying “Don’t panic” on the dashboard – but the billionaire was in a more doom-laden form this week.

The SpaceX and Tesla pioneer warned, in an interview with The New York Times podcast Sway, that travel to other planets was necessary as Earth would be engulfed by the Sun.

Speaking to host Kara Swisher, Musk said: “I think this is fundamentally important for ensuring the long-term survival of life as we know it, to be a multi-planet species.

“Eventually the Sun is going to expand and engulf Earth. It will expand and incinerate Earth. It is for sure going to happen – but not any time soon.”

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This is something of an understatement, as the Sun’s expansion is not predicted to happen for at least seven billion years.

Musk said that becoming a multi-planet species would allow human civilisation to dodge extinction events that had affected other species.

He said: “The fossil record does show many extinction events over the millennia, from meteors, from super-volcanos, from natural climate variation.”

Watch: Elon Musk says Tesla will offer an affordable driverless car within 3 years

The billionaire also touched on one of his favourite topics when he warned of the threat of artificial intelligence (AI).

He said: “AI does not need to hate us to destroy us. If it decides that it needs to go in a particular direction, no hard feelings it would roll over us, like we would do with an anthill if we were building a road.

Read more: Elon Musk dismisses astronomy concerns over Starlink network

“We need to think of