Tesla CEO Elon Musk gave Bill Gates one piece of advice in his fight against climate change, and to many fans of the tech CEO, it will be pretty familiar.
Gates, who has pushed to bring awareness to climate change initiatives over the years, said recently that people on Earth must change how they do nearly everything in an effort to save the Earth.
However, Musk, who helped bring Tesla from a struggling automaker to a dominating force in the car market, challenges Gates’ mentality and continues to believe that the former Microsoft frontman should get rid of his short position on Tesla stock if he was truly serious about helping the climate.
Gates and Musk have traded barbs over the past few years. Gates has questioned the validity of some Tesla products, including the Semi, and Musk has always been critical of Gates for holding a short position against Tesla, a company that has done a lot for the environment through the EV movement.
In April 2022, texts between the two tech giants were leaked, and Musk got straight to the point, asking Gates if he still held a sizeable $500 million short position against Tesla stock.
“Sorry to say I haven’t closed it out,” Gates replied. “I would like to discuss philanthropy possibilities.”
Musk wasn’t interested.
“Sorry, but I cannot take your philanthropy on climate change seriously when you have a massive short position against Tesla, the company doing the most to solve climate change,” Musk replied.
Evidently, Musk still uses that point as a major reason as to why Gates could be more effective in his fight against climate change. After all, why would you support the downfall of a company that has helped the world transition to sustainable vehicles?
It is not to say that Gates has not made other moves to support his goal of helping the Earth. Gates has invested more the $2 billion toward solar energy, direct air capture, and nuclear fission, all technologies that could help fight climate change.
Despite his short position, Gates still believes Tesla is effective. “…Things like Tesla are having a positive impact, even without being a form of philanthropy,” Gates said recently.
Even still, the barbs between the two have continued. Most recently, Gates said Musk’s goals for bringing life to Mars are essentially pointless.
“It’s actually quite expensive to go to Mars,” Gates said during an interview with the BBC. “You can buy measles vaccines and save lives for $1,000 per life saved, and so it just sort of grounds you, as in: don’t go to Mars.”