It's not exactly news that Elon Musk can be impulsive on Twitter. His recklessness often gets him in hot water (see the recent SEC investigation over his tweet about taking Tesla private or the whole "pedo guy" Thai cave diver saga). But every once in awhile Musk's spur-of-the-moment tweets take a sharp turn towards the heart-warming. Yesterday offered a perfect example.
When popular YouTuber Jimmy Donaldson (who goes by MrBeast on the site) reached 20 million subscribers in May, his followers bombarded him with requests to mark the occasion by planting 20 million trees. Donaldson decided to take them up on the challenge
Rounding up a ton of fellow YouTubers, including ex-NASA engineer Mark Rober, Donaldson developed #TeamTrees, a meme-driven campaign to raise $20 million for the Arbor Day Foundation so the venerable organization could plant 20 million trees to fight climate change. (Check out Rober's fun explanation of why trees are such incredible "vacuum bags" for sucking up CO2 here).
If you're an ancient 30-something like me this might all sound like strange but positive broadcasts from the distant planet of YouTube. But Musk, it seems, is down with the kids. After asking for details about what trees would be planted where, the Tesla and SpaceX boss dove right in, offering a hefty sum to support the effort (hat tip to Business Insider).
Ok, sounds legit, will donate 1M trees-- Treelon (@elonmusk) October 29, 2019
A grateful Donaldson dubbed Musk, "Treelon" in response and the Tesla boss, apparently pleased with the nickname, changed his name on Twitter to match.
All of which is entertainingly quirky, but it's also straight up generous. Musk's largesse apparently spurred others in the tech community to join in the effort. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey pitched in 150,000 trees and YouTube has agreed to match the next $1 million in donations. As of this moment, the campaign has raised nearly $8 million.
If your interested in helping out, you can pitch in any amount here.