Prince William is just as frustrated as many others to see billionaires use their money to travel to space when there are so many issues on the ground. In a new interview with the BBC's Newscast, the Duke of Cambridge called out billionaires for their space tourism ventures instead of focusing on climate change. The world's "greatest brains and minds" should be focused on "trying to repair" Earth, William said.
"We need some of the world's greatest brains and minds fixed on trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live," William told the BBC before the first Earthshot Prize is rewarded to those trying to help Earth. "I think that ultimately is what sold it for me - that really is quite crucial to be focusing on this [planet] rather than giving up and heading out into space to try and think of solutions for the future." William said he had no interest in going to space himself, noting that there is a "fundamental question" about the carbon cost of billionaires' space flights.
“We need some of the world’s greatest brains and minds fixed on trying to repair this planet”— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) October 14, 2021
In an exclusive interview with the BBC, Prince William suggests entrepreneurs should focus on saving Earth rather than engaging in space tourismhttps://t.co/P7czJarr7z pic.twitter.com/NeVLxY9QPq
William, 39, added that he believes there is a "rise in climate anxiety" among young people who understand their "futures are basically threatened" all their lives. "It's very unnerving and it's very, you know, anxiety making," William explained. He asked adults to recall how much fun they had outdoors and to know that joy could be robbed from future generations.
He also praised his father, Prince Charles, who has also spoken out against climate change. Charles had a difficult time when speaking out. He "talked about climate change a lot more, very early on, before anyone else thought it was a topic," William said. In the end, he told the BBC's Adam Fleming it would be an "absolute disaster" if his eldest son, Prince George, was still talking about saving the planet in 30 years.
William's comments aired in the U.K. a day after Star Trek actor William Shatner was on the latest flight on the Blue Origin sub-orbital capsule owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Shatner became the oldest person to go to space at 90 years old. After the trip, he told the Today Show that the flight gave him a better appreciation for how "fragile" the Earth is.
"There's this little tiny blue skin that's 50 miles wide," Shatner said Thursday. "And we pollute it, and it's our means of living. And I was struck so profoundly by it. The fragility of this planet - the coming catastrophic event, and we all need to clean this act up now."