Prince William slams space tourism and says billionaires should focus on saving Earth

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CNN 14 October, 2021 - 12:48pm

How old is William Shatner?

William Shatner, who at 90 years old just became the oldest person to travel to space, received flight wings from Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos alongside the three other passengers. cnn.comWilliam Shatner goes to space: Live updates

Prince William: Saving Earth should come before space tourism

BBC News 14 October, 2021 - 05:12pm

Prince William appears to have taken a swipe at the space tourism espoused by some of the world's most high-profile billionaires.

Speaking to the BBC, William said: "We've seen everyone trying to get space tourism going ... 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."

The Duke of Cambridge's comments — which were broadcast in full on Thursday — come in the same week that the 90-year-old actor William Shatner was launched into space by Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin.

In a face to face conversation with Bezos after returning to Earth, Shatner said: "What you have given me is the most profound experience I can imagine. I'm so filled with emotion about what just happened." Bezos himself undertook a spaceflight on July 20.

On July 11, a Virgin Galactic spacecraft carrying the billionaire Richard Branson, among others, completed a spaceflight. Another billionaire involved in the sector is Elon Musk, through SpaceX.  

While these companies have generated a significant amount of publicity and interest, it appears the second in line to the British throne will not be using their services anytime soon.

William was asked by the BBC if he would like to be a space tourist one day. "I have absolutely no interest in going that high," he replied. The BBC also reported him as stating there was a "fundamental question" related to the carbon footprint of such trips. 

Bezos has himself addressed concerns around the kinds of endeavors firms such as Blue Origin are now involved in.

In an interview with CNN in July prior to his trip, it was put to him that critics were calling such flights to space "joyrides for the wealthy" and that his time, money and energy would be better spent focusing on Earth-based problems.

"Well, I say they're largely right," he replied. "We have to do both … we have lots of problems in the here and now on Earth and we need to work on those, and we always need to look to the future — we've always done that as a species, as a civilization. We have to do both."

The Duke of Cambridge is not the only member of Britain's royal family to express views on the environment. In Sept. 2020, his father, Prince Charles, called for a "Marshall-like plan for nature, people and planet."

Earlier this week, Charles told the BBC: "My old Aston Martin, which I've had for 51 years, runs on, can you believe this, surplus English white wine and whey from the cheese process."

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Prince William blasts billionaire space race, urges focus on saving Earth

NBC News 14 October, 2021 - 05:12pm

In an interview with the BBC that aired early Thursday, the Duke of Cambridge warned of a "rise in climate anxiety" among young people around the world whose "futures are basically threatened" by the climate crisis.

“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," said William, 39.

A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge told NBC News they had nothing more to add.

The royal's comments came just a day after "Star Trek" actor William Shatner became the oldest person to go to space, traveling aboard the Blue Origin rocket and capsule developed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Shatner said Thursday that the trip reinforced his conviction that people need to take better care of the planet.

“It’s so fragile,” Shatner, who played Capt. James T. Kirk in the original series of “Star Trek,” said exclusively on NBC’s “TODAY.”

“The fragility of this planet — the coming catastrophic event, and we all need to clean this act up now,” he added.

"It's their money," he told NBC News in an interview back in July. "They can do what they want with it."

Bezos, the world's richest man, described his own inaugural space flight as part of building a road to space “so that our kids and their kids can build a future.”

“We need to do that to solve the problems here on Earth,” he said in July.

But William urged a more grounded approach. It is "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,” he told the BBC.

William has pursued an active environmental agenda as part of his royal duties, as have other members of the royal family.

His father, Prince Charles, has done decades of environmental work.

“It’s been a hard road for him. He’s had a really rough ride on that, and I think he’s been proven to being well ahead of the curve,” William told the BBC.

The duke said it would be an “absolute disaster” if his own son, Prince George, is “sat here talking” about saving the planet in 30 years’ time.

William created the Earthshot Prize, which aims to find solutions to the planet's problems through new technologies or policies. The first five winners, who will each collect $1.4 million, will be announced at a ceremony on Sunday. 

The interview also comes as world leaders prepare to gather in Glasgow, Scotland, at the end of the month for COP26, the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Queen Elizabeth and other royals will attend the summit, which has been billed as make-or-break for the global climate fight.

"We can’t have more clever speak, clever words but not enough action,” William said.

But U.S. climate envoy John Kerry has tempered expectations for the conference, conceding in an interview with The Associated Press published Thursday that the talks will likely end with nations still short of their targets for emissions cuts.

Prince William Slams Space Travel & the ‘World’s Greatest Brains’ Pursuing It

Just Jared 14 October, 2021 - 05:12pm

Prince William does not seem happy with the billionaires who are pursuing space travel these days.

Click inside to read what Prince 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,” Prince William said while being interviewed by the BBC. “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.”

Bezos himself has responded to criticism that he’s using his money to explore space and not help Earth.

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