Elon Musk, the Founder of Paypal, Tesla, and Space X, and one of the people who conceived of SolarCity (the biggest solar panel company in America), was recently on the Colbert Report. Here is an excerpt of their conversation.
Stephen Colbert: You recently made all the patents for Tesla available for everybody, basically saying you’re not going to prosecute people if they use your patented technology. Why are you giving away the store like that?
Elon Musk: I’m not sure of the right analogy exactly but I sort of view it like this: If we’re all in a ship together and there’s some holes in the ship, and we’re bailing water out and we have a great design for a bucket, then even if we’re bailing water out way better than everybody else we should probably still share the bucket design… because we’re all going to sink.
I am sharing this discussion with you because I feel encouraged by it. First of all, Elon Musk invented Tesla, an electric car company that is slowly revolutionizing the auto industry and helping the world go green. Second of all, he accepted that global warming is a survival issue in need of immediate attention, used the reality of our situation as motivation to do everything he could to help, and then did something shockingly generous. He gave up his patents, which would have probably made him a fortune.
What an amazing example he’s setting for us.
Although this language hasn’t quite hit the mainstream, I’m going to use it anyway. If we are going to survive, I am coming to believe that we need to face the reality that global warming is a survival issue, get practical and creative and selfless like Elon Musk, and find our way into our hearts so that we will have the courage to protect ourselves, our children, and the entire vulnerable web-of-life on Earth.