Tesla billionaire’s pledge to aid hunger crisis on Twitter falls short
By Matthew Hillier, Contributor
Elon Musk, the CEO of Silicon Valley giant Tesla and current richest man on earth according to Forbes magazine, addressed an impending global hunger crisis on Twitter on Oct. 31.
Musk responded to the United Nations food program Director David Beasly who, in a recent interview with CNN, addressed the need for US $6 billion to help mitigate a hunger crisis affecting 42 million people. Beasly asserted that 0.36 per cent of the top 400 U.S. billionaires’ annual income or two per cent of Musk’s income would cover the cost of this undertaking.
According to the World Food Programme (WFP), this steady march towards hunger for 42 million people in various countries was caused by climate change, war and the COVID-19 crisis.
In response, Musk tweeted that if the WFP could prove that the $6 billion would solve world hunger, he would sell Tesla stock of the same amount to make it happen. He added after his initial tweet that he wouldn’t do it unless the project was open source to inform the public of where the money was going.
In response to Musk’s comment, Beasly pointed out that the $6 billion was never supposed to stop world hunger, it will only mitigate the effects of a current hunger crisis. In addition, he also retweeted a WFP statement that states that WFP records are open source and available to the public in all areas and for all projects.
Unfortunately, the Tesla CEO’s demands for this proposal can’t be met as the comment from Beasly on CNN was from his own personal opinion about the good Musk could do, and not a formalized proposal from the WFP. Because of this issue, Musk’s request for proof can’t be met yet simply because it does not exist yet.
Time will tell if the WFP will meet Musk’s request to secure funding or if Musk will stand by his statement if the WFP does meet his requests.