The Duke of Cambridge wants to save our planet before finding new ones.
In an interview with the BBC’s Newscast, Prince William called out billionaire entrepreneurs currently engaging in a space tourism race.
“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 said.
In recent months, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos flew to the edge of space aboard his own Blue Origin sub-orbital capsule. Sir Richard Branson also flew to space in his own rocket. Billionaire Elon Musk has also been building a spaceflight business.
On Wednesday, “Star Trek” actor William Shatner flew aboard a Blue Origin rocket to become the oldest person to enter space, at age 90.
But for his part, Prince William is far more concerned with the troubles facing Earth, particularly the climate crisis.
“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,” he said, adding that he had “absolutely no interest” in going to space and that there is a “fundamental question” about the carbon footprint of space flights.
William also warned that among young people there is “a rise in climate anxiety,” explaining that their “futures are basically threatened the whole time.
“It’s very unnerving and it’s very anxiety making.”
The prince challenged adults in power to “remember how much it meant to be outdoors and what we’re robbing those future generations of.”
William will soon award the inaugural Earthshot Prize, celebrating the people trying to find solutions of environmental sustainability, with a reward of £1 million, or approximately C$1.7 million.