GRAY MAGUIRE: Mars to Musk: come back to earth, the pie in the dirt sort
The billionaire’s contest to find new carbon-capture technology is a Nasa space programme too late
SA’s wealthiest export and the world’s richest man, Elon Musk, made the news again last week for offering $100m in prize money for the best carbon capture technology. Musk’s largesse is in part thanks to being called out by Forbes magazine for not living up to his 2012 “Giving Pledge” commitment to donate at least half his wealth, and in part thanks to getting the bejesus scared out of him by the perennially depressing sustainability superstar Jorgen Randers.
Having recently taken to social media to elicit suggestions on how best to quell the mob’s lust for philanthropy, the suggestion to preserve humanity’s current home before setting up shop on Mars clearly resonated with the billionaire. Since then, pundits left and right have speculated on the still-to-be-announced details of the contest. Now, surely, with a prize of $100m to be won, some serious innovation is in the offing? Methinks not. ..