Entrepreneur and budding supervillain Elon Musk, founder of electric car company Tesla and astronautics outfit SpaceX, fears that his audacious plan to force a habitable atmosphere on to Mars by nuking it into submission could be put at risk by the possibility of a Third World War. Speaking to GQ magazine, Musk said that his ambitions for colonising Mars – a task he sees as a moral responsibility for the good of future mankind – might be hampered by more terrestrial concerns.
“I mean, I don’t think we can discount the possibility of a third World War,” Musk said. “You know, in 1912 they were proclaiming a new age of peace and prosperity, saying that it was a golden age, war was over. And then you had World War I followed by World War II followed by the Cold War. So I think we need to acknowledge that there’s certainly a possibility of a third World War, and if that does occur it could be far worse than anything that’s happened before.”
Musk’s view of colonising Mars is almost childlike; he sees it the same way as a computer, saying, “You back up your hard drive…. Maybe we should back up life, too?”