Prince William slams Jeff Bezos and co's space race, says 'repair this planet first'
'If we're not careful we're robbing from our children's future through what we do now,' the father-of-three said
Prince William has blasted the billionaires who are participating in the race to leave the Earth. He also urged the richest to work “on trying to repair this planet”. The 39-year-old’s comments came soon after Jeff Bezos sent Hollywood legend William Shatner into space on Wednesday, October 13.
William was giving an interview to BBC Newscast's Adam Fleming at Kensington Palace ahead of his inaugural Earthshot Prize awards. Speaking with Fleming, he 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.”
The father-of-three made his remarks hours after Shatner, famous for playing Captain Kirk in ‘Star Trek’, became the oldest person to go into space. After coming back to the Earth from his adventure, the 90-year-old thanked Bezos for the experience. He said, “Everybody in the world needs to do this. To see the blue colour whip by and now you're staring into blackness, that's the thing.”
He continued: “The covering of blue, this sheath, this blanket, this comforter of blue that we have around, we say, ‘Oh, that's blue sky.’ And then suddenly you shoot through it all, and you're looking into blackness, into black ugliness. As you look down, there's your blue down there with the black up there. There is Mother Earth and comfort and there is — is there death? I don't know. Is that the way death is? I don't know. Was that death? Is that the way death is?”
An emotional Shatner also added, “I'm so filled with emotion with what just happened. I hope I never recover from this. It's so much larger than me and life, and it hasn't got anything to do with the little green hand or the little blue orb.”
But William seemed upset because of the new development as 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... to highlight incredible people doing incredible things and will genuinely help fix some of these problems.”
The Duke of Cambridge also commented on the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow that will happen in November. He noted, “I think for COP to communicate very clearly and very honestly what the problems are and what the solutions are going to be, is critical. We can't have more clever speak, clever words but not enough action.”
William also praised his father, Prince Charles, for his work towards the environment and the challenges he faced. He said, “It's been a hard road for [my father]. My grandfather started off helping out WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) a long time ago with its nature work and biodiversity, and I think that my father's sort of progressed that on and talked about climate change a lot more, very early on, before anyone else thought it was a topic. So yes, he's had a really rough ride on that, and I think you know he's been proven to being well ahead of the curve.”
“Well beyond his time in warning about some of these dangers. But it shouldn't be that there's a third generation now coming along having to ramp it up even more. And you know, for me, it would be an absolute disaster if George is sat here talking to you or your successor, Adam, you know in like 30 years' time, whatever, still saying the same thing, because by then we will be too late,” William added.