It is common knowledge that tech titans Bill Gates and Elon Musk have a famously complicated relationship, but the Microsoft co-founder admits that underestimating Elon Musk is “not a good idea.” According to NDTV, Mr Gates recently told The New York Times opinion writer Kara Swisher on her ‘Sway’ podcast that Elon Musk’s electric car company Tesla has done a lot for climate change. He also added that unlike Mr Musk, he himself was not a “Mars person” and did not think of rockets as a solution.

“Well, it’s important to say that what Elon did with Tesla is one of the greatest contributions to climate change anyone’s ever made,” said Mr Gates. “And you know, underestimating Elon is not a good idea.”

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However, the Microsoft co-founder, who is currently worth more than $130 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, added that while Tesla was doing great work on “easy stuff, like passenger cars”, tackling climate change would require focus on other industries.

“We’re basically not doing enough on the hard stuff: steel, cement, meat,” he said, according to CNBC. “And sadly, the things people think about – the electricity, passenger cars – are a third of the problem. So we have to work on the two-thirds. And if all you pay attention to is those short-term metrics, not the green premiums across the board, then you miss out on what is the longest lead time, which is the hard stuff.”

Mr Gates’ comments came after Elon Musk’s appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast, where he was dismissive of the Microsoft co-founder’s knowledge of electric vehicles. “He didn’t know what he was talking about,” Elon Musk said when asked to react to Mr Gates’ comments about electric vehicles not being good enough to carry heavy cargo over long distances, according to Electrek.

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