Silicon Valley’s tech elites are in “escape mode” ahead of an impending catastrophic climate collapse, according to a top US health official.

Doug Rushkoff, a leading digital age theorist, early cyberpunk, and professor at the City University of New York, has claimed that wealthy tech entrepreneurs are planning missions to Mars, creating island bunkers, or moving to higher ground to escape ‘The Event’ — a code for catastrophic climate collapse.

In an interview with The Guardian, Rushkoff also said that the creation of a virtual “metaverse” is fulfilling the prophecy that the tech revolution was always about preparing us for a world in which it was no longer possible to go outside.

Rushkoff’s most recent book, Survival of the Richest: Escape Fantasies of the Tech Billionaires, strings together a series of observations about Silicon Valley’s billionaires.

“For them, the future of technology is about only one thing: escape from the rest of us,” he wrote in the book’s opening pages, adding:

“They’ve reduced technological progress to a video game that one of them wins by finding an escape hatch.”

Tech Elites Are Spending Billions to Prepare For Environmental Collapse

While the notion of escape may seem fanciful, in recent years, a few Silicon Valley billionaires have demonstrated how serious they are about escaping environmental collapse.

Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and Tesla, and Jeff Bezos of Amazon have floated the idea of colonizing Mars. Peter Thiel has built his own bunker, in New Zealand, while Mark Zuckerberg has spent millions on his metaverse plans.

According to Rushkoff, the problem with this behavior is that it does not and will not work (not to mention how selfish it is). “They’re not getting off the planet, they’re not going to live forever. They’re just living out their fantasies. They are eugenicists,” he said.

The tech barons, it seemed to Rushkoff, had decided to avoid using their creations to transform society, as their predecessors in the tech world had done after World War II when the US government nurtured Silicon Valley and companies such as Hewlett-Packard and Fairchild Semiconductor.

Instead, these new tycoons wanted to use their wealth to achieve individual escape velocity.

Rushkoff Believes Government Warnings About Tech Are Late

Rushkoff also claimed that the government warnings about tech, including the recent acknowledgment of social media harm to minors, are long overdue.

“What happened to the cigarette companies will eventually happen to the social media companies,” he said, claiming that “they’ve had all the research for 20 years, and they’ve been knowingly saying this stuff is not harmful when they know it to be harmful.”

Rushkoff isn’t a fan of the US Surgeon General’s warnings, either.

“They often come off as controlled, restrained, and in favor of slowing down the wheels of progress. It often comes off with a squeamish, hand-wringing, pearl-clutching tone,” he said, adding:

“It’s not that it’s just unattractive. It’s infantilizing and it doesn’t help anybody. I want to become Musk-ian myself at that point. It’s like, ‘Fuck it, fine!’”

Last week, Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued an advisory warning about the potential harm social media poses to the mental health of children and adolescents.

In reality, the only way to rebel is not with the assistance of government regulation, but by exercising personal choices and responsibility, he said.

The way to resist the modern world’s ubiquitous tech challenges and dystopian futures, according to Rushkoff, is to be human and aware.

“Be social, get your feet on the ground, make eye contact, have sex, meet people, breathe the air. The more real-life ballast you have, the less brittle, abstracted, ideological, and social media-mediated universe bears upon your daily existence,” he stated.

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