Risk Management with Elon Musk

What is the biggest threat to civilization? Elon Musk has a surprising answer.


Fabio Turel

2 years ago | 1 min read

“Mark these words”, says Elon Musk in a tweet.

Population collapse due to low birth rates is a much bigger risk to civilization than global warming.
Uploaded by Jordy on Unsplash

It’s a curious statement. It would be interesting to know his criteria in prioritizing risks, but that’s not the main point here.

I’d really like Musk to consider the relation with two other risks to the stability of our society: global warming (which he mentions) and income inequality.

Global warming and population

At the level of individual choices, the fear of global warming directly affects the motivation to have children. Parents may feel that it is not worth bringing a child into a world that is facing such a large environmental threat. Moreover, collapse of infrastructure due to natural catastrophes can only accelerate the risk of population collapse — magnifying the effects of low birth rates.

Income inequality and birth rates

Income inequality limits access to basic needs like healthcare, education, and food. This, in turn, makes it difficult for families to afford to have children. 

Additionally, income inequality can lead to stress and insecurity, which can also impact birth rates. By reducing inequality, we also reduce the risk of lower birth rates.


Limit inequality to empower families with financial means, fight global warming to promote trust in the future of our ecosystem: the risk of population collapse will be effectively mitigated.

Mr. Musk, do we have a deal?


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Fabio Turel

A project manager must be a good storyteller in order to inform, motivate, convince, and create consensus around objectives. This is the place where I tell stories about my profession and my interests, and the unexpected way in which they sometimes converge. I have covered several different project-related roles in Finance, IT, Education, Communications and Non-Profits.







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