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Elon Musk Hits Out Against The Theory That Having Fewer Kids Will Help The Environment

Rachel Lang

| Last updated 

Elon Musk Hits Out Against The Theory That Having Fewer Kids Will Help The Environment

SpaceX founder Elon Musk has lashed out at the suggestion that having a large family can be harmful to the environment.

Speaking to the All In Summit via video link, the father-of-seven branded the theory to have fewer kids to help the planet as 'total nonsense'.

"Some people think that having fewer kids is better for the environment," the Tesla CEO said.

"The environment is going to be fine, the environment is going to be fine even if we doubled the [amount] of the humans."


Musk went on to use Japan's dwindling birth rate as an example.

"Japan is a leading indicator here," he said.

"Japan's population declined by 600,000 people last year. They had their lowest birth rate in history."


He added: "We can't have civilisation just dwindle into nothing."

He then made his position very clear to attendees at the closed-door talk.

"A lot of people just think having kids is somehow bad for the environment," he said. "I want to be clear: It's not.

"It's essential for maintaining civilisation. We don't want civilisation to end in adult diapers with a whimper."


The Tesla founder went on to recount the fears some modern day parents have and how it doesn't add up.

"I've heard many times: 'How can I bring a child into this terrible world'," Musk said.

"I'm like 'have you read history? Because let me tell you, it was way worse back then.'"


Musk's comments come after a 2017 theory gained traction by suggesting that 'having one fewer child per family could save approximately 58.6 metric tons of carbon each year in developed countries'.

In an article investigating the impact of climate change and the family unit, analysts at Morgan Stanley told CNBC that 'having a child is seven-times worse for the climate in CO2 emissions annually than the next 10 most discussed mitigants that individuals can do'.

The initial Swedish study from 2017, published in IOPscience, has since been used as reasoning not to have kids by both the general public and celebrities.

Miley Cyrus revealed to Elle that she doesn't plan on having children due to the environmental impact.


Ex-royals Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have also publicly claimed they will only have two children in order to reduce their impact on the planet.

The duo received an award from UK-based charity Population Matters in 2021 for their decision to stop breeding, the Independent reports.

Featured Image Credit: Everett Collection Inc / Alamy Stock Photo. Oksana Kuzmina / Alamy Stock Photo.

Topics: News, Elon Musk, Parenting

Rachel Lang
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