But he said of Musk, “there are times when he’s clearly right.”
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said last year that the United States should consider suspending funding to the UN’s New York headquarters because of what he described as its anti-Israel bias. Musk made the comments last May, in an interview with the Financial Times.
In a reflection of how much love there is for Musk — who also runs SpaceX and is a leader in climate change research — the news report was buried in the middle of the paper’s homepage.
The rest of the newspapers’ profile highlighted the UN’s work on global health and corruption, among other topics.
But Zakaria, a CNN International editor and a the Washington Post columnist, got around to Musk.
He mentioned the UN’s dispute with Israel in a column headlined “Is the UN anti-Israeli?”
“Mr. Musk doesn’t own a car or jet,” Zakaria wrote, “but he makes sense when he says the UN should keep its operations in New York after the expiration of its Paris climate pact, which expires in 2020.
“It is an irreversible treaty,” Zakaria wrote. “The United States will have to withdraw from it in order to adopt policies against greenhouse gas emissions.”
Zakaria said he agreed with Musk that the UN needs to be restructured, but — as an American and as a newspaper reporter — he questioned Musk’s phrasing.
He noted that the billionaire entrepreneur compared the United Nations to an anti-nuclear plant lobby group.
“To say the UN should stop funding until it cuts its bias is a bit like demanding that you abandon nuclear power until it gets rid of its nuclear weapons,” Zakaria wrote.
But he added that there are times when Musk is “clearly right.”
“Trump is a personal hero of mine, and there are times when he’s clearly right,” Zakaria wrote. “So it is especially unfair to belittle Mr. Musk on this basis, and frankly naive to see him as somehow unaware of the potential implications of his words.”
Back in 2016, Musk tweeted that “The only realistic way to address climate change is through total decarbonization, and the only way to achieve that is with a rules-based system.”
The only realistic way to address climate change is through total decarbonization, and the only way to achieve that is with a rules-based system. https://t.co/5JEuj8Qijh — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 23, 2016
Zakaria added: “The message from Musk is clear: If the UN continues with anti-Israel bias, we should stop giving.”
Zakaria also said that he agrees with Musk that climate change is real and that there is a need for immediate action. He wrote that “UN action to promote energy efficiency could be undermined if those who need energy are effectively denied.”
The Guardian has not reported the news article about Musk in its listings.
In other items in this roundup, the news is that the Internal Revenue Service canceled all tax refunds issued to babies from Bethany Christian Services over what it called “various administrative errors.”