Lucy Nicholson / Reuters
Paradoxically, Elon Musk.
The eccentric billionaire and real-life Tony Stark has courted controversy and made headlines for all of the wrong reasons recently, but he has also had some notable success in developing world-changing technology.
He’s put his money where his mouth is. Climate change? Musk’s electric automobile business, Tesla, has made electric automobiles exciting. Traffic woes and of the negative health effects of contamination? Musk created The Boring Company to dig a network of tunnels below Los Angeles to steer clear of gridlocked freeways. Colonizing other planets to rescue ourselves from extinction? SpaceX is focusing on it.
Beyond those initiatives that were moonshot, Musk has given results. Following Hurricane Maria pumped out power for millions of Puerto Rico’s inhabitants this past year, Musk donated hundreds of unmanned batteries to the staircase.
Belowwe check on a couple of the problems of humanity Musk said he wants to solve. Here’s where he’s in — and whether or not he’s actually helping.
The Crisis: Rescuing Thailand’s cave angels Royal Thai Navy through Associated Press
The Fix: A “kid-size” submarine.
During the mission to save 12 boys and their football trainer in a manicured cave in Thailand, Musk gathered engineers in Tesla, SpaceX and the Boring Company to make a”kid-size” submarine using rocket components.
The chief of this rescue mission stated the device was not practical, and the rescue was completed successfully with no Musk’so device. A British aide involved with the rescue additionally named Musk’so actions a “PR stunt” and stated the submarine hadn’t any chance of working in this scenario. In reply, Musk known as the diver a “pedo man ” at a tweet, which has since been deleted.
A Thai army official stated Musk’s submarine might be handy for future assignments, and engineers from SpaceX have fulfilled all members of the Thai Navy to instruct them on using it. Musk tweeted the engineers also received comments from British sailors about enhancing the technology.
The Verdict: Not really helping — for this particular mission.
The Crisis: Flint’s lead-contaminated water
The Fix: Replacing plumbing, including water filters.
Flint, Michigan, has been grapple with the ramifications of a water disaster where dangerous levels of lead have been detected after the country changed the city’s water source (from Lake Huron to the Flint River) from 2014.
Residents who got sick reported experiencing skin lesions, depression and memory loss.
Even the US Environmental Protection Agency claims any water with lead levels above 15 parts per billion demands action to minimize exposure. In Flint, lead levels in some houses surpassed 4,000 ppb.
Musk guaranteed in July to correct the plumbing in houses with water contamination”above FDA levels.” He also tweeted that he will arrange a weekend to add filters to houses from Flint and also to”hopefully fix perception of those that are actually good.”
In October, The Musk Foundation donated more than $480,000 to set up new filtration systems for water fountains at most Flint schools. The project is defined to be finished by the end of January.
The Verdict: He’s helping, although it’s still premature.
The Crisis: Traffic, and the negative health effects of gridlock
The Boring Company
The Fix: An underground network of tunnels.
Like many people who are not billionaires that are eccentric, Musk hates sitting . His solution to LA’s notoriously traffic-clogged freeways: digging out a network of tunnels under the city.
Traffic is much more than just an aggravation. Based on a current study, the air pollution generated from traffic may result in an increase in cardiovascular disease and stroke risk to individuals living near congested areas. Other studies have demonstrated that individuals living near major roadways in congested cities have an increase in emergency room visits and mortality, amongst other health effects.
Throughout The Boring Company, Musk is seeking to connect LA’s densest neighborhoods using an undercover”Loop” system that may carry passengers — as well as automobiles — around 150 miles-per-hour, cutting journey times throughout the city, and decreasing traffic-caused pollution from the procedure.
When this sounds astonishing in theory, the fact is a bit murkier, as Business Insider’s Matt DeBord composed .
The system is set to benefit well-off Angelenos and averts some poorer neighborhoods (where sail times tend to be longest) altogether. It is another billion-dollar solution to an issue that may be solved by telecommuting or altering work , DeBord wrote.
The Verdict: Too early to tell.
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