Britain’s Prince William has launched an attack on space tourism, calling for more attention to issues closer to home ahead of the COP26 climate summit.
Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson’s comments aired in an interview with the BBC later Thursday, a day after “Star Trek” star William Shatner became a true space traveler during the second Blue Origin crewed mission.
The mission reenacted the company’s first human flight in July, which included its founder Jeff Bezos from Amazon and was seen as a breakthrough for the emerging space tourism industry.
But Prince William said: “We need some of the greatest brains and minds in the world determined to try to fix this planet, not to try to find the next place to go to live.”
Virgin Galactic, which offers a similar experience of a few minutes of weightlessness and a view of the curvature of the Earth from the cosmos, launched its founder Richard Branson in July, days before Bezos.
William was speaking Sunday ahead of the inaugural Earthshot Prize, his initiative to honor those working on environmental solutions.
Ahead of the COP26 summit in Glasgow, which begins on October 31, he warned world leaders against “smart talk, smart words, but not enough action”.
“Ahead of the curve”
“It would be an absolute disaster if (son) George was sitting here talking to you… in about 30 years, still saying the same thing, because by then it will be too late.”
William’s father, Prince Charles, a longtime environmentalist, also stressed the need for action by leaders rather than words in preparing for the UN climate summit.
“He’s had a really tough race on that, and I think you know he’s proven he’s way ahead of the curve, way beyond his time to warn of some of these dangers. “said William.
“But it shouldn’t be that there is now a third generation that needs to increase it even more.”
Queen Elizabeth, Charles and William are all expected to attend the two-week summit events.
The rally will try to persuade major developing economies to do more to reduce their carbon emissions and get the rich world to fork out billions more to help poorer countries adapt to climate change.
“I want the things that I enjoyed – the outdoor life, nature, the environment – I want it to be there for my children, and not just for my children but for all other children”, William said.
“If we’re not careful, we are stealing our children’s future through what we are doing now. And I think that’s not fair.”
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by DAILYNEWSCATCH staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)