Elon Musk to Give $100 Million to the First Person Who Can Create This Climate-Saving Technology
Whoever takes up Elon Musk’s latest challenge could be in for a financial windfall — but it would benefit everyone on the planet.
By Jason Duaine Hahn
On Thursday, Musk — the founder of Tesla and SpaceX — tweeted he would donate $100 million towards a prize for designing effective carbon capture technology, with other details to come at a later date.
The announcement comes after 49-year-old Musk briefly surpassed Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as the world’s richest person earlier this month. Bezos, 57, has since reclaimed the title, according to Forbes’ “Real-time Billionaires List,” which lists Bezos with a net worth of $191 billion, and Musk with $182 billion at the time of publication.
On Jan. 7, Musk — who recently moved to Texas — asked his followers for “critical feedback” and ways to “donate money that really make a difference.”
A large level of carbon dioxide returning to the atmosphere over the decades since the start of the Industrial Revolution has contributed to warming temperatures around the Earth.
“While carbon dioxide is less abundant and less powerful than water vapor on a molecule per molecule basis, it absorbs wavelengths of thermal energy that water vapor does not, which means it adds to the greenhouse effect in a unique way,” according to the NOAA. “Increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide are responsible for about two-thirds of the total energy imbalance that is causing Earth’s temperature to rise.”