Prince William says he's a 'stubborn optimist' about climate change
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Speaking to BBC Newscast ahead of the announcement of the first Earthshot prize last year, Prince William had noted that the “greatest minds” on Earth need to focus on trying to combat climate change. The Earthshot prize, which was launched by Prince William and Sir David Attenborough, is £1 million grant awarded to each winner for solutions to the world’s greatest climate challenges.
Described as the “Nobel Prize for environmentalism”, the collective £50million award is the biggest environmental prize ever.
In the interview, Prince William said: “I want the things that I’ve enjoyed, the outdoor life, and the sort of nature and environment… I want that to still be there, not just for my children, but for everybody else’s children.
“If we’re not careful we’re robbing from our children’s future, what we do now, and that’s not fair.
“The idea that the space race is on at the moment, we’ve seen everyone trying to get space tourism going.
“It’s the idea that we need the world’s greatest minds and brains fixed on trying to repair this planet and not trying to find the next one to go and live.
“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.”
This appears to be a dig at the various companies looking to launch their own space programmes, with the goal of either creating a new space tourism industry or the ambitious goals of colonising neighbouring planets like Mars.
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, has made it his mission to make humanity a multi-planetary species, through a colony on Mars.
The richest man in the world, with a net worth of upwards of $213billion(£174billion) believes SpaceX will be able to send a crewed flight to Mars in 2026.
Meanwhile, Blue Origin, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s space company, is looking to make space tourism cheaper and more reliable through reusable launch vehicles.
Earlier this year, Blue Origin successfully launched five paying customers into space on its New Shepard vehicle, where passengers experienced a few minutes of weightlessness while in sub-orbit.
William told Newscast’s Adam Fleming he had “absolutely no interest” in going as high as space, adding there was a “fundamental question” over the carbon cost of space flights.
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He also added that his son, Prince George of Cambridge, has also begun taking part in conservation activities in school.
Prince William said: “George at school has recently been doing litter picking.
“He was already showing that he was getting a bit confused and a bit sort of, annoyed, by the fact that they went out litter picking one day, and then the very next day they did the same route same time, and pretty much all the same litter, they picked back up again.”
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