Claim: Green Entrepreneur Elon Musk is a “Total Fraud”

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

What does it take to break the faith of supporters of a green entrepreneur? The answer appears to be one bad tweet.

Elon Musk is a total fraud

By Maureen Callahan
July 21 2018/

One disastrous tweet has finally revealed Elon Musk for what he is: a fraud.

Enraged that a British cave diver called his idea to rescue the Thai soccer team for what it was — “a p.r. stunt [with] absolutely no chance of working” — Musk took to Twitter and called him a “pedo.”

Just like that, Tesla’s market value plummeted by $2 billion.

Musk has been in business since 2002. His stated goal is nothing short of transforming humanity through his products: his electric cars, space travel, and an underground high-speed Hyperloop system.

He has yet to succeed at anything but somehow spins every failure into proof of imminent success. His only accomplishment has been this decades-long Jedi mind trick.

Tesla is best known for blowing deadlines and consistently falling short on production.

In November 2017, Bloomberg reported that the company burns through $500,000 per hour. For two years now, Tesla has been suffering an epic talent drain and in May, two top execs — one the liaison with the National Transportation Safety Board — walked out the door.

Read more:

There is no doubt Elon Musk is very talented and clever, even his failures are impressive. But Musk’s twitter spree has been a PR disaster. Faith in Musk’s judgement was all that shielded him from criticism, and that faith has now slipped. In the wake of Musk’s twitter outbursts, there seems no escape from the perception that Musk’s corporate numbers just don’t seem to add up.

256 thoughts on “Claim: Green Entrepreneur Elon Musk is a “Total Fraud”

  1. One thing not mentioned in the article, is that the vaunted Tesla Model 3 will now cost more than double the original quote of $35k due to cost overruns and the phasing-out of all of the government subsidies and tax breaks.

      • Hi Latitude’ this is interesting.I mean your link. Many car manufactures have locations that they ship product to for it then, to be transported to it’s ultimate destination.
        Is instead Tesla having a problem with a lack of rail transport to move it’s product?
        Face it, there are only so many rail cars and time slots for trains to run. Railroad Companies are not going to keep extra capacity. If Tesla made the mistake of thinking that the rail capacity would be sitting idle for their use once they increased production; then they have a problem.


        • Mike that makes sense for real car manufacturers…that produce that many cars in a day
          Tesla produces so few cars…they could walk them over one at a time
          ..for some reason they have been stockpiling them for a long time

          • Thanks for replying. Something just does not seem right to me.
            Trying to squeeze shorts on their stock? Yes but it could back fire . 6,000+ vehicles suddenly dumped on the rail system …
            There are two main lines out of California, one at L.A. the other at S.F. in AZ many of the tracks are single line in places.
            Of course there were the earlier references of battery shortages. Perchance the vehicles are complete except for one item.
            Stock piling cars that have already been paid for is like hanging a sign on yourself saying “kick” and “sue” me.


          • Look to those who put deposits down, changing their minds and refusing delivery.
            A not unreasonable action for those with deposits down, when they consider Tesla’s hodgepodge amateur car assembly lines that rarely accomplish the same task, the same way twice.

        • I was a corporate banker in NYC in the early 70s in a group that lent to auto manufactures and suppliers. Chrysler finally bacame aware thay had a problem when the University of Michigan’s parking lot at the football stadium was full of Chryslers, Plymouths and Dodges. The problem was not lack of transportation. It was the dealers lots were also full.

          • Chrysler didn’t have a backlog of 450,000 orders like Tesla has. If those backlog numbers are fake, then someone’s going to jail for stock fraud.

          • I believe Tesla has a backlog of refundable deposits, as opposed to orders. One is a reasonable precursor of the other, but they are not the same. Nor is an order necessarily a sale, as anyone who has followed either the aircraft or telecommunications equipment industries could attest.

    • More than double? Look, I’m an EV owner who has thought badly of Tesla from the get-go — probably before most commenters here had ever heard of them. But there’s no indication that the Model 3 will cost $70K. I don’t even think the fully-optioned ones will be that expensive.

      Please be real. The invective at this site is beginning to reach wingnut levels of unhinged b.s., which to me is not one big different than the unhinged “green” b.s. that’s so common elsewhere.

      • Boy a few seconds of searching finds this: Tesla has released the pricing and specifications for the Model 3 in a dual-motor AWD and Performance configuration. Upgrading to a dual motor drivetrain costs an additional $5,000. The Performance variant, capable of accelerating from 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds, and complete with all options except Autopilot, will be priced at $78,000.
        From this article in May


        • I am absoutely no fan of Tesla, or of its infant CEO. However, you seem to think that Tesla is unique in setting a lowball price for the stripped-down version, and adding costly options. I drive, among other things, a 2013 Ram 3500 pickup, which listed for about $35,000 at the time. I drove mine off the lot for $63,000. And that was $10,000 below sticker.

          Wow, shocking that the vehicle makers would play games! Film at 11!

          • “I don’t even think the fully-optioned ones will be that expensive.”

            Jake j, Rick just showed you you’re wrong. No acknowledgement?

          • That’s fair. I really didn’t think that even a fully-optioned Model 3 would exceeed $70K. He demonstrated that one with every single option would be $78K. I was indeed wrong about that, but it’s just as fair to say that a $78K Model 3 is not in any way representative of the reality, especially considering that some of those options aren’t even available yet.

            I was a bit rushed yesterday. I had a kidney stone. Involved a trip to the hospital, quality time with a CAT scanner, and morphine, then Percoset. And it still has not passed, which has me on edge. First in my life with one of those, and it interfered with my usual attempts at factual rigor no matter where the chips fall. And anyone here who’s had one will understand just how cranky you can get after going through that.

            “Sir, on a scale of 1 to 10, what is your pain level?”

            “Nine and a half, only because I think cutting off my arm with a chain saw would be worse.”

            So it was a rough day. I feel like I’ve been in a war. But in any case, yes, if you buy the turkey and ALL the trimmings once they’re available, it’ll go for $78K. But those would be outliers. In any case, no one here should ever interpret me as some Tesla fanboy. Couldn’t be further from the truth.

        • An article published back in May, likely written during the winter of 2017-2018; sure is timely nonsense there.

          In other words, you spend a few seconds and utterly fail to find useful timely information that upsets investors or warns TSLA buyers… Big deal.

          “Tesla customers holding Model 3 reservations are being asked to provide an additional $2,500 on top of the $1,000 initial deposit before the electric automaker begins building their car.

          Customers must pay another $2,500 before the California-based company begins building their car, Bloomberg reported Thursday. The ploy allows the company to double up on cash infusions from the deposits — if 100,000 people confirm an order this week, then Tesla gets a $250 million injection of capital into its coffers.”

          “Bloomberg reports that in an effort to reach their projected output of 5,000 Model 3 cars a week by the end of June, Tesla has built a tent the size of two football fields outside of their facility in Fremont, California. The gigantic tent contains a car assembly line constructed using spare parts.”

          News sources have also identified the TSLA workers in that tent include office workers who were reassigned to the tent factory.

          “Research firm Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.’s Max Warburton, who worked benchmarking auto-assembly plants worldwide before becoming a financial analyst, commented on Tesla’s new tent saying: “Words fail me. It’s insanity.”

          “Musk stated on June 16 that a new production line had been constructed inside the tent using spare parts from the company’s main production line. Tesla’s new tent is reportedly surrounded by large trucks to obstruct the view of the makeshift production facility following intense interest from the public.”

          Isn’t that sweet? Musk obstructed the view of the tents to obscure actual production rates? Or, perhaps to prevent employees from seeing freedom?

          “Jeff Liker, a University of Michigan engineering professor who has published a book on Toyota’s production system stated: “The question is, how much rope Musk will get from customers who have had to wait years for delivery?” Max Warburton commented on the tent saying: “The existing line isn’t functional, it can’t build cars as planned and there isn’t room to get people into workstations to replace the non-functioning robots. So here we have it—build cars manually in the parking lot.”

          Even then, these analysts are failing to mention that cars assembled by hand, by poorly trained staff, on makeshift assembly lines, using spare parts are not building standardized vehicles following standard processes to precise tolerances. Instead each Tesla 3 is a one off car that will require specialized repairs.

          Nor should anyone overlook that all of that tedious handwork is extremely expensive, even performed by reassigned office workers. i.e., Far more expensive than automation and mechanized assembly lines.

          So, go ahead and spend your money; we don’t mind one bit…
          Though, we might laugh, a lot.

          • Using spare parts from the primary production line.

            What happens when a part on the primary production line breaks?

            PS: Meanwhile, all the work that is supposed to be done by the office workers is now being done by???
            The cleaning crew?

      • I had a ride in a Model 3 a couple of weeks ago. It has a nice screen. It has a reasonable ride. It pulls like hell. Amazing and probably the main reason for sales. It did not feel like $35k.

        • That’s probably because it isn’t $35K. The one you rode in probably stickered for well over $50K. This doesn’t bother me nearly as much as it tortures some people around here, given that it’s pretty much universal automaker behavior. But don’t call that $55K Model 3 a $35K Model 3, unless you know for certain that this is what it was.

    • and also not mentioned in the article, is that the great State of California is going to subsidize Musk’s ‘Model 3’ and force the California poor to subsidize the ‘rich man’s toys’ represented by the Model 3.

      As in 1984, “up is down, left is right, and all is morally equivalent’.

    • In Norway, Teslas are piling up in service stations. The customers have to wait for months, as they wait for repairs. Tesla has now sent over a bunch of technicians from the USA to get the lineup out of the way…(they think).

      • As a very old pump jockey I am aware that Musk is a tax-payer funded fraud and that his academe, elite, green supporters have no chance of success, great holiday for the technicians though.

    • I don’t care what he does in the market….just don’t depend on me to provide government subsidies.
      Go ahead, create, innovate with private investor money.

  2. I am over seventy years old and have seen a succession of corporate shysters come and go, their rise almost always coinciding with periods of easy money. When the easy money dries up, the shysters are shown up for what they are. Unfortunately governments seem unable to remember the lessons of the last boom-bust cycle, let alone the inevitability of the cycle.

    • Boy, I agree but what makes me angry about people like Musk is he cost the US taxpayers money. If a bunch of independent investors what to play his games that is one thing but government should stay out of such “businesses.”

      • Too true.
        Not too many shysters were handed US$5bn of other people’s money to waste (via Oh Bummer).
        Musk is as much a hoax as is CO2.

      • Look at it this way, what Musk wastes in US taxpayer money, we well make up for in cheap imports from countries that rely on coal for manufacturing and countries that have cheap labor in part from restricted human rights /sarc. Even with the push for renewables, California can’t get off of it’s coal addiction – just look at the “made in ___” tags on merchandise in the retail stores. Ask yourself if the item came from a “coal-free” zone with good human rights records.

        • Very true!

          When I encounter the leftwingnuts elsewhere who rant against fossil fuel, a favorite sport is to suggest that they forego any food that is mechanically cultivated, or refrigerated, or shipped, along with anything that is manufactured; that they refrain from using any motorized transportation at all; that they give up all of their appliances, and home heating and cooling; and stop buying anything comprised of metal (dang mining) or plastic.

          Above all, I say, what about your computer, made by happy Chinese slaves and shipped over here on a diesel-powered ship? Anyone who has been to China (twice for me) and seen and breathed their pollution, has a nostril-, eye-, lung-, and gut-level familiarity with unscrubbed coal power.

          • I was there. Bejing was especially awful. We were on the street right in front of their Olympic Stadium and could barely see the rings. I figured breathing their air equaled about a three pack a day habit, at least.

    • At this point in time, the Federal Govt is actually a money making machine (mmm). The handle on the crank is (unfortunately) you the voter. The votes place control of the mmm in a democratically constantly re-elected Congress. The constant re-election is made possible by generous contributions from lobbyists and wealthy individuals to incumbent members. This constant re-election concentrates power in the hands of those who can maintain their purchasing power, so to speak. Targeted largesse (like the EV subsidies, etc) is used to garner the votes for constant re-election.

    • BFT: It’s not just the shysters who have spun their elaborate schemes to defraud during the recent past of easy money created by the Fed and other centralized banks, but the majority of legitimate business have also dramatically increased their debt to equity ratios taking advantage of cheap money to borrow funds through the corporate debt markets to buy back stock, manage their quarterly and annual EPS reports, to return cash to their investor base, increase dividends, at times through special dividends despite only slowly increasing or stagnant revenue top lines and little real innovation or getting real returns on CapEx. This is one reason why a handful of High Tech FANG stocks have become such market darlings, they show revenue growth of dramatic proportions. The sub investment grade corporate bond markets and so called covenant lite bonds are also eagerly sought by a yield starved investor public at minimal yield premiums to investment grade debt. American corporate, consumer, state and Federal debt levels have all markedly increased since the end of the Great Recession in March 2009. As Warren Buffet likes to say “We’ll find out who’s swimming naked-when the tide goes out.”

      • Beautiful! The IDEAL automobile for the NIMBY’s. THEIR air is clean and pristine … but the little people eat their dirt out there in the industrial belt. Outtasight baby … outtamind too. Don’t pollute, or move into THEIR neighborhood.

    • EVs are most popular in the states that use little or no coal to generate electricity. I think this is pure happenstance, but it is nevertheless a fact. Please be real.

      • Not many states generate and consume most electrical power from sources other than fossil fuels, to include not just coal, but oil and gas. My region is probably the least dependent on fossil fuels, or was when we relied heavily on nuclear and hydro. The nuclear has gone by the by.

        • You call them “coal fired.” You are wrong. Look, I don’t think EVs do a damn thing for the enviroment, but I go by facts. If you or some other unhinged wingnut does the flip side of what the unhinged “greens” do, I see no difference between you and them. Please stop lying.

          • I fart in California’s general direction, does that count as sending them some wind power? 😉

          • No. Unfortunately, the daily prevailing winds blow from the Pacific inland, the usual winter storms travel east, and the summer weather is isolated by the Central valley and Sierra Mountains, so any general release of any pressurized gas from any rational state will not tend to head west into California.

      • I see what you did there. Obviously you are implying natural gas generation, which in some regions has greatly displaced coal, is “clean”, and therefore so are the EVs that evail of it. Now, please point me to a proud, virtuous EV owner who considers natural gas a “renewable” power source, one which does not contribute to climate change. Take your time.

        • I didn’t “do” anything there. The writer called them “coal fired Teslas.” He was lying. Electric car sales in California, 0.009% of whose electricity consumed is generated by coal, dwarf those in any other state.

          I don’t like it when the “green” nutcases lie, and I don’t like it when unhinged wingnuts here lie. “MIKIE MCHENRY,” you are no different than they are. Please stop lying. A liar is a liar is a liar, regardless of who they are and what they are lying about. Either deal in facts, or you’re just one more bull*hitter in a world increasingly dominated by errant bull*hit.

          It is NEVER acceptable to lie. Not only that, but two kinds of lies are the most dangerous: those told to yourself, and those told by people who you somehow think are your “friends.”

          • Didnt realise Teslas were only sold in Ca, go figure. Semantic games delivered oh so stridently.

          • If you believe only 0.009% of electricity consumed in CA comes from coal, you are hopelessly deluded. Just because there’s only one remaining coal generator inside CA doesn’t account for the electricity CA imports from out of state. Are you familiar with the term “grid”? Power lines cross state lines with impunity. According to the EIA, CA imports 26% of its electric power! And guess where that comes from? States including Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah, and New Mexico. Now as an exercise, go look up how much of those states’ generation is from coal. Take your time.

          • Now as an exercise, go look up how much of those states’ generation is from coal. Take your time.

            Actually, if you believe a certain amount imported is indeed from coal (and it may very well be, I don’t know), then it would be up to you to produce that evidence, not the OP. It isn’t up the OP to produce evidence for your propositions, rather, it’s up to you.

            Take your time.

          • I’ll make it easy for you. Here are the states with significant coal generation from which CA receives electricity (% of states’ generation from coal):

            WY 80%
            UT 60%
            CO 43%
            MT 39%
            NM 32%
            AZ 26%
            TX 21%

            The coal-sourced electricity joins all other sources on the regional grids. There’s no way for CA to extract only non-coal electrons from a grid. Nor are there any unicorns, sorry.

          • I’ll make it easy for you. Here are the states with significant coal generation from which CA receives electricity (% of states’ coal generation):

            Excellent, except you haven’t proved that CA receives electricity from them. First do that then we’ll move forward. I don’t really have a clue, so I’ll need to see proof before I believe you.

          • You’re lazy as well as demanding. I’ll not do your homework for you, but I’ll help you. Go to the page on CA, and read the paragraph which mentions CA’s 26% imported electricity. It discusses the two main regional grids involved, and the states generating on those grids. But you are an awfully suspicious sort. Obviously CA must import from other western states. Do you think a state with the vast energy requirements of California could be meeting that 26% only from OR, WA, NV, and ID? Does that pass even a cursory sniff test?

          • I provided the link. You have chosen not to look at it. By the way, CA gets a LOT of juice from the Columbia River dams. Look, if you want to argue with me, try something really startling for you: Do it from facts, not some wingnut religion.

          • Jake, please step up your argument game. Sure, you might make a compelling argument but labeling people “wingnuts” is an ad hominem and doesn’t serve your position, but rather discredits it because it is an emotionally charged logical fallacy often employed by folks who’s data is insufficient, so they attack the messangers. I’m sure you are more capable than that.
            I’m an independent third party observer who is willing to step outside of the echo chamber, so I’m the party you are actually trying to convince, not the author or anyone in the”wingnuts” category. Therefore, you evidence yourself to be the unhinged one, and I have to weigh your fanaticism against your claims of facts, and it’s irritating.

            As I see it, coal fired Tesla’s is at least 26% accurate

          • The wingnuttery in the comment section has always been here, but it’s been growing. People come to resemble their adversaries.

            [???? .mod]

          • You’re lazy as well as demanding.

            Don’t you contradict yourself? You made the claim and demanded I believe you, hence, you should have the evidence to prove your contention. When I make claims for arguments that aren’t obviously true, I offer evidence to substantiate those claims.

            Why should you be subject to a lesser standard than that which I hold for myself?

            I’ll not do your homework for you, but I’ll help you.

            No but you will do my homework for me, because you made the claim, else you’ll be rightly accused a liar. It isn’t up to me to offer proof for your propositions, rather, it’s up to you.

            But you are an awfully suspicious sort. Obviously CA must import from other western states. Do you think a state with the vast energy requirements of California could be meeting that 26% only from OR, WA, NV, and ID? Does that pass even a cursory sniff test?

            I am suspicious of you, yes. And for good reason, naturally. I don’t know you, nor do I know the subject matter in depth. In which case, before I’m going to believe you, I’m going to need evidence of your position.

            Hence, either you can offer objectively verifiable evidence of your position, or you can fade off into the night as just another mouth without substance behind his argument. Which do you choose?

            With all due respect…

          • sycomputing, you’ve earned your own copy:

            “In 2016, almost all of the state’s coal-fueled electricity generation was imported, but it provided less than 5% of California’s power.”

            That almost 5% would be almost 555 times Jake’s “0.009% from coal”. It was defending Jake’s assertion that drew you into the debate. You did what you could. ;-(


          • sycomputing, you’ve earned your own copy:

            “In 2016, almost all of the state’s coal-fueled electricity generation was imported, but it provided less than 5% of California’s power.”

            Well that’s great, and thanks, but you’re answering the wrong question in my case.

            I’m looking for evidence for the following:

            “Here are the states with significant coal generation from which CA receives electricity (% of states’ generation from coal):

            WY 80%
            UT 60%
            CO 43%
            MT 39%
            NM 32%
            AZ 26%
            TX 21%”

            Moreover, not that I care about coal, because it wasn’t my interest, but this is what I see from the link provided:

            “California does not have any coal reserves or production and has phased out almost all use of coal for electricity generation. Some coal is used at industrial facilities in California. Almost all of the coal consumed in California originates from mines in Utah. Some coal from western coal mines arrives in California by rail and is exported to overseas markets from port facilities located primarily in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas.”

            I sure don’t see your quote about coal in 2016?

            So in addition to the homework you still need to do for me, in addition, could you show me where you found your quote regarding coal?

            Because I don’t see it readily available, I trust you even less. Not that I’m not happy to believe you, mind you.

            Take your time and thanks!


          • Jake and I were discussing the % CA electrity from coal before you jumped in. All I refuted was his .009% part. Along the way I mentioned 26% of CA’s electricity is imported, and pointed out all the coal energy states from which some must be originating. Later, having finally found the 5% coal power fact, does it matter exactly which of those states it comes from? It never mattered to me, but you seem fixated on that. Why? What don’t you understand or believe about CA’s partial reliance on coal for electricity?

          • When I feel up to it, I will re-run the numbers. It might not be 0.009%, but it’s damn low. And if you look at the top 5 EV states, you will see that all of them are low or no coal. Still, it bugs me a whole lot to ever get a number wrong.

            I do have an explanation. I had a kidney stone yesterday. Involved a trip to the hospital, quality time with a CAT scanner, and morphine, then Percoset. And it still has not passed, which has me on edge. First in my life with one of those, and it interfered with my usual attempts at factual rigor no matter where the chips fall. And anyone here who’s had one will understand just how cranky you can get after going through that.

            “Sir, on a scale of 1 to 10, what is your pain level?”

            “Nine and a half, only because I think cutting off my arm with a chain saw would be worse.”

            FRIEND: “Did you cry like a girl?”

            ME: “Nope. Real men moan.”

            So it was a rough day. Really, guys, it was that bad. I feel like I’ve been in a war. I’ll re-do the numbers at some point, but I hope folks here will understand.

          • Looking again, I see where my error happened.

            The table I used to get .009% was a fossil fuel consumption table that lists various inputs not in kWh but in volumes of inputs, i.e. short tons of coal, Mcf of natural gas, and so on. Not only that, but I divided short tons of coal by Mcf of gas to get .009%, which makes no sense whatsoever.

            To figure it out accurately, you’d need to convert all of the fossil fuel inputs to kWh; add net generation from non-fossil sources (hydro, solar, wind, geothermal), which is stated in kWh; then compare coal’s kWh to that total. I didn’t have it in me to do it yesterday, and I still don’t today. But if you just eyeball the two tables, you’ll see that coal’s contribution to CA’s electricity mix rounds to zero.


            That’s what we were wrangling about. Then, if you look at where most of the EVs have been sold — CA, GA, WA, NY, FL, which together amount to roughly 2/3 of all EVs sold, with CA alone being about half — and check into their generation mixes, you’ll see that EVs have not been “coal-fired” in this country in any material sense.


            If I were up to it, which I’m not right now, I’d chase the exact numbers. But it’d be an exercise in making the rubble bounce. I hate ever getting a number wrong, so for now I will bow to my diminished capacity and approximate. Any fair reading of the data backs up my assertions.

            By the way, since we are wrangling about this, a while back I did chase down the numbers for the impact on CO2 emissions if every single automobile in the United States were 100% battery-operated, i.e. not even any plug-in hybrids. The result was a decline in CO2 emissions of about 3% — which I judged to be trivial, even if I were to care about CO2 emissions, which I do not.

          • I found the “less than 5% of total” on the EIA California page. Most folks seem to feel EIA is an independent, reliable source. I will verify that with my economist buddy who directs the energy research division of one of the vast three-letter federal agencies. A small amount of coal generation still comes from a station inside CA. Adding the two together, I feel rounding the total coal-sourced electricity consumed by CA to 5% seems reasonable for a discussion such as this.

          • I appreciate that. This is the first time, and it’s a bit scary. I am realizing that there’s a lot they don’t know, and cannot predict, about kidney stones.

          • I had one of those… started as a back-ache, kept getting worse and worse until I was tearing up. Couldn’t stand up without pain, couldn’t lie down without pain. I was lying there trying to control the pain with my mind (that’s why I’ve got such a high pain tolerance… I didn’t use any painkillers for the stone, I’ve had ingrown toenails removed (where they slide a flat pair of scissors under the toenail all the way to the nail bed) without anesthetic, I had my wisdom teeth pulled without anesthetic, I walked for 2 years on a foot with a broken bone so I could build up enough vacation time to get the bone fragment removed, recover and get back to work, etc.) and the pain suddenly intensified to the second-worst pain I’ve ever felt (the worst pain was a 16 inch spike which went through my calf muscle… didn’t hurt when it went in, didn’t hurt when I pulled it out, but about an hour later, man oh man did it hurt… didn’t take painkillers or go to the doctor for that, either), then I felt something moving, and the pain went away completely. I slept for 2 days after that.

          • It never mattered to me, but you seem fixated on that. Why? What don’t you understand or believe about CA’s partial reliance on coal for electricity?

            Well to be honest, I have a confession to make, i.e., I understand and am willing to believe you. It just matters not a whit to me either way.

            But since you’d chosen to have an attitude, and I’d had a glass or two more than I should, I decided to have some fun watching you jump through hoops to “do my homework for me,” when you’d swore you wouldn’t. Sorry about that.

            But it was a gas…

            Take care!

          • Debates such as this would be smoother face-to-face with beers (or the like) on the table between us. I hate the Internet. I love the Internet. I hate the …

          • Sigh. I had pasted the link to the quote, anticipating your incredulousness. And you missed it anyway. I despair sometimes, I really do.

          • Sy, really, just follow a link.

            Well yours isn’t one I’d seen before. I saw and read his when he posted it…it didn’t satisfy.

            Not that it mattered, I’d already decided I was going to be an arse by that time anyway. I don’t care about coal generation in CA; I was miffed at his attitude.

            I shouldn’t drink and then get offended at boobs on WUWT. It just makes me one as well.

            Thanks though. Take care.

          • Actual sources of power in California and past 24 hours plus import from or export to the rest of the US is here:

            As it is night there now, there is 28% import, but I suppose that during the day there is more export than import.

            CO2 intensity for sources and total are given too. Interesting is that only countries with a lot of hydro and or geo power and/or nuclear are very low carbon…

          • Thanks! I don’t implicitly trust the “CO2 intensity” figures, who designed the algorithm for that after all, and assigned the weightings? For example are the hidden emissions, e.g. from mining, manufacturing and disposal, factored in? What’s’s agenda? “Trust, but verify.”

          • brians356,

            They obtained their CO2 intensity figures from the IPCC and they are a group devoted to ban all fossil fuel use. Nevertheless, the IPCC figures are quite real, as they include mining, refining and infrastructure like buildings, concrete and steel,… spread over the usefull life and performance of the different sources.
            That gives e.g. for wind still 11 g CO2/kWh and nuclear 12 g CO2/kWh, while water is 24 g CO2/kWh, thanks to the lots of concrete needed and lots of methane emitted when the water behind the dam fills up…

            For the rest they simply use the numbers as generated and communicated by the different sources in different countries x the average CO2 intensity for that specific source.

          • According to the California Energy Commission, as per the 01 Jul 2018 report (which is based on the CEC-1304 Power Plant Owners Reporting Form):


            California (in 2017, the most recently available data) generated the following mix:
            Natural Gas 33.67%
            Renewables 29.00%
            Large Hydro 14.72%
            Solar 10.20%
            Wind 9.40%
            Unspecified 9.25%
            Nuclear 9.08%
            Geothermal 4.35%
            Coal 4.13%
            Small Hydro 2.70%
            Biomass 2.35%
            Other (Petroleum Coke/Waste Heat) 0.14%
            Oil 0.01%

            So taking Coal, Oil, Other and Biomass (which can be just as dirty as coal) together, that’s a total of 6.63% “dirty” power. That’s what they *generated*… not including what they import.

            31.5% of what California imports is deemed “unspecified”… if it was green energy, you can bet the power plant owners would be trumpeting it, so we can safely assume it’s “dirty power”.

            California imports 29.3% of its power, so 29.3 * 31.5 = 9.2295% imported power which can be deemed “dirty power”.

            So the total “dirty power” California uses is 6.63% + 9.2295% = 15.8595%

            They import most of their “dirty” power via Path 46, a high-tension line system through California, Nevada and Colorado.

            California, in 2017, generated 206.3 TWh of power, meaning they imported 60.4459 TWh, 19.0404585 TWh of which was “dirty power”.

          • So Jake you whom if anyone disagrees with is unhinged and a wingnut, please tell me if in Cali one state pays extra and consume other states non-coal energy what would happen if those states quit selling non-coal energy to Cali so they could get their stats looking good. All those Teslas would then start using more “coal” correct. The grid is national and the electricity is only divided up on paper. So, saying Teslas in general are coal fired is true. It is you who are wrong and a liar. The only way you can claim he is lying is by changing his statement to specific states and ignoring that he said they are “fossil fueled” and he “call them” coal fired. Noticed he didn’t say “are”, those are your words and all you do is create strawman and blame others.

          • It’s a lie to say that “Teslas in general are coal fired.” That’s unfactual, dishonest wingnuttery. Not a lot different than the junk spouted in places like “Grist” — just from the opposite direction.

            By the way, I changed nothing. What I did was I quoted him.

            Also, the grid is not national. It’s regional. There is a difference between the two.


            Some more numbers

            CA generates no electricity from coal. In 2016, the state imported electricity created by burning 62,708 short tons (125,416,000 pounds) of coal.


            A pound of coal produces 0.957 kWh of electricity.




            125,416,000 (x) .957 = 120,023,112 kWh of electricity. (round to 120 million kWh)

            In 2016, CA consumed 285,700,000,000 kWh of electricity. (rounded)


            120 million/285.7 billion = 0.04% of CA’s electricity consumption came from coal in 2016.

          • Once again change subject he said they are run on fossil fuels and “I call them coal fired.” You state “The writer called them “coal fired Teslas.” He was lying. ” He is not lying that IS what HE CALLS them. If I call my cat Tiger are you going to say I’m a liar. You are unhinged. You ignore the one statement he makes that could be debated and instead choose to dwell on the statement that is an undeniable fact but intentionally misrepresent it to imply he said something he didn’t. So unless you have evidence and links showing that he really doesn’t CALL them coal fired Teslas just please admit your ad-hominem attacks were wrong. Words they mean things.
            PS I don’t care how much coal on paper California burns or actual number. Your twisting of statements and then righteous name calling are what annoy me.

          • If I call myself the emperor of Neptune, I would be lying. If you called your cat Tiger, you wouldn’t be lying; but if you called your cat a tiger, then you would be lying.

            California burns no coal at all, on paper or otherwise. But it does buy electricity out of state generated from coal this is burned not on paper, but in power plants. It amounts to 0.04% of the state’s electricity use, according to state and federal agencies that track these things. Actually, a little less, given the transmission losses.

            But if you don’t care about facts, then please skip anything I write. Same goes if criticism triggers you. I’m not too interested in what religious fanatics and political cranks have to say, or in their anguish for being called out for what they’re doing. That would include both ends of the spectrum.

          • Jake J. Fact you called someone a LIAR who didn’t lie. Fact you twisted a statement so you could go on a rant about Cali coal use or nonuse. Fact you got triggered by someone saying he calls Teslas coal fired. Fact you then ignore these facts when they are pointed out to you. You see I do care about facts, it is you who doesn’t unless they fit your narrative. I’m sorry but once again words have meaning. Criticism is not equal to ad hominem attacks. I’m sorry you are such a fanatic that you can’t admit when you are wrong, but if you can’t handle my criticism of your illogical statements maybe you should stop posting them. I notice no where in your reply did you even attempt to refute what I said nor offer any explanation for your own lies. By the way your repeated silly statements about both ends of the spectrum don’t fool anyone but yourself into thinking that you hold some righteous high ground. The only high ground here is the truth, of which your posts are severely lacking because the subject was fossil fuels not just coal. If you are so interested in “facts” why don’t you just stick to them instead of adding drivel about “fanatics”, “political cranks”, “other unhinged wingnut(s)” as soon as someone challenges you. That stuff may work on other sites but the people here aren’t cowed into silence by it, including me. I find that you bothered writing your second paragraph amusing. First, you already stated it, second I didn’t deny it in my response to you, third I’ve seen this tactic so many times, the “I will keep throwing out other subjects and numbers and attacks in an attempt to sidetrack the topic so I don’t have to address points the other poster made” tactic.

          • Read the wrong line again. CA does generate a smigden from coal: For 2016 it was 316,876,000 kWh. Add that to the imports of 120,000,000 kWh from coal and you get 435,000,000 kWh (rounded), which would be 0.15% from coal, total.

            This is confusing. Not only with all the zeroes, but the multiple data sources. But I think this is correct. The point stands: CA gets very little of its electricity from coal.

            The multiple data sources remind me of federal economic statistics, and especially employment/unemployment data. The feds publish so many different versions of employment data that it becomes fodder for every conspiracy nut who wants to claim rampant undercounting and dishonesty, when in fact it’s really quite the opposite.

          • Jake J wrote:
            “Read the wrong line again. CA does generate a smigden from coal: For 2016 it was 316,876,000 kWh. Add that to the imports of 120,000,000 kWh from coal and you get 435,000,000 kWh (rounded), which would be 0.15% from coal, total.”

            Your kidney stone pain meds must be befuddling your cognitive skills, Jake…


            Coal: 302 GWh generated in-state; 12,075 GWh total; 4.13% of all power

      • What’s generated “in state” is less than half the story.
        The rest of the story for CA is how is the electricity that’s imported get generated.

        • CA generates no electricity from coal. In 2016, the state imported electricity created by burning 62,708 short tons (125,416,000 pounds) of coal.

          A pound of coal produces 0.957 kWh of electricity.

          125,416,000 (x) .957 = 120,023,112 kWh of electricity. (round to 120 million kWh)

          In 2016, CA consumed 285,700,000,000 kWh of electricity. (rounded)

          120 million/285.7 billion = 0.04% of CA’s electric consumption came from coal in 2016.

          • Read the wrong line again. CA does generate a smigden from coal: For 2016 it was 316,876,000 kWh. Add that to the imports of 120,000,000 kWh from coal and you get 435,000,000 kWh (rounded), which would be 0.15% from coal, total.

            This is confusing. Not only with all the zeroes, but the multiple data sources. But I think this is correct. The original point stands: CA gets very little of its electricity from coal.

            The multiple data sources remind me of federal economic statistics, and especially employment/unemployment data. The feds publish so many different versions of employment data that it becomes fodder for every conspiracy nut who wants to claim rampant undercounting and dishonesty, when in fact it’s really quite the opposite.

          • Using the downloadable Excel spreadsheet from the EIA website at
            that is titled “Net Generation by State by Type of Producer by Energy Source” for “2001-Present”
            For all of CY2017, one finds the following for California’s total electric power industry:
            Energy Source % of total
            natural gas 44.8
            hydroelectric conventional 22.1
            nuclear 9.4
            wind 7.4
            geothermal 5.9
            solar thermal and PV 5.5
            coal 0.2
            (all other) 4.8

            However, CA also imports quite a bit of electricity from other states (via the interstate grid system) and those electrons are not marked as to where they originated.

      • You live in a state that generates all of its own electricity and none is sent via transmission lines from other states? Are you sure about that?

  3. Wait! You only JUST noticed?
    He was trying to pass off a pedestrian tunnel under the highway that was providing access from his car park to his factory as proof his hyperloop was real.

    The same Boring Company that was meant to be digging this amazing hyperloop was earlier this year selling off ‘flamethrowers’ to his fan boy public. Let us think about that briefly. Advanced underground tunnel company making novelty ‘toy’ flamethrowers? Make up your mind. Is your core business tunnelling through rock or helping to remove the eyebrows from man children?

    Vision is a wonderful thing, but it is also cheap, and if Musk was mature enough to admit he has messed up, step back and restart he might actually get some of those visions to work. Instead he has been lying to the public for so long he actually has started to believe his own hype.

    • Too right mate! Con artists always believe their own BS. When people read the con artists body language they get fooled by the sincere response that they see with their own eyes. If they dug a little deeper they would find the next con artist trait, they (con artists) don’t put any of ‘their’ money into the scheme!

    • there is no vision there, just a flimflam man. What happen to the heavy trucks, the hyper sports car, the $35K EV? Pipe dreams, all.

      • Those dual synchronized landings looked terribly fake.
        He even said you know it’s real because it looks so fake. I’ve seen more convincing CGI on the sci-fi channel.

  4. Okay…..So. Musk is a fraud. Why has it taken so long for so many people to catch on to the fact that he is a superb scamster, a consummate con artist who has little else going for him. But he is just one in a crowd of many faux scientists and technologists who have fraudulently “mined” the climate change/alternative energy /sustainable development fiasco for billions of dollars and euros beyond abundance.
    But just keep in mind that it has been crowds of career politicians and bureaucrats who have been holding the doors open through which he has been reaching and helping himself to the lucre.

    • I have been reading the Aussie media’s hissing over a ‘far right-wing’ women who was almost denied entry into Aus for wearing an ‘offensive t-shirt’. On a whim I looked her up and watched this 7 minute video of her explaining how vile behavior within society by the likes of certain sexual predators goes on for years because of the conspiratorial actions of those who fear rejection more than they are concerned with hiding immoral acts.

      I found it enlightening. As much her content as the fact that the left revile her so openly that they defend acts of violence against her. The latest here is: because a bunch of organized thugs have threatened to disrupt her talks, the Victorian Police are asking her to pay $68,000 up front for security before she’ll be allowed to speak.

      She dares shine a light on the activities of those who protect the wicked? Burn her!

  5. No Callahan has over-generalized. SpaceX has changed the NASA’s future, regardless of its funding and tribulations.

    • How has NASAs future changed? they have another launch option, and not one anyone is game to put a human on.

      • Yarpos SpaceX has put development pressure on ULA. Both Dragon (SpaceX) and Starliner (Boeing) are current scheduled for uncrewed and then crewed ISS test flights later this year.

  6. “Total fraud” is taking it a bit far. All of the automakers rushed to create electric vehicles that could touch his in terms of performance and range.

    • at 1/4 the price….not so easy…but they are trying. Are you comparing a Porsche to a ???. Lots one cannot do within a budget. They all could make really good electric cars in the 100k-150k bracket.

    • All the other auto manufacturers were FORCED by the Obama Admin. to create electric cars to meet the CAFE standards across the fleet of cars produced. Big difference between the LEGIT. auto manufacturers motivation and Musk’s motivation … which ALWAYS includes massive tax benefits and “investments”.

  7. The article completely misses the boat when it comes to criticism about SpaceX. Last night, they just had their 13th successful launch THIS YEAR. They launched a satellite to GTO that weighed more than 15,000 lb and they recovered the first stage. They routinely do things that ESA, Energia, Long March, ULA just can’t do. And they do it for significantly less money than anybody else. ULA and Arianespace are hoping to have partial first stage reuse (just the engines) “real soon now”. By that time (or before), SpaceX will be testing the BFS that will ride on the BFR. The only serious future competition in terms of low cost access to space is Bezos’ Blue Origin.

    As they say, Musk has figured out how to launch and land rockets as God and Robert Heinlein intended.

    • He’s a steely eyed missile man, no question. He needs to get out of the car business though. Cut a deal with the government to work with NASA.

    • MichiCanuck, you posted: “As they say, Musk has figured out how to launch and land rockets as God and Robert Heinlein intended.” If by this you mean to have a rocket that could launch vertically and return to the launch site for a vertical landing, you are not quite correct.

      First, McDonnell-Douglass, SDIO and NASA successfully developed and demonstrated VTOL rocket ship techonology in the period of 1993-1996 on the Delta Clipper (DC-X) and Advanced Clipper (DC-XA) programs. See
      This effort ended six years before SpaceX was founded in 2002.

      To date, SpaceX has only returned the first stages of its two-stage rockets to the launch site (or oceanic landing platform vessels). All evidence is that Elon Musk has no plans to develop a fully reusable VTOL rocket ship, the thing that was envisioned by Robert Heinlein and many other sci-fi authors.

      As for what God envisioned in this regard, I cannot speak for Him.

  8. A stupid and senseless rumor-mongering echo-chamber post– totally out of place here at WUWT.

    Who cares what the twits on twitter are twitting about — electronic backstabbing rumor mill is what it is. It has no place being promoted here.

    • and yet it is an important enough communication tool that the US president uses it and it took 2 billion off the value of Tesla. like it or not [and I don’t] you can’t discount it.

    • The article centres on how Musk’s tweet appears to have shaken faith in Tesla, Musk’s green car venture which has absorbed somewhere North of four billion dollars of green corporate welfare. I suggest Kip the fate of that money is of interest to people who are concerned about truckloads of taxpayer’s cash being shovelled towards the green blob.

      • Fighting efforts to bring electric battery-powered (or hybrid) cars to market in the US and elsewhere is also a senseless activity, as we will certainly have battery powered personal autos in the mid-term future. The world needs electric cars….just not for the “save the world from CO2” reason.

        Electric cars are not a threat to climate science skepticism — they are a necessary part of our future. Elon Musk is not a threat to climate skepticism — he may be crazy, but he does stuff, some of it wildly good.

        Attacking Elon Musk personally, or glorying in attacks on him by others, or expressing pleasure that his companies have financial difficulties are simply not-so-subtle forms of ad hom attacks.

        Write and publish all the Opinion pieces you want on waste of government taxes money — but this piece is not about waste of taxpayers money — it is just an echo of someone else’s attack on Musk as a person.

        Such behavior, while popular with the “young and angry” readers, is contrary to the mores and ethos of WUWT.

        • Electric vehicles didn’t work in 1917 won’t work now for exactly the same reason”Battery energy density”. The sad part is if we could get the energy density up to the fossil fuel level the resulting battery would be so dangerous that you would not want to be around it. Electric vehicles are the past not the future.

          • Lithium ion batteries work much better than what came before, but they still aren’t quite there yet.

    • I’m of two minds on that. The headline is:

      Claim: Green Entrepreneur Elon Musk is a “Total Fraud”

      He’s probably not a total fraud.

      Green activists and entrepreneurs both have a habit of overselling things. He fits both those categories so I would bet he’s guilty of overselling things.

      I think what saves the story from being “A stupid and senseless rumor-mongering echo-chamber post” will be a few quality comments. I find that I often get more out of one or two of the comments than I do from the story.

  9. “What does it take to break the faith of supporters of a green entrepreneur?”
    How on earth does Maureen Callahan qualify as a (former) supporter of a green entrepreneur? She is a columnist with Murdoch’s tabloid New York Post (the Wiki article on which drily notes
    “”Headless body in topless bar” redirects here.”)
    She writes on Hollywood celebs, with no noticeably green slant.

    • Are you saying it’s okay to publically call someone a Pedo because he hurt your feelings?

        • I agree with you, Nick. I am anything but a fan of Elon Musk, to put it mildly. But the comment section, and to some degree the editorial direction on WUWT, has become too wingnutty in recent times.

          • Recent?

            There is a pattern that keeps repeating:
            first with Goddard (heller)
            then with Ball
            now with Eric

            The issue is that the choir gets so used to cheering everything written that only a few (maybe 1 or 2) insiders will dare stand up.

            pretty standard human stuff.

          • Mosher, sit down and be quiet. You have no credibility. You are a state apologist and have proven how despicable you are to your core, repeatedly. Seriously. You are not worthy of respect or polite discourse. Go away

    • I never said Maureen was a supporter. But two billion dollars worth of Musk supporters were concerned about his ill judged tweet.

      • Eric,
        “I never said Maureen was a supporter.”
        The headline says
        “Claim: Green Entrepreneur Elon Musk is a “Total Fraud””
        Whose claim is it if not Maureen Callaghan’s?

        • I said “supporters” plural Nick, as in the shareholders who dumped the price down $2 billion, and the apparently growing number of people who question Musk’s judgement.

          I didn’t say “former supporter Maureen Callahan”

          • A $billion here, a $billion there … pretty soon you’re talking real money.

            I don’t care about the blip he caused in the share price. I care about what the tweet says about his humanity and integrity. I got a glimpse of what’s in his heart, and it left me cold. It happens to match what’s on his countenance, but that’s by the way.

    • Are you attacking her because “she” is a woman or she works for the NYP or she does/does not have a green-slant or she is a columnist? What makes her unqualified to provide her opinion, in YOUR opinion Nick. By attacking her ‘qualifications’, you’ve reduced your argument to the level you are chastising.

      • I’m not attacking her at all. I think there is plenty of scope for criticising Elon Musk, especially his actions in Thailand. I’m just saying that her calling him a total fraud does not represent any kind of conversion.

        • …….but that is NOT what you said, good side stepping. You took issue with the paper and her credentials, just being a “columnist” and all (attack the messenger, not the message). On a personal note, I do appreciate you coming here so it is not a sound chamber, agree to disagree…..

          • “.but that is NOT what you said”
            What I said was
            “How on earth does Maureen Callahan qualify as a (former) supporter of a green entrepreneur? “
            Do you think she was?

            I’m not attacking her because she is a columnist. I might have let slip that I am not a keen reader of the NYP. But that isn’t the point here – the point is that it isn’t a source of green thoughts, now disappointed, about Elon Musk.

          • Duncan, you’re really twisting what Nick said. Re-read his post and get back to us.

    • Nick ==> Shocking to have to agree with you — Musk can be a loud-mouth idiot in one’s personal opinions. Worrying about his use of the word “pedo” as an insult applied to “Vern Unsworth” is just part of the silly, rumor-mongering backstabbing world of Twits.

      I have never met either Musk nor Unsworth. I don’t know, and no one has said, whether or not Unsworth is a pedophile. If he is, he needs psychiatric care or criminal prosecution — depending on the details.

      Correctly identifying Unsworth as a “pedo”, if it is correct, may be rude and uncouth, but is should not have any bearing on his business life.

      It is to the shame of today’s culture that a Twitty backlash at a single word used in anger could cause a major shakeup in financial markets.

  10. I wouldn’t call him a fraud. Of course he puts a green slant on things he does. That gets him support from the granola crunchers. If you look at everything he does it is always related to mars. The rockets are obvious but look at the other things. His cars can operate on mars while a regular car can’t. The boring company would be a necessity as people cant live for long periods on the surface. They would need tunnels dug for living spaces and to house the hyperloop to get from one colony to another. He dreams of going to mars and is working towards getting there. By making all these companies sound like they are for people here and now he gets to work the kinks out before her leave for another planet.

    • Musk in my opinion has an extraordinary talent for appearing to be what you want him to be. I have no faith that his Mars plans are any more solid than his green car plans.

      • “Musk in my opinion has an extraordinary talent for appearing to be what you want him to be.”

        In that respect Mr. Musk reminds me of Steve Jobs, the original creator of the “Reality Distortion Field”.

          • True. Of course Steve Jobs also had his unprofitable company (NeXT Computer). If I remember correctly, one of Steve Job’s conditions for rejoining Apple a few years after he had been fired from Apple was that Apple purchase NeXT Computer which nicely solved that minor little profitability problem.

          • True. I guess I just get annoyed by the cult-of-personality that forms around people such as Mr. Musk and Mr. Jobs as it often hides what is actually going on behind the curtain.

      • I suggest that if you get past the issue of familiarity, in most cases the words ‘factualism’ and ‘factualist’ have more utility than do the words ‘skepticism’ and ‘skeptic.’

        [fak-choo-uh-liz-uh m]

        emphasis on, devotion to, or extensive reliance upon facts:
        the factualism of scientific experiment.

        I think the phrase “climate factualist’ provides a better fit than does “climate skeptic.” The same is true in the case of “green factualist.”

  11. Launching rockets is one of the most energy intensive endeavors man has ever undertaken, and for this he is a green entrepreneur? I thought our high energy use was killing the planet! Please make up your mind, enviro-fascists.

    • In fact, it is remarkably energy efficient. Remember that getting to low earth orbit is, in essence, energetically halfway to anywhere in the universe (or at least, solar system). You try traveling millions of miles with no fuel expenditure. And making rocket propellent (fuel plus oxidiser) is probably one of the very few reasonable uses for “renewable” energy. On Mars, you can even make LOX and methane from their “air”.

      More seriously, I suspect that eventually the BFR will make rapid point to point (45 minutes to anywhere on Earth) remakably “efficient”, given that you are mostly coasting outside of the pesky, heat-inducing, drag-ridden, atmosphere. You should also know that LOX is cheaper than beer, or even bottled water!

      • MichiCanuck:
        “On Mars, you can even make LOX and methane from their “air”.”
        “LOX is cheaper than beer, or even bottled water!”
        AND HERE I WAS THINKING “You lucky bloody Canadians..
        all that cheap SALMON !”
        AND instead you shatter my dreams by going on about
        bloody ROCKET FUEL !
        Perhaps THAT was the LOX connection in Douglas Adams book title :
        “So Long , and Thanks for all the Fish ” ?
        ………..Mars is STILL a long way to go for salmon anyway !!

        • It’s Trevor the Hyperventilator again. Excessive caps lock use just make you look silly.

      • The problem is that once you have gotten enough energy to get “energetically” to the universe, you are standing still. Zero velocity.
        If you want to get anywhere you must now accelerate to the necessary speed, then decelerate when you reach the destination. You must also climb back that gravity well, which also takes energy.

      • MichiCanuck, you posted: “On Mars, you can even make LOX and methane from their ‘air’.”

        This is false. One can theoretically make LOX from the abundant CO2 in the Martian atmosphere, but to make methane (CH4) one certainly needs a source of hydrogen. There is essentially ZERO hydrogen available in the Martian atmosphere, as an elemental gas or as a compound (including water vapor).

        All studies of in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) focused on Mars have proposed creation of methane by use of water to provide hydrogen (assumed to be water ice that may be present on the surface in relatively small quantities at the Martian poles, or assumed to be present in more abundant quantities across Mars in ice or liquid form in underground cavities).

  12. The financial site Seeking Alpha has a web page devoted to Tesla., here: Every day new pro and con articles (mostly con) and/or news items appear, most of them of a highly contentious and astounding nature. The Tesla drama never ends; Muck’s conference calls are very entertaining, as are his tweets and internal emails and new product announcements and profit-promises; the commenters get in some great digs at the other side, amazing purported insider leaks are reported, the executive churnover is unprecedented, etc. Take a peek.

      • As in tools of Russian and Iranian propaganda.

        Its co-founder’s dad was a Bulgarian KGB agent, under “journalistic” cover.

        Like father, like son.

      • Anyone who reads Zero Hedge regularly will quickly see that they are a very mixed bag.

        A “very mixed bag” of morons is still a bag of morons…

        • In this case, they did have an accurate report about Tesla’s overflow lots in California.

          • Just because you’re a moron doesn’t mean you can’t be right once in a while, any more than being paranoid doesn’t mean you’re not being followed. But what it does mean, is even when you’re right, you’re still a moron, in which case, you might not be being followed at all.

            Moreover, I saw that report, and what I immediately noticed was when the video was canvassing the area, whomever was recording the video couldn’t seem to get his/her resolution such that the cars weren’t blurry. Now I’ll admit after that first video I was skeptical, hence I didn’t follow up. So you tell me, could you REALLY see Tesla’s in the lot?

  13. “He has yet to succeed at anything…”
    PayPal? SpaceX?
    I always doubted the feasibility of electric cars (as long as the electricity is not nuclear-generated) but Musk did succed in other areas. His dedication to the Mars project is hope-inspiring. As to his using tax subsidies and public financing to some extent, what businessman doesn’t? Successful busnessmen view and use the world as it is, with all its foolishness and ideological perversions. Principled romantics (like me) barely get by in this world.

  14. Not a fraud, more like Thomas Edison. Tesla, the company, is his ‘War of the Currents’

    So sure he knows better then anyone else on how to design, make, and build electric cars he won’t listen. Ironic he names his company after Edison’s nemesis, Tesla, but acts like Edison even to the point of running it into the ground with blind belief in his superior abilities and tech. Tesla had the intelligence to sell his patents to George Westinghouse who had the team and discipline to develop them. Sometime soon a JP Morgan like character will be stepping in just like happened to Edison, and we’ll see if Tesla could become a real company.

    We remember Edison for his successes, but he had a ton a failures in inventions and business (remember Edison Ore Company?). He also wanted all the glory for himself and diminished the contributions of his team. Every article I read on Musk companies tells how all the great innovation originally stemmed from Musk’s mind, not the team. Lip service is paid to employee contributions, but they’re always pushed aside by Musk’s ego. For Tesla he keeps touting how he’s getting rid of employees for robots.

    As a taxpayer I am grateful for SpaceX. They significantly dropped the cost of space access and kicked lazy defense contractors in the $#@ to develop better rockets and engines. SpaceX is driving the Russian space program into the dirt and challenging the European program with lower costs and more launches. I guess subsidizing Tesla is part of the fee for cheaper rockets.

    As this all plays out let’s hope no Elephants get harmed this time around.

  15. I would go easy on the tweet criticism. The British cave diver himself was completely out of line himself. Musk made an effort to help and sent what he had before he got to the scene to see the actual conditions. We should be thanking him for the effort and not criticizing him for it. We should thank everybody that went out of their way to save those boys whether the help proved useful or not. As it turned out the right resources arrived on scene and the boys were saved.

    • If that’s all Musk did, try to help, nobody would have had a problem. But then Musk started complaining that the rescuers should have used his sub, and the diver whom Musk called a pedo called him out on this claim – which led to the pedo comment.

      • complaining to who? arguing the merits of his system is something one would expect a provider to do. Its the job of the Thai authorities on site to hear all the arguments and make a decision. Whats the beef?

          • Musk looks the creepy one between them. I wouldn’t want Elon headmaster at my kid’s kindergarten. But the Brit diver looks like he’s got his own pew at the pub – blown the foam off a few too many. I had an uncle who was a commercial diver. Totally fearless, but daft as a badger. You’ve got to be. He got a solo pilot’s ticket, and the same day he was flying under bridges and power lines for fun. Died in his sleep, of course.

          • I am merely responding to what actually was said publicly. So far all I have seen is a public response to a public statement by a diver that was uncalled for. If the diver disliked Musk’s belief that his system was viable the proper place to deal with that is with the Thai authorities. As it was they elected a technology that even the divers were believing would result in mortalities due to dislodged breathing gear and a kid who was sedated. Luckily that did not happen. Musk’s technology if the sub could get in, and that could be tested without a kid on board, would be safer. I don’t know if it was attempted or not, time became a factor with predicted rains. The diver should have kept his thoughts about Musk to himself even recognizing passions can run high in such circumstances. Musk’s response was also over the top. They can share the blame and everybody should just get over it. Its gotten totally ridiculous how snowflaky we have all become over words.

    • I don’t think the diver was one bit out of line. Musk’s “effort” there was a publicity-seeking joke, and he should indeed take his submarine and stick it where the sun don’t shine. Musk’s “apology” will not get him off the hook when it comes to the libel suit. I am a former professional journalist and financial analyst (two separate careers), and know quite a bit about the law of defamation.

      Musk’s “pedo” tweet is a classic, and not in a good way. Under American libel law (which is more publisher-friendly than almost everywhere else), Musk’s committed prima facie libel, meaning that the diver doesn’t have to prove that the tweet was defamatory. Accuse someone of moral turpitude, and even American libel law assumes for purposes of the lawsuit that the statement was libelous.

      From there, it goes to damages. The major governing factors:

      1. Was the statement either true, or the product of an effort to determine whether it was true? The rigor of that standard varies based on whether the target was a public figure or a private citizen. In this case, the fact that Musk deleted the tweet will be taken by the court to be a de facto confession that the accusation was false. Therefore, the truth or reasonable effort to ascertain the truth defense against damages won’t fly.

      2. Did the writer issue a correction or an apology? If so, this can mitigate damages. In Musk’s case, his apology was half-hearted, and began with an accusation against the diver. Word to the wise: If you’re going to apologize, don’t mix your apology with excuses and/or accusations.

      That’s a thumbnail sketch of American libel law. In Thailand, the local law makes libel a criminal offense. If I were “Elon,” I wouldn’t be too eager to travel there anytime soon, and maybe anytime at all. Outside of Thailand, if I were “Elon,” I’d be preparing to write a check. In fact, I’d be pretty surprised if those discussions aren’t already underway, complete with a non-disclosure clause as part of any settlement.

      BOTTOM LINE: “Elon” is an infant, and this time he’s going to pay.

      • As if the only reason that a Western cave diver would spend time in Thailand, land of caves, is because he wants sex with children.

        What about all the Western men who live there because they like sex with adult women? Granted, age of consent in Thailand is 15 (I looked it up, before anyone starts casting aspersions), but that doesn’t mean that Westerners there prey upon women under 18 or 20, however legal.

        Compare and contrast with the State of Washington, where it’s 16, with added provisos for older persons in positions of power. Or with Canada, where it was recently 14, until Bill O’Reilly practically single-handedly shamed the government into raising it to 16. Canada lost a lot of NAMBLA bucks as a result, since the age was the same for both sexes, not justified by the delayed development of boys.

        Oregon’s age of consent for both sexes is 18, with provisos for teenagers within a few years of each other.

        I’m not naive. I know there must be dens of iniquity in which younger boys girls are available. But I don’t know to what extent that’s true for Westerners, as opposed to connected Thai men.

        Many expats have families, and, far from taking pedophilic sex vacations, tourists there often bring their kids. I’m reminded of the English family saved because their young daughter recognized that a tsunami was coming when she saw the sea retreat, having just studied them in school.

        Shows in what gutter Elon’s mind resides.

      • Perhaps. But I’ll wager a week’s pay the Brit diver never pursues a defamation suit. Any takers?

        • If he doesn’t do that, I think the most likely explanation will be one that we’ll never be able to confirm, because the settlement will include a non-disclosure agreement. Musk’s tweet was textbook libel. Unless the diver IS a “pedo,” he’d be a complete fool not to go after Musk and leave a cool half-million (at least) on the table.

  16. He reminds me of Gene Wilder ( Dr Fraanken Steen) trying to get the crowd back after the monster scared the crowd while on stage. So after screwing up with the Thai cave rescue, he immediately announced the next day that he was going to give free water filtration systems to every house in Flint Michigan which needed one. And my name is Frankenstein!

    • Absolutely nothing, which is actually one of the best things you could do. Things would be a little less screwed up if the well-meaning meddlers in the world would just stay home and mind their own business a couple days a week.

  17. I scrawled out this long reply then realized it was counterproductive. Look, Musk might be an asshole, unstable, and generally odd and off-putting but claiming he’s a fraud is ridiculous.

    SpaceX is the most disruptive space program since the shuttle and possibly the Apollo program itself. So is Tesla. It has nothing to do with their economic success or his Twitter behavior.

  18. None of the anti-Musk articles circulating these days, of which this is a typically silly example, mentions the British diver’s comment that Musk was responding to. The driver said that Musk could put his attempt at helping the boys—a mini submarine—“ where it hurts”. Just about as rude as calling someone a pedo. So I think Musk had some reason to reply as he did. Sorry to see WUWT descending to these levels of low-life slander articles. What’s up, Anthony? Your site is not the useful source of skeptic views and links to papers it used to be.

    • The diver’s comment was not only acceptable, but necessary in light of Musk’s craven and transparent publicity stunt. In no way did it justify Musk’s defamation, and I think the courts are going to agree.

      That much said, I do agree with you that there’s been a disquieting change at WUWT. The signal-to-noise ratio is dropping. The signal part is still excellent, but not so much on the noise.

      • Not sure in what way Musk’s offer was “craven.” Or on what evidence it was a “transparent publicity stunt”…could it not possibly have been a well- meaning gesture? I do get tired of people ascribing motives to others in a way that mainly suggests how the ascriber would himself behave. Finally, it’s a shame the diver did not learn more from the apparently tolerant and courteous Thai culture he was immersed in during the rescue…could have saved himself from sullying his heroism with this squalid little exchange.

      • For years WUWT was a haven for those who understood the science, but were not getting wider support because they didn’t understand how to get others to agree. Now we’re getting others to agree who don’t understand the science.

        We are the mining engineers who have dug under the defences of the global warming citadel and have seen it crumble, now it is up to the ravaging hoards to pour through that gap and claim the victory.

    • Nowhere near as rude as “pedo” the suspicion of which is social and career death as the Cliff Richard record victory against BBC demonstrates. Even in Musk’s apology he tried to say that the diver’s comment was a sexual slur which perhaps revealed more about Musk than he realised. A classic ‘Ratner’ moment with luck.

  19. I’ve never been a believer in Tesla, because it is ever really became successful the big guys would “crush him like the bug you are” to quote Mr. Wonderful from Shark Tank.

    SpaceX has been very successful, though.
    They took engines developed by from Marshall Space Flight Center and TRW (Northrop Grumman who bought TRW had some kind of settlement with SpaceX) and took more modern, but not new, methods of lower cost production to reduce costs on the launch vehicle.
    The important innovation was financial. The space biz is very volume dependent – costs decrease substantially with a few more launches a year.

    Elon had the guts to sell the launches at extremely low prices first to get the volume of sales up. He bid the lowest to win the Space Station resupply program which gave him a giant pot of funding to pay for his development and he got a bunch of launches. He got additional funding from NASA for testing that should have been done but wasn’t (Lockheed or Boeing would have likely been expected to shoulder that burden themselves, so SpaceX’s lack of resources worked in their favor).
    There was nothing new technically in what SpaceX did. Elon is not a technical genius. He is a gutsy financier who built a real company which helps us get to space. He’s got to keep the money coming in to keep SpaceX going, but so far he’s done it.

    I just hope the cars and the solar panels don’t end up taking down the space business.

    • I have a question. I see that you call Musk by his first name. Are you a personal acquaintance, or just your random, glassy-eyed worshipper?

    • That’s exactly right. The problem is his costs are rising per launch and will continue to rise per launch as that money dries up.

      The accusations that the big launch companies were fleecing the public and govt are just as crazy as this article about Musk’s dumb tweets.

      The fact is costs can’t really dropthat much unless there’s mass production, and nobody has mass produced heavy-lift vehicles that’s why they’re so expensive to launch.

      I’d bet Musk was trying to slip that one by as well and corner the heavy loft market so he could build his Mars rockets in LEO. But I don’t think it’s going to work out.

  20. I think Musk is a ‘very talented’ con man, nothing more. He is expert at getting the government to fund ‘snake oil’ solutions to non-existent problems. I think if Tesla were still alive, he’d spit in Musk’s face.

  21. Nikola Tesla 1856 – 1943 was “… well known as an inventor and would demonstrate his achievements to celebrities and wealthy patrons at his lab, and was noted for his showmanship at public lectures … Tesla went on to try to develop a series of inventions in the 1910s and 1920s with varying degrees of success … having spent most of his money, he lived in a series of New York hotels, leaving behind unpaid bills …” (Wiki).
    I think there may be a clue there.

    • Nikola Tesla, in his lifetime, literally transformed (pardon the pun) society in the US and the world at large by his invention of the induction electric motor and by being the major advocate for AC power distribution over DC power distribution, which was being publicly advocated at the time by Edison.

      In comparison, Musk . . .

  22. This is old news for followers of Tesla.

    If you want to get current, this recent WSJ article is what’s on the minds of Tesla followers:

    It is bizarre for any manufacturer to ask suppliers for money back on product purchased in the past. This is fueling speculation that Tesla is in a major liquidity crunch. Having watched Tesla closely for some time now, all I can say is that if true, it would not surprise me in the least if Tesla stock went up.

  23. I wouldn’t say he is a total fraud, probably about 97%.
    As I understand it, Space-X launches do reach orbit and perform what is required, something that is hard to fake. Most of his other schemes are already on another planet.

    • Every time I see the landing on the barge, and the dual ground landing, they just seem too…perfect. The barge landing almost seems like its run in reverse, but the exhaust and the waves belie that.

      I don’t know, they just don’t look right.

      • What about the videos of the many first stage return landing attempts that ended in fires and explosions prior to the first successful one? Did those “look right”?

  24. Battery cars don’t work and so Musk will lose. First comes the revolution in battery technology we have been waiting for over 150 years to see, then you build electric cars.

    • As any scientist knows there are two parts to a chemical equation. With hydrocarbons the second part is oxygen from the air, so you only need to carry around the hydrocarbon. That is unless you go into space, where you also need to take the oxygen. Which is why rockets “vehicles” are fundamentally more expensive than jet engine “vehicles” even though the technology is the same.

      However, imagine then, not only having to carry both sides of the equation around with you all the time, but also having to have a very complex matrix to hold the various parts, because instead of taking your energy around as an easily moved liquid (or gas), you’re daft enough to have an equation that works on the surface of an electrode. Now, not only do you need to carry both sides, but you also need to carry the ADDITIONAL weight and cost of a complex mechanism to create a massive surface area electrode and back it into a minuscule space with massive current carrying capacity (so huge conductors).

      So why on earth is anyone even interested in batteries? The reason is simple: they are much more complex and as such there’s a lot more opportunity to research them. So, many academics are besotted with the idea as it means a life time of research grants.

      • Portability, not storage, is the chief advantage of batteries. Building a battery too big to carry defeats the purpose. 🙁

        Also, the minimal friction of open space is a double-edged sword. You don’t need constant thrust to go forward, but you do need retro-thrust to slow down and stop. As opposed to a terrestrial vehicle which needs constant thrust to overcome friction, but can rely on that same friction to come to a stop.

    • The first step is for someone who has the ability to do so to go ahead amend and change the laws of physics in a way that allows all of us to produce and have perpetual motion machines.

  25. A tesla factory is located about 5 miles NW from Tilburg (NL). A 40’000+ m2 flat sort of 2 stores building with 45 (yes forty-five) full size semi-trailer gates.

    Mirror shiny solar cells rooftop, no way to miss it from above.

    I admit car manufacturing is not my thing but… The only places where I’ve seen similar buildings with that many semi-trailer docking ports (gates) are the cargo compounds of big airports.

    Isn’t that too many truck gates for a factory ? Or do I miss the point ?

  26. Elon Musk designed his business model around the receipt of green money… grants, subsidies & loans that Obama was so keen to throw at anything pro-green. To that extent I take my hat off to him. But such a business model is totally unfair because it’s not a viable business model for obvious reasons.

  27. “the company burns through $500,000 per hour. For two years now, Tesla has been suffering an epic talent drain and in May, two top execs” Hmmm. I didn’t realized selling Co2 credits and receiving subsidies paid so well. As far as talent drain: Same thing happened to Lucent Technologies, Inc., was an American multinational telecommunications equipment company. They were burning through cash and the talent (R&D) was the first to jump ship.

    • Normal. Jump ship from a renowned company, you’re a winner.
      Remain in the wake of a bankrupt ex-renowned company, you’re a looser.

  28. He’s not called “Enron” Musk for nothing.
    I’m just waiting for this serial fraudster to be prosecuted.

  29. Big oil will do anything to bring down Musk and his new the way another rocket launch and landing at Sea…news carry that No…

    • So the fact that Musk can’t build a car and sell it for a profit is the fault of “Big Oil”?

      Do you have evidence to support this, or do you just fall for any old form of paranoia?

      • Big oil would have stopped musk long ago but thankfully he had some cash…as musk continues to improve they will throw more and more things at him to discredit and bring him let’s see what kind of a person you all are throwing stones at…
        He builds a new type of car..
        He builds a factory to build the car..
        He builds a factory to build the batteries to power the car…
        He builds rockets that fly cheaper then anyone else ..oh and Returns them to landing site..
        He builds solar roofing materials that will last fifty years…
        Oh and there’s the hyper loop thing…
        And you people want to just throw stones…
        SAD…people like you also stoned Nicola Tesla …

  30. I have been reading the comments mainly about the cars and not his tweets. Hopefully this may have already been mentioned but to give some kind perspective to the comments made about the man from the UK. Here in the UK people have been murdered just for that accusation and no evidence, in fact even a paediatric doctor was attacked because an idiot couldn’t tell the difference. It is an incredibly dangerous thing that Musk has done which could have serious ramifications.

  31. plummeted by $2 billion

    Expensive tweet there, but the left does eat its own if there is any sign of impure thinking.

  32. I’d dispute the fraud allegation… he seems to be the genuine example of a thoughtless dick.

  33. Electric cars are basically a very expensive dixie cup.

    I have an electric car I bought at an auction last year. Once the battery goes, it’s ready for the scrap yard.

  34. I have never thought Eloon Gantry was anything other than a grifter, a smooth talking huckster in hipster clothes, convincing people to finance this, that and the other of his schemes. Among readers here a reference to The Man Who Sold The Moon would not be lost, I just don’t want to elevate Eloon to the level of D.D. Harriman.

  35. Musk specializes in enterprises that rest in large measure on govt subsidies. His hyperloop has been shredded by numerous engineers – not to mention the fact that the passenger carrying capacity of the loop would be less than simply adding another lane to the Interstates connecting the terminal points. In general, engineers point to many things wrong with the hyperloop concept – epansion of stel tubes over hundreds of miles, protection against terror attacks,
    problems with failure of electric power, etc. I don’t believe anyone thinks Musk’s Hyperloop makes any sense. His current traffic loop is a completely different concept – an underground tunnel to avoid city traffic congestion – big deal.
    Th main recent negative publicity Musk earned was when it became known that he had contributed $38,000 to the GOP (he also contributed to the Dems). That led to several on the waiting list for the Model 3 cancelling their orders and selling the Tesla Model S and X cars
    they already own.

    • The fact that people cancelled their deposits and sold their cars when they found out that Musk had made a contribution to a Republican is sufficient to show that most of those buying electric cars are only doing it for virtue signalling.

    • Selling cars means somebody else is buying. Like divestiture of evil company stocks, it just changes the owners and doesn’t hurt the company.

      Until batteries get better, I don’t think electric vehicles will do much more than virtue signal as MarkW notes.

      Just the other day I saw a new vehicle with a sign where the license plate will go that says “ZERO EMISSIONS.” It is sort of true if you only count while driving. The emissions made producing the electricity to run them is a different matter.

      My first impulse was to cheer them on if they used nuclear energy, and then remembered I like the CO2 from burning coal and oil to help plants be greener. 66% of electricity comes from natural gas and coal, 20% from nuclear. I used Wikipedia for these facts, so usual caveats apply.

      One thing I don’t see discussed much is the effects on climate from windmills slowing up the lower atmosphere and only a cursory treatment of bird and bat kills. Also in that category are the solar farms that smoke birds out of the air and keep light from getting to plants underneath solar panels. Are these still issues or have they solved these problems?

      • There are some places where EVs are “zero emissions,” but not very many. I own an EV (along with other vehicles, including a Ram 3500 diesel pickup), bought at a 70% discount truly out of curiosity and car nuttery.

        I was living in Seattle (People’s Republic of) when I bought it, and they get 100% of their juice from a dam on the Skagit River in the northern part of WA State. (Seattle’s overweening virtue signalers want to tear down dams on the Snake and Columbia rivers, but curiously never seem to mention a certain big one owned by the municipal utility. I guess the Skagit River’s salmon aren’t much worth saving.)

        I’ll say this much for the EV: It’s a fun little grocery getter. Summertime range of 70-80 miles on 80% of the battery, and (I expect) about 55 miles in the winter. Cost of the juice is 2-1/2 to 4 cents a mile, compared to 22 to 24 cents a mile for diesel for the truck.

        We have since moved to Klickitat County, WA which gets 89% of its juice from the dams on the Columbia River and windmills in the eastern part of the county, plus 8% from a nuke, and only 3% from coal. Brought the EV with us, so I’ve been zero emissions (or close enough for horseshoes) the whole time. Not that I care.

        Last time I looked, about 62% of U.S. electricity comes from gas and coal, so your number is close enough for horseshoes. You are spot on with 20% nuke, at least the last time I looked. If you want to get all nerdy, here’s the link:

        I am acquainted with windmill workers around here, and have been meaning to ask about the birds but it keeps slipping my mind. My main issue with wind turbines is that they spoil the landscapes of the wide open West. As for their effects on the atmosphere, I’m even more skeptical on that front than I am of the AGW religion. Same goes for the “threat” to plants under solar panels. We’re really not talking about enough ground to matter.

        By the way, I’m not sure that people are selling their Teslas for political reasons. There might be some people getting deposit refunds for that reason, although there are reasons to question whether or not a deposit refund really represents the cancellation of an intent to buy. Apparently, if you get the deposit back, you can turn right around and place an actual order, and tie up $1,000 less cash pending delivery. It’s all very murky, and I think Tesla is more than happy to have it be that way.

        That much said, I suspect I’m in a minority among EV owners, being someone for whom the green politics of it doesn’t count for one little bit. It wouldn’t shock me to find out that some people asked for their deposits back because Musk threw some money at the Republicans in the time-honored corporate fashion. I don’t think we’ll ever know how widespread that is; in any case, I don’t think the cancellation of a deposit represents any kind of deal between a buyer and a third-party seller.

  36. Some things cannot under any circumstances be considered a joke, even if they were intended to be. That is a very serious accusation (it is in the UK anyway) in many ways more serious than a murder accusation. It could completely ruin the victim’s life, even result in his being killed by child-protection activists, if it was believed.

    Musk ought to get out his wallet and pay up for making it. Big time. Along with an apology and retraction in a major newspaper.

  37. He has yet to succeed at anything but somehow spins every failure into proof of imminent success. His only accomplishment has been this decades-long Jedi mind trick.

    People can jump up and down and yell all they want at Tesla et al. But SpaceX and the Falcon Heavy are very poor examples of “He has yet to succeed at anything…” Let’s keep a sense of proportion here.

  38. Please explain to me why someone who developed some software years ago is considered anything but….someone who developed some software years ago?

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