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Here’s What Elon Musk Really Thinks About Climate Change

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Where is Elon Musk on the climate change issue?

While the world’s second richest man has strongly advocated for fighting against global warming over the years, his thoughts on reversing the trend have varied.

“Climate change is the biggest threat that humanity faces this century, except for AI,” Musk told Rolling Stone in 2018. “I keep telling people this. I hate to be Cassandra here, but it’s all fun and games until somebody loses a f—ing eye.”

Musk’s concern about the climate is shared by 72% of Americans, according to a survey by Yale University. Another survey by the American Association for the Advancement of Science survey found that about 97% of climate scientists concluded that “human-caused climate change is happening.”

A pioneer in clean energy

Musk’s actions as an entrepreneur demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability.

In 2008, Musk became CEO of Tesla, now the world’s largest electric vehicle producer. Additionally, in 2016, Tesla acquired SolarCity — a company started by Musk’s cousins — for $2.6 billion. SolarCity was reorganized into Tesla Energy, a clean energy subsidiary of Tesla, Inc.

What was the motivation behind investing in Tesla?

“The fundamental intention of Tesla, at least my motivation, was to accelerate the advent of sustainable energy,” he said. “That’s why I open-sourced the patents. It’s the only way to transition to sustainable energy better.”

Related: Elon Musk Was Right To Ban Remote Work. Here’s Why

Musk is funding a $100 million carbon removal competition

Musk has consistently funded efforts to fight global warming.

The Musk Foundation is involved with the XPrize Carbon Removal Program, which is funding a carbon removal competition between teams across the globe. According to the website, the goal is to fight climate and rebalance the Earth’s carbon cycle, and the prize is listed as the largest incentive prize in history.

“We want teams to build real systems that can make a measurable impact at a gigaton level. Whatever it takes. Time is of the essence,” Musk said.

Musk on the risks of climate change

Musk has repeatedly warned about the risks of climate change to humanity. In 2015, he made a head-turning speech on the subject at Paris-Sorbonne University.

“If we wait and delay the change (away from fossil fuels), the best case is simply delaying the inevitable transition from sustainable energy. This is the best case if we don’t take action now,” he said. “The worst case, however, is more displacement and destruction than all the wars in history combined. These are the best and worst-case scenarios. This is why I call it the dumbest experiment in history.”

He imagined the possibility of 5 to 10% of the Earth’s landmass being absorbed by water, concluding ominously that “we would be talking about maybe two billion people being displaced and their homes being destroyed and their countries being gone. So I think we should take action.”

Musk said he thought the government needed to play a role in changing the course.

“There needs to be a clear message from government in this regard,” Musk said. “Because the fundamental problem is the rules today incent people to create carbon. This is madness. Whatever you incent, will happen. That is why we are seeing very little effect thus far.

“The government is the setter of rules, the government decides what rules the companies play by. And if we currently have a system that massively incentivizes bad behavior.”

Musk on the Paris Climate Accords

In the early days of the Trump Administration, Musk was part of two advisory councils to the former president. But Musk left the councils after Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accords. The Accords include commitments from all countries to reduce their emissions and work together to adapt to the impacts of climate change, and calls on countries to strengthen their commitments over time.

“Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world,” Musk wrote on Twitter.

Related: What Skills Does Elon Musk Have and Why Is He So Successful?

Musk on the Biden Administration plans for tackling climate change

As the Biden Administration took over the White House in 2021, Musk told Fortune that he was excited about the new president’s goals in tackling the climate crisis.

“I think this is great. I feel very optimistic about the future of sustainable energy with the new administration,” Musk said. “Not that we should get complacent or anything, but the wind is at our back for solving the climate crisis with the new administration.”

Musk bristles at government spending on climate change

But as the details of the Biden Administration’s Build Back Better bill surfaced, Musk began to have a change of heart about the administration. Despite the bill’s provisions on climate change, Musk told the Wall Street Journal: “I would just can this whole bill. That’s my recommendation.”

Why was he against it? Musk expressed concern about the amount of government spending required and how it would affect the deficit.

“Do we need federal support for gas stations? We don’t. So there’s no need for this, for support for a charging network. I would delete it. Delete.”

“It might be better if the bill doesn’t pass because we’ve spent so much money, you know, it’s like the federal budget deficit is insane,” he added.

Musk on a carbon tax

Musk has consistently favored a carbon tax, which is a tax on fossil fuels, especially those used by motor vehicles, intended to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide.

During a February 2021 interview with Joe Rogan, Musk once again declared that he favored a carbon tax. Musk had also discussed a carbon tax at the World Energy Innovation Forum in 2016, noting that a “revolt” against the fossil fuel industry was needed.

“My top recommendation, honestly, would be just add a carbon tax,” Musk told Rogan. “The economy works great. Prices and money are just information. If the price is wrong, the economy doesn’t do the right thing.”

Musk said he wanted to make sure the tax was non-regressive, based on income level so that lower wage earners do not pay a higher rate than higher wage earners. He also floated the idea of tax rebates for lower-wage workers.

“If we just put a price on (carbon emissions), the market will react in a sensible way. But because we don’t have a price on it, it is behaving badly,” Musk said.

Musk said that he had spoken with the Biden Administration about a carbon tax, but he said that the White House told him it would be too difficult politically to get through. However, Biden’s Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, has been vocal about her support for a carbon tax.

Related: 61 Books Elon Musk Thinks You Should Read

Musk vs. Bill Gates on climate action

Musk and Bill Gates are two of the richest men in the world. Both have overwhelming resources to devote to fighting climate change. But each man has taken different routes to help with the crisis, and these differences have caused a feud.

Gates has criticized Musk for his endeavors with exploring outer space rather than using that money for work here on Earth, while Musk has criticized Gates’ strategies and his financial dealings with Tesla. In brief, Gates owns a half-a-billion short position on Tesla.

This came to a head when Gates reached out to Musk about working together on climate change. Musk shut down the proposition pretty quickly.

In a leaked text message exchange (which was later confirmed by Musk as authentic), Musk replied to Gates, “Sorry, but I cannot take your philanthropy on climate change seriously when you have a massive short position against Tesla, the company doing the most to solve climate change.”

Musk now believes there are bigger problems than global warming

Although Musk declared in 2018 that climate change was the most significant threat humanity would face this century, his views seemed to have changed by the summer of 2022 — at least regarding global warming.

On July 15th, Musk tweeted, “Tesla is to protect life on Earth, SpaceX to extend life beyond.”

However, just over one month later on August 25, Musk tweeted, “Population collapse due to low birth rates is a much bigger risk to civilization than global warming. Mark these words.”

He added, ” I think global warming is a major risk.”

Related: Elon Musk’s Stalker Is an Uber Eats Driver Who Says Musk Is Stalking Him

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Better Chip Stock in 2023: AMD vs. STM

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While the last year has been challenging for the chip makers, the outlook for the industry is improving. Moreover, lucrative government initiatives are expected to strengthen the industry further. So, quality stocks Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and STMicroelectronics (STM) could witness stable growth. But which is the better buy in 2023? Let’s find out.

The semiconductor industry witnessed significant supply chain disruptions in 2022. However, according to Peter Voser, the chairman of Swedish-Swiss tech and engineering giant ABB, the global shortage of semiconductors is expected to ease this year.

Moreover, the CHIPS Act is expected to bolster the industry further. It allocates $52.70 billion for American semiconductor research, development, manufacturing, and workforce development. Lucrative federal investments are expected to help the semiconductor industry thrive in the upcoming terms. The global semiconductor industry is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7% until 2030.

Therefore, quality stocks Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) and STMicroelectronics N.V. (STM) are expected to gain significantly. AMD and STM are popular chip makers operating globally.

AMD has gained 16% over the past month, while STM has gained 32.8%. Also, AMD has lost 20.5% over the past three months, while STM has gained 24.5%.

Which stock is a buy? Let’s find out.

Latest Developments

On December 1, 2022, AMD and Viettel High Tech (Member of Viettel Group) announced the successful completion of a 5G mobile network field trial deployment. This collaboration for advanced 5G connection deployment is expected to be strategically beneficial for both companies.

On the other hand, on January 30, 2023, STM launched the world’s first MCU Edge-AI Developer Cloud.

Ricardo De Sa Earp, Executive Vice President of General-Purpose Microcontroller Sub-Group, STM, said, “Our goal is to deliver the best hardware, software, and services to meet the challenges faced by embedded developers and data scientists so that they can develop their edge AI application faster and with less hassle.”

Recent Financial Results

AMD’s revenue came in at $5.60 billion for the fourth quarter that ended December 31, 2022, up 16% year-over-year. However, its non-GAAP operating income came in at $1.26 billion, down 5% year-over-year. Also, its non-GAAP net income decreased marginally year-over-year to $1.11 billion, while its non-GAAP EPS decreased 25% year-over-year to $0.69.

On the other hand, STM’s net revenues came in at $4.42 billion for the quarter that ended December 31, 2022, up 24.4% year-over-year. Its net income increased 66.6% year-over-year to $1.25 billion, while its EPS increased 61% year-over-year to $1.32.

Past and Expected Financial Performance

AMD’s revenue is expected to increase 5.1% year-over-year to $24.71 billion for the current fiscal year 2023, while its EPS is expected to increase 2% year-over-year to $3.58 for the same period. Moreover, its EPS is expected to rise 14.3% per annum for the next five years. Also, it surpassed EPS estimates in three of four trailing quarters.

On the other hand, STM’s revenue is expected to increase 6% year-over-year to $17.10 billion for the fiscal year 2023 and 4.8% year-over-year to $17.92 billion for the next fiscal year 2024. Its EPS is expected to increase 7.7% year-over-year to $4.36 in 2024. Moreover, its EPS is expected to rise 5% per annum for the next five years. In addition, it surpassed EPS estimates in all four trailing quarters.

Profitability

AMD’s gross profit margin of 50.95% is higher than STM’s 47.34%. However, AMD’s EBITDA and net income margins of 24.30% and 9.96% are lower than STM’s 34.76% and 24.55%, respectively. Also, AMD’s ROE, ROA, and ROTC of 7.37%, 2.26%, and 5.72% are lower than STM’s 36.00%, 20.34%, and 20.13%, respectively.

Valuation

In terms of forward EV/Sales, AMD’s 4.85x is higher than STM’s 2.41x. Its forward EV/EBITDA of 14.93x is 114.8% higher than STM’s 6.95x. Furthermore, AMD’s forward P/E of 66.92x compares with STM’s 11.06x.

Thus, STM is relatively more affordable.

POWR Ratings

STM has an overall rating of A, equating to Strong Buy in our proprietary POWR Ratings system. On the other hand, AMD has an overall rating of D, which translates to Sell. The POWR Ratings are calculated considering 118 different factors, with each factor weighted to an optimal degree.

STM has a B grade for Quality. Its trailing-12-month CAPEX/Sales of 19.57% is 679.5% higher than the industry average of 2.51%.

On the other hand, AMD has a D grade for Quality. Its trailing-12-month CAPEX/Sales of 1.80% is lower than the industry average.

In addition, STM has a C grade for Stability, in sync with its beta of 1.30. On the other hand, AMD has an F grade for Stability, with its beta of 1.98.

Of the 92-stock Semiconductor & Wireless Chip industry, STM is ranked #2, while AMD is ranked #88.

Beyond what we’ve stated above, we have also rated the stocks for Growth, Value, Momentum, and Sentiment. Click here to view STM Ratings. Get all AMD ratings here.

The Winner

The supply chain issues in the semiconductor industry are expected to ease this year, which should boost production. Given the steady prospects of the industry, quality stocks STM and AMD should benefit. However, STM’s better financials and attractive valuations make it the better buy here.

Our research shows that the odds of success increase when one invests in stocks with an Overall Rating of Strong Buy or Buy. View all the top-rated stocks in the Semiconductor & Wireless Chip industry here.

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STM shares rose $0.16 (+0.34%) in premarket trading Wednesday. Year-to-date, STM has gained 32.75%, versus a 6.29% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.


About the Author: Riddhima Chakraborty

Riddhima is a financial journalist with a passion for analyzing financial instruments. With a master’s degree in economics, she helps investors make informed investment decisions through her insightful commentaries.

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These Co-Founders Built a Mobile Farmers Market With a Mission

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“The world was in shambles,” Prosperity Market co-founder Carmen Dianne says, recalling the pandemic and social unrest of 2020. “It was really hard to see everything that was happening, to know that 41% of Black-owned businesses were closing. The grocery store lines were so long, just getting food was even more difficult than it had been previously.”

Dianne and her friend Kara Still didn’t want to stand by amid the tumult — so they took action.

To address the economic instability and food insecurity facing the Black community, the Los Angeles-based duo co-founded Prosperity Market, a mobile farmers market featuring Black farmers, food producers, entrepreneurs, artists, florists and chefs.

At the time, neither Dianne nor Still had experience in the food industry. Dianne was a makeup artist; Still worked as a fashion designer. Yet coming into the food space “with fresh eyes” has been advantageous for the co-founders, who’ve been ready to question and challenge things from the start.

Entrepreneur sat down with Dianne and Still to learn how they built Prosperity Market while navigating an industry that was entirely new to them — and hear about the exciting initiative they have planned next.

Related: Sorel Liqueur’s Founder Shares His Multi-Million-Dollar Comeback

Black business owners suffered the greatest earnings losses during the Covid-19 pandemic.

More than 800,000 Los Angeles County households (almost a quarter of the total), experienced food insecurity over the 12 months ending July 2022, up from 17% in 2021, according to a study released by Public Exchange.

And a report from the U.S. Small Business Administration found that Black business owners suffered the greatest earnings losses during the Covid-19 pandemic: They lost between 11% and 28% while white business owners saw decreases in the 2-15% range.

Dianne and Still came up with a two-pronged approach to tackle the problems of food insecurity and economic instability in the LA area. They’d take healthful and affordable food options directly into the communities that needed them — and partner with Black businesses and farmers to make it happen.

The co-founders’ vision was clear from the start: They wanted to launch a mobile trailer, largely inspired by Dianne’s days as a makeup artist on set, where snack trailers were common, to transport the products to local communities.

But as newcomers to the food space, they had to contend with unknowns along the way, and they soon realized that such an ambitious endeavor would require the kind of funding that would only come once they started to prove themselves. That’s when they landed on the idea for the pop-up markets.

The co-founders consider the required pivot a “blessing in disguise,” as it allowed them to familiarize themselves with the market, connect with vendors and build relationships with different communities.

Image credit: Courtesy of Prosperity Market

Related: The 10 Best Books for Black Entrepreneurs, by Black Entrepreneurs

“Because we hadn’t intended to start this, it wasn’t like we had a business savings fund.”

In the first six months after they came up with the idea for Prosperity Market, the co-founders had to learn how to do it all — from getting permits to finding funding.

“[Funding] took some figuring out,” Still says, “because we hadn’t intended to start this, it wasn’t like we had a business savings fund. So really what it looked like once we were getting started was friends and family outreach.”

The inaugural market opened in February 2021, and in the lead-up to launch, Dianne and Still prepared relentlessly, researching everything from farmers to food to economics.

Dianne and Still also crafted an aesthetic to help Prosperity Market stand apart from traditional farmers markets. “[Our creative backgrounds] informed our branding and the experience that we want to create, and the theme, continuity and way we show up,” Still explains.

But one thing the co-founders hadn’t banked on? Just how difficult it would be to find Black farmers.

“It was like, Okay, we need more Black-owned businesses,” Dianne says. “We need essential Black-owned businesses — we’ll find Black farmers. And then we had trouble doing that, and we had to learn about the history of Black farmers and why it was this way. So that added another layer to our work.”

Image credit: Courtesy of Prosperity Market

Related: 6 Ways to Offer Allyship to Black Entrepreneurs

“You can get your hot food and shop for your groceries and produce all at the same time.”

Through it all, the co-founders’ dedication, flexibility and creativity have helped Prosperity Market gain traction and find success.

As word about Prosperity Market spread, friends and family continued to support Dianne and Still’s venture — and so did their other fans. In 2022, the co-founders launched a crowdfunding campaign on the platform Fund Black Founders with the help of a grant from the JLH Social Impact Fund.

It was a triumph and allowed them to raise enough money to fund the mobile trailer they’d dreamed up at the beginning of their journey.

“That was such a transformational experience for us,” Dianne says. “It taught us a lot. It is not for the faint of heart, let me tell you, but we did it: We raised over $111,000 for our mobile trailer.”

The long-awaited trailer will be 48 feet long with a farmers market that’s set up to look like a produce aisle with shelves full of goods, and a kitchen in the back, which Prosperity Market will rent out to different chefs and food entrepreneurs.

“So it’s a pop-up food truck all in one trailer,” Dianne says. “You can get your hot food and shop for your groceries and produce all at the same time.”

Image credit: Courtesy of Prosperity Market

Related: Black Women Entrepreneurs, Not Banks, Helped Me Keep My Company Going During the Pandemic

“It takes something to be able to pull yourself up every day, no matter how things are going.”

As the co-founders look to Prosperity Market’s exciting future, they consider capacity one of the greatest hurdles they’ll have to overcome.

“We have all the ideas in the world,'” Dianne says. “There’s so much we want to do, but then [we] have to execute it, and we just need more operating capital.”

“Because everything takes time,” Still adds. “You write it down, plan it out, strategize and then [it takes] time to actually execute, and there’s always things that come up, and with such a small team, we can only do so much at once.”

The road to Prosperity Market has had its twists and turns, teaching the co-founders the value of practicing patience every day in all areas of their lives.

“You’ll need patience with that vision, patience with all of the different types of people that you’ll be working with and patience with yourself,” Still explains, “because it is not an easy process. It takes something to be able to pull yourself up every day, no matter how things are going, because no one makes your schedule but you.”

It also underscored the importance of having a solid support system along the way.

“We have great mentors and advisors and people we can go to when we get stumped with something,” Dianne says. “We have a supportive community of people who want to see us win. And if it was not for that, I don’t know that we would be continuing this.”

Prosperity Market will hold its next market on Saturday, February 25, 2023, its second anniversary, at the California African American Museum. Its virtual market will be open the week before the pop-up to provide an opportunity to pre-order online and schedule a pick-up at the market or satellite location.

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You’re Not Shadowbanned — Your Content Just Isn’t Working.

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If you’re anything like me, the phrase “I’m shadowbanned” keeps you up at night. It’s like a bad dream that keeps recurring. Those sleepless nights are not due to the gravity of the client’s situation, but because of what the likely scenario actually is.

As the world changes, so do algorithms. Platforms push out native content when the data informs them that this is something that needs to be seen by more users. What does that mean for a content creator? Yesterday’s content strategy may not apply to today. As people adapt and grow, their need for different consumable content changes, too.

At my company, Innovo, we’re constantly being asked to reach out to our reps at the respective social media platforms to have clients’ accounts assessed for any potential marks causing lower viewership. In our experience, 9 times out of 10, the content is underperforming due to the content itself.

Of course, there are situations where a client is actually being throttled by Instagram or TikTok due to a violation the creator may or may not have been aware of, but more often than not, the best course of action to overcome the “shadowban scaries” is to pivot your content and keep going. Thanks to the rapid spreading of this mythical scapegoat for low viewership, it’s easy to get convinced that what is happening to you is just that.

Sift through Google for five minutes and you’ll see a mountain of “social media gurus” telling you how to “fix” a shadowban. Let’s break down a couple of ways to refocus your thinking and break past this antiquated and overused excuse.

Related: It’s Easy to Avoid a Dreaded Instagram Shadowban. Just Don’t Act Like a Bot.

The zoom out approach

I preach this macro-driven thought process for most things in business. It’s especially relevant in the case of social media. With the advent of TikTok, brands and content creators of all niches worry about the individual video’s success. By focusing on such a micro-target, it’s extremely easy to get caught up in low viewership, low engagement and, ultimately, believe you’re shadowbanned.

If you retrain your mindset to think about the data on a zoomed-out approach, it’s much easier to see the impact of staying relentlessly consistent. Review content and metrics on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis to determine if growth is occurring. Chances are, despite an individual video underperforming, macro growth is still happening. If it’s not, then it’s time to adjust the actual style of content and posting schedule.

Don’t be afraid to pivot

Especially with short-form content avenues such as TikTok, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts, pivoting is vital to long-term success.

I like to do an exercise when thinking about content where I first create an understanding of my top-of-funnel content bucket. This is something as wide as sports, food, beauty, etc. (Note: If you’re struggling with this, you’re not ready to start creating yet). Then I put two minutes on a timer and write as many sub-content buckets off of that first topic. For example, let’s say I’m a food creator. Things like food reviews, unexpected but great food combinations, home-cooked meals vs. restaurant versions, etc. Those buckets should be a mix of what you’re already creating as well as new ideas.

As one type of content is no longer performing, take slight pivots and adjust the content to stay in the overall broad topic (in this case, cooking), but change the specific content within that. You can also consider keeping similar videos to what you’re currently doing but changing the actual video style, such as switching from text-on-screen to narration or from POV to a selfie video. You can always revert back to your old ways and do a mix of several ideas, but we’ve found not being afraid to pivot is an extremely effective way to continued success with short-form content. Stagnation means death.

Related: I Built a Social Media Following of 1 Million in 30 Days. Here’s How You Can, Too.

Build with intention

As you’re gaining traction and strategizing how you’re going to create and when you’re going to post, it’s important to continue focusing on building with intention. There are tons of companies out there offering mass engagement on social platforms. While that may come off as enticing at first, cutting corners and being inauthentic will eventually damage your brand. We all want followers and higher engagement, but if you’re not focusing on the value-add to consumers and instead focusing on following and unfollowing thousands of accounts a day, you won’t sustain an audience.

Although shadowbanning isn’t as common as people think, the two below ways are the biggest drivers to actually seeing a temporary shadowban:

  1. Frequent spam-like engaging and following of accounts. Focus on organic and intentional growth. Engage with your audience and with potential consumers through hashtag searching and recommended content. Don’t mass-follow people hoping you get a follow back. This is a great way to receive a temporary decrease in reach.
  2. Follow the individual platforms’ Community Guidelines. Posting content that is not appropriate for general viewing will result in temporary bans (and can lead to permanent suspensions). These apps will automatically flag these kinds of videos and content moderation staff will then take a closer look at your profile.

In short, don’t post illegal or graphic content and don’t spam people. If you’re being intentional with what you create and how you grow, you likely aren’t shadowbanned and aren’t going to be.

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that users are distracted by other content as well as things happening in their everyday lives. Create content with that in mind and instead of trying to compete, carve out a unique differentiator for your accounts. It is your responsibility to build a safe environment for your followers, no one else’s. If you drift from that approach, you may receive an actual shadowban — but remember, in the case of checking all of the boxes, you’re probably not shadowbanned, it might just be time to make a change.

Related: How TikTok Changed the Social Media Game With Its Unique Algorithm

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