With a single Tweet on Tuesday night, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took one YouTuber’s global crowdfunding project straight into ‘ludicrous mode.’
Last week, YouTuber Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson officially announced the ‘#TeamTrees’ initiative, aiming to raise $20 million by the end of 2020 to help the Arbor Day Foundation plant 20 million trees around the world.
Donaldson described the project as the “largest YouTube collaboration of all time,” partnering with some of the world’s most prolific video creators to reach tens of millions of followers.
As of Monday, with massive support from the YouTube community, the effort had already surpassed the $6 million – and 6 million tree – mark, but on Tuesday evening, a brief Twitter exchange with YouTuber Marques ‘MKBHD’ Brownlee led the notoriously mercurial Musk to commit $1 million on the spot to the #TeamTrees campaign.
Late Monday, @MrBeast quote-retweeted an image from @LoserFruit, adding the comment “And so far we have planted almost 6 million.. THAT’S INSANE!”
Musk replied, unprompted, “Sounds cool. Where are the trees being planted & what kind of trees?”
Brownlee wrote back to Musk, “Goes straight to the Arbor Day Foundation for planting a tree somewhere ‘in a forest of high need’ around the globe,” with a thumbs-up emoji.
And a day later, Musk came back to Twitter to reply, “Ok, sounds legit, will donate 1M trees.”
The donation already appeared on the #TeamTrees leaderboard as of late Tuesday evening, with Musk leaving just a two-word note on the website: “For Treebeard.”
Musk also proceeded to change his Twitter name to ‘Treelon.’ His profile picture at publication time is an image of trees in a forest.
Breaking news on Twitter is nothing new for Musk and his 29 million followers; exactly one year ago Tuesday, he Tweeted that he’d ‘deleted his Tesla titles’ and was to be known as the ‘Nothing of Tesla.’
In December 2016, Musk famously announced ‘The Boring Company’ in light of a frustrating experience in southern California traffic. “I am actually going to do this,” he deadpanned – and then he did.
Musk wasn’t the only prolific Twitter user to make a massive contribution to the #TeamTrees campaign on Tuesday evening. An hour after Musk’s donation was posted, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s name appeared on the page’s leaderboard as well, with a contribution of $150,000 – representing 150,000 additional trees. (As of publication time, it was not immediately verifiable that Dorsey himself had made the donation.)
As of publication time, #TeamTrees has already surpassed the $7.7 million mark. You can make a donation to the campaign here.