Elon Musk says he’ll sell Tesla stock if UN can show how the money will solve world hunger

Billionaire Elon Musk was responding to a UN official’s claims that uber-rich could help feed the globe’s starving

Elon Musk and the World's Richest Billionaires
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Elon Musk issued a typically provocative Twitter challenge over Halloween weekend – not about ghosts or ghouls or his favourite topics of technology, space, marijuana or cars.

Responding to comments from the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) director David Beasley – who told CNN last week that global hunger could be solved with the help of a “one-time” payment from some of the world’s wealthiest individuals (like Mr Musk) – the billionaire tweeted: “If WFP can describe on this Twitter thread exactly how $6B will solve world hunger, I will sell Tesla stock right now and do it.”

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO followed up Sunday morning with: “But it must be open source accounting, so the public sees precisely how the money is spent.”

The eccentric South African currently has an estimated worth of more than $300billion.

Mr Beasley, speaking at CNN’s Connect the World, claimed that even just 2 per cent of Mr Musk’s current net worth totaled about $6 billion – which would “help 42 million people that are literally going to die if we don’t reach them. It’s not complicated.”

Following the tech mogul’s weekend tweets, Mr Beasley offered diplomatic Twitter replies but also essentially came out swinging.

“I can assure you that we have the systems in place for transparency and open source accounting,” he wrote. “Your team can review and work with us to be totally confident of such.”

Directly tagging Mr Musk, he wrote: “Let’s talk: It isn’t as complicated as Falcon Heavy, but too much at stake to not at least have a conversation. I can be on the next flight to you. Throw me out if you don’t like what you hear!”

Mr Beasley tweeted that “$6B will not solve world hunger, but it WILL prevent geopolitical instability, mass migration and save 42 million people on the brink of starvation. An unprecedented crisis and a perfect storm due to Covid/conflict/climate crises.”

Staying to his Twitterstorm form, Mr Musk also wasn’t letting the WFP official have the last word, writing back: “Please publish your current & proposed spending in detail so people can see exactly where money goes.”

He added, in an assumed dig: “Sunlight is a wonderful thing.”

While the Tesla CEO Musk is renowned worldwide for smoking weed on air, launching spacecraft and giving his youngest child a near-unpronouncable name, his foray into the food debate could indicate he’s taking a leaf out of his brother’s book.

Kimbal Musk, lesser-known and a year younger, lives in Colorado and has devoted himself to sustainable eating. The brothers sold their first business in 1999 for more than $300million and Kimbal Musk not only serves on the boards of Elon’s current enterprises but also was chosen by his sibling as trustee, giving him decision-making capabilities in the event of Elon’s inability to do so.

The Boulder resident is now co-founder and executive chairman of The Kitchen Restaurant Group, Big Green and Square Roots.

“His personal mission is to pursue an America where everyone has access to real food,” his bio on the Big Green website proclaims.

The restaurant group “serves real food at every price point and has created over a thousand mission-driven jobs,” it continues. “The restaurants source sustainably grown food from American farmers, stimulating the local farm economy to the tune of millions of dollars a year.

“Mr Musk’s non-profit organization, Big Green, builds permanent, outdoor Learning Garden classrooms in hundreds of underserved schools across America reaching over 250,000 students every day.

“His urban farming company, Square Roots, brings local, real food to people in major cities by empowering next-gen farmers to grow food in indoor, modular, hydroponic farms.”

Kimbal Musk did not immediately weigh in on Twitter regarding his brother’s WFP challenge.

A spokesman for the UN organisation directed The Independent to Mr Beasley’s Twitter replies as the war of words seemed poised to escalate.

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