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For somebody who professes not to care about money and power, Elon Musk sure seems to care about money and power. That’s a lesson Bill Gates learned when their feud went into overdrive in 2022.
The two started butting heads over the Coronavirus in 2020. “Elon’s positioning is to maintain a high level of outrageous comments,” Gates told CNBC. “He’s not much involved in vaccines. He makes a great electric car. And his rockets work well. So he’s allowed to say these things. I hope that he doesn’t confuse areas he’s not involved in too much.” Musk hit back with a tweet: “Billy G is not my lover.”
It kicked up a gear after Musk took umbrage at Gates for shorting Tesla stocks, which, in layperson’s terms, is a bet that Tesla will lose value. Per The Independent, a testy text exchange between the two was publicly “leaked” in which Musk questioned Gates about his stock stance. “Sorry to say I haven’t closed it out,” the Microsoft founder confirmed. “Like to discuss philanthropy possibilities,” Gates added. “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 shot back. However, his own dedication to environmentalism is disputable. As The Verge notes, Tesla’s 2022 impact report showed it had significantly underplayed its carbon footprint — not to mention the Space X launch that resulted in extensive environmental damage.