Prince William says what we’re all thinking about space tourism: Stop it
The Duke of Cambridge has said that the world’s billionaires should be directing their efforts (and funds) to tackling the problems we have here on earth.
Prince William has emerged as a voice of reason in response to the push for ‘space tourism’, saying that billionaire entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk, Sir Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos should instead be “trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live”.
The comments were made in a BBC interview ahead of the first Earthshot Prize, which offers a £50 million prize fund to organisations tackling climate change. They came after William Shater became the oldest person to visit space this week on billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin sub-orbital capsule.
He said it’s more important to focus on our own planet, “rather than giving up and heading out into space to try and think of solutions for the future”, and that he would have no interest in visiting space himself. He also raised the issue of the massive carbon emissions of space travel.
The Prince spoke too about the problem of eco-anxiety in children. “If we’re not careful we’re robbing from our children’s future through what we do now, and I think that’s not fair.”
He mentioned the influence his own father and grandfather had on his view of the environment growing up, and that they were very much ahead of their time. However, he warned, if his own son, Prince George, was still having to raise the same issues in 30 years time because no action had been taken, “it would be an absolute disaster”.
The Prince’s comments provide a welcome contrast to the celebrities and super-rich who have reportedly bought tickets for future space trips, which are reported to cost extraordinary sums.
Branson’s Virgin Galactic space flights due to begin next year are reported to cost between $250,000 and $450,000 a seat, and Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Justin Bieber, and Lady Gaga have all apparently bought tickets.
But rather than pouring money into what often seems little more than a masculinity contest between three billionaires, imagine the difference this money could make if applied to the problems the world is currently facing?