Prince William slams billionaires and calls for end to space race
The Duke isn't exactly a poor man himself but he thinks billionaires should be putting their money towards more important goals
The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, has come out to criticise billionaires - namely the likes of Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk - for how they spend their money, calling for an end to the second space race.
As reported by the Mirror, the quotes themselves are taken from an upcoming podcast interview due to appear later today (October 14) on BBC Newscast, in which the Duke is said to have to have given a fairly impassioned response following William Shatner became the oldest man to visit space.
Shatner, 90, was sent up on a Blue Origin passenger flight - the company owned by Bezos and which saw him fly up to the edge of the Earth's atmosphere - in a trip that was gifted to him for free. Blue Origin passenger seats have been auctioned off for as much as $28 million in the past.
William Shatner's trip aboard Jeff Bezos’ rocket might have been conceived as a publicity stunt, but brushing the edge of the sky left the actor full of wonder. Shatner, 90, talked about space as the final frontier while Bezos listened, still as a statue. https://t.co/LL0QUsHt5t pic.twitter.com/oaKwFinKTh
— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 13, 2021
The Prince issued a fairly direct message to the world’s top two richest men, stating: “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.”
Speaking also on the subject of the Earthshot Prize - an ambitious global initiative to celebrate those working to repair the planet with a series of £1million prizes over the next decade - he went on to say that since having kids, his entire perspective has changed.
He said: “I want the things that I’ve enjoyed – the outdoor life, nature, the environment – I want that to be there for my children, and not just my children but everyone else’s 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. I want to use my little bit of influence/profile to highlight incredible people doing incredible things and will genuinely help fix some of these problems.”
Earthshot has its inaugural award ceremony this Sunday October 17 and with COP26 starting at the end of the month, he warned against falling for “clever speak, clever words, but not enough action”.
He urged that the conference needs to focus on “communicat[ing] very clearly and very honestly about what the problems are and what the solutions are going to be”.
With Musk also set to launch his first Space X crew into space on October 30, the money and resources expended on space tourism as opposed to effective climate action is deeply concerning and Prince William is right to draw attention to it.
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