Prince William said this Thursday that the billionaires involved in the space tourism race should focus on solving the environmental problems facing our planet.
Prince William criticized Jeff Bezos, the richest person in the world, Elon Musk and Briton Richard Branson, who are competing to usher in a new era of private commercial space travel.
“We need a some of the greatest brains and minds in the world fixated on trying to repair this planet, not on trying to find the next place to go and live,” William said of the space race, speaking to BBC.
The interview comes after Musk talked about future missions to Mars and Bezos described his inaugural spaceflight in July as part of building a road into space “so our kids can build a future.”
“We need to do this to solve the problems here on Earth,” said Bezos, who on Wednesday celebrated the sending of Star Trek actor William Shatner into space on his New Spaceship Shepard.
Talking about environmental issues has become characteristic of the British royal family and the 39-year-old William is following in the same footsteps.
Carlos, the heir to the throne and father of William and Harry, calls for action to be taken to halt climate change and environmental damage long before the issue has become dominant.
“It’s been a tough road for him. He’s had a really tough route and I think he’s been proven to be well ahead of the curve,” said William, quoted by Reuters.
However, for the prince, it doesn’t make sense that a third generation has to keep talking about the same subject.
“For me, it would be an absolute disaster if George [o seu filho mais velho] was sitting here, in about 30 years, whatever it is, still saying the same thing, because by then it will be too late”, he said.
The prince’s personal response to this problem was the creation of the Earthshot Prize, which aims to find solutions through new technologies or policies to the planet’s biggest environmental problems.
The first five winners, who will receive £1 million, will be announced at a ceremony on Sunday.