Published in December 30, 2018 |
December 30, 2018 from Carolyn Fortune
The Musk Foundation’s amazingly short and rigorous website is designed for four areas of grant support: research and promotion of renewable energy, space research and promotion, pediatrics research, and science and technology education. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, is the sole sponsor of the Musk Foundation; to date, at least $ 257 million has been donated. He is an altruist whose charity covers clean water, disaster relief and all sorts of innovations in the field of sustainable development. Providing grants for progressive social reforms is only one of the many ways in which Musk charity is a symbol of what state aid programs could do if the relevant resources were to be methodically and deliberately targeted.
But he does not expect institutional intervention – like many others, Musk decided to give most of his fortune to charity, and not to descendants. By joining Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and others, Musk is a member of The Giving Pledge, a promise that some mega-rich made to sacrifice much of their fortunes for justice, which are urgent and worthy of promotion.
Musk's business achievements are related to altruism
“This is not the strongest of species that survives … and not the smartest that survives. This is the one that is most adapted to change. ”
– Charles Darwin –
We know from climatologists that this century should be a time when the temperature is kept well below 2 degrees Celsius (compared to the pre-industrial level). The climate agreement in Paris aims to make this happen. More importantly, and fortunately, financially viable business solutions and sustainable energy initiatives are now very compatible.
Elon Musk gave an idea of how such a sustainable future could look through the various companies that he founded and headed, demonstrating, perhaps better than anyone, the potential for taking strong environmental measures and making money on it.
In its ideal configuration, Tesla's all-electric car can use SolarCity solar panels or a Tesla solar roof and store energy in Tesla Powerwall's residential walls. This combination is likely to meet all the human needs for home energy and transportation. No, these are not examples of charity, in fact. Rather, it is an effort to achieve the common good, as these Tesla products help accelerate the massive adoption of sustainable energy.
Another Musk company, SpaceX, develops, manufactures and launches modern rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded in 2002 to revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of giving people the opportunity to live on other planets. Neuralink develops ultra-high-bandwidth brain-machine interfaces for connecting people and computers. The company seeks to create brain-computer interfaces. (In 2015, Musk donated $ 10 million to the Future Life Institute to launch a global research program aimed at preserving artificial intelligence useful for humanity.) Boring is looking for the most efficient and fast ways to dig low-cost tunnels that allow fast transit through densely populated regions.
But in business and in donations, Musk is constantly returning to the need to move from fossil fuels to renewable energy options, such as wind and solar energy. “We play with fire in coal and oil,” he said. Indeed, never in human civilization were the stakes so high. The future of the planet is at stake, and many decisions will come from the incentives offered by billionaires like Elon Musk.
Philanthropy for social and environmental justice
“Working in the field of charity and social change is at its best when it is based on your values and is related to what worries you the most.”
– Charles Bronfman –
Funds, investors, charitable organizations and some government agencies around the world are increasingly financing and supporting innovative forms of business that solve clear public or environmental issues. It seems that Musk is one of these people and supports efforts aimed at social justice and equality in the environmental context. Successful resolution of such problems can have a positive impact on other problems, creating the effect of proverbial dominoes. An example is the use of technological advances to provide better education for impoverished children.
As a person who is often on the top 5 list of benefactors, Musk contributed $ 15 million in donations to the XPRIZE program called Global Learning. This competition challenges teams from all over the world to develop scalable open source software that will allow children in developing countries to learn the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic for 15 months. The project recognizes that approximately 250 million children around the world cannot read, write, or demonstrate basic arithmetic skills.
When the prize was announced in 2014, 700 teams from 55 countries of the world registered for the competition. By 2017, the top 5 concepts were handed over to more than 2,500 children in 141 remote villages in Eastern Tanzania to check the applications of each team.
A team that brings its group of about 500 children to the highest levels of literacy will win XPRIZE.
Flint michigan water pollution
"Philanthropy is commendable, but it should not force the philanthropist to ignore the circumstances of economic injustice that make philanthropy necessary."
– Martin Luther King Jr. –
Within the framework of charity, there is also an important relationship between the three main agents of change in our society – government, business and people.
Four years ago, it was discovered that lead and other toxins spoil water supply in Flint, Michigan. The community has struggled since then with water pollution problems. In October 2018, Mask and Mask Foundation donated $ 480,350 for the installation of new fountains with filtration systems in all their schools. “The ultraviolet water purification method in water filtration systems disinfects all lead and bacteria coming from water pipes so that students can drink and fill water bottles from school fountains,” the Flint press release said.
Flint Community Schools Superintendent Derrick Lopez added: “New water filtration systems will help our students return to their normal state, which should be a fundamental right: access to safe, clean water from the fountains at their school.”
Musk also fulfills the promise he made earlier in 2018 to finance the repair of any water filtration system in Flint homes that is contaminated above the FDA level.
Puerto Rico Energy Infrastructure
"The results of charity are always incalculable."
– Mary Ritter Beard –
– Ricardo Rossello (@ricardorossello) October 6, 2017
Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rossello at the end of 2017, via social networks, told Elona Mask about the possibility of Tesla's intervention on energy recovery on the island after the devastating hurricane Maria. Reporter Maria Galluci then described the island as a place where water treatment plants could not provide drinking water, markets and restaurants could not store food, banks could not conduct operations, and people could not communicate with mobile phones or the Internet. Street lights and traffic lights stopped working. Schools and hospitals closed their doors.
Musk offered Tesla services to help restore power in Puerto Rico. After his initial personal donation of $ 250,000, hundreds of Powerwall batteries were delivered to the island. By the end of October, Musk and Tesla successfully returned the island’s largest children's hospital to its full capacity thanks to a combination of Powerwall blocks and solar energy technology. This was possible because Tesla technology was able to bypass the broken infrastructure of the power system.
The company began work on another 6 battery projects in Puerto Rico to help key community areas, such as Susan Centeno Hospital, Vieques Boy's and Girls' Club, Arcadia water pumping station, sanitary sewage station, and Ciudad Dorada’s elderly community.
Each unit, which is associated with existing solar panels, has a capacity of 550 kilowatt-hours. In April, Tesla shared that the company has shipped more than 1,000 batteries, which currently provide power in 662 locations.
Do a count on this to determine how many MWh Tesla has already deployed. Yowza!
Currently, Tesla batteries work from 662 points in Puerto Rico. The team works around the clock to activate hundreds more. https://t.co/OMu8qKJvLy
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 18, 2018
Tesla's contributions have become part of a broader initiative for Puerto Rico to abandon the use of fossil fuels and make a new green deal. The mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz, proposed the concept of self-sufficiency in clean energy at the recent meeting of the Sanders Institute, describing the dependence on renewable energy on the island as part of the need to "live, thrive, not just survive."
Politics and altruism overlap
"Politics is not about morality."
– Niccolò Machiavelli –
The Musk Foundation contributed at least one non-profit organization, located on the right, to the Cato Institute, oriented to libertarians, according to a study by Influence Watch, conducted with the help of Foundation Search.
The Musk Foundation also funds politically active organizations that support a progressive agenda and include the National Wildlife Federation; Sierra Club Foundation; New Venture Grant Fund; Global Green USA; Energy Fund; Clinton Foundation; People for the Foundation of the American Way; Oxfam America; Oceana; BlueGreen Alliance; Ebb and Flow Center; and the Council for the Protection of Natural Resources (NRDC).
“If you get up in the morning and think that the future will be better, this is a bright day. Otherwise it is not.
– Elon Musk –
It is known that the Greek playwright Aeschil coined the term “philanthropy” in the 5th century BC to mean “the love of humanity”. In our society, such a person as Elon Musk, who has such influence and power, who is also an example to follow, is rarely found. moral, scientific and environmental altruism. He donates time, money, experience, ingenuity, skills and talent to help create a better world.
Many benefactors are driven by a deep desire to solve social problems and help others. And, yes, the US federal tax code includes incentives to issue in a variety of ways (for now, at least, stay tuned for April 2019). This gives donors deductions in income, capital gains and property taxes for the charitable contributions they have made. Of course, Elon Musk and other billionaires are well aware of the financial benefits of charity.
However, Musk himself is so connected with his philanthropy that tax breaks seem only part of a much larger whole. Indeed, due to his focus on environmental philanthropy, Musk incorporated values, knowledge, political orientation, and various socio-demographic variables into the US wealth equation today. He demonstrated how people from higher social strata can do the right thing when they are approached in such a way that it leads to the achievement of ethical and productive goals.
At a crucial moment in history, when we need to engage in an intersectoral, honest discussion of the plight of our planet and the responses we need to have in the global community, good environmental governance can arise, at least in part, from models like Musk philanthropy. The successes and failures of charity can affect remote villages or the oil industry, a farmer who is affected by the threat of deforestation, or a small town whose water has been contaminated by cracks. Musky charity deserves our attention and appreciation.