Prince William appears to have taken a leaf out of his father’s and brother’s books by expressing his woke, green side, saying that entrepreneurs should be spending their time and resources saving the planet rather than going into space.
The Duke of Cambridge, the second in line to the British throne, made the comments in an interview with the BBC on Thursday.
“The idea 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 some of the world’s greatest brains and minds fixed on trying to repair this planet and not trying to find the next place to go and live,” Prince William said.
“We need some of the world’s greatest brains and minds fixed on trying to repair this planet”
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) October 14, 2021
“[It] 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 into space, worrying there was a “fundamental question” over the amount of carbon dioxide emitted during space travel.
While not mentioning any figures specifically, the prince likely was alluding to billionaires Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, and Elon Musk, who have launched their own off-planet endeavours, including space tourism.
Prince William made the comments after 90-year-old William Shatner, of Star Trek fame, recently returned from a flight on Bezos’s Blue Origin rocket, making him the oldest man to have travelled into space.
“We’re just at the beginning, but how miraculous that beginning is. How extraordinary it is to be part of that beginning,” Shatner said before boldly going where no nonagenarian science fiction actor had gone before.
British astronaut Sir Tim Peake responded to Prince William’s criticisms, saying that going into space is “incredibly important to us”, not least because it supports the national infrastructure.
“Everyone is using space on a daily basis, probably without even knowing it,” Sir Tim told Sky News.
Addressing the prince’s climate concerns, the astronaut added that 50 per cent of climate change data comes from space-based assets.
He added, countering the Duke’s carbon fears: “When you look at rocket fuel, some of the best rocket fuel is liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, and the byproduct is water. And actually, space has a very tiny impact on the environment.”
Prince William also complained about the rise of “climate anxiety” amongst the young, and praised his father Prince Charles for cheerleading for the climate change movement before it was popular, saying “it’s been a hard road for him”.
“He’s had a really rough ride on that. He’s been proved to have been well ahead of the curve,” Prince William said.
Are those raindrops that fly private jets, or no? Asking for a friend. https://t.co/gwKX8ufMjB
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) December 1, 2020
Others were blunt in their criticism, including Reclaim Party deputy leader Martin Daubney, who said: “Perhaps before Prince William sticks his nose into William Shatner’s Blue Origin flight business he could have a word with his own brother?
“Harry lecturing others on climate change while enjoying endless private jet trips is a problem nearer to home.”
Prince Charles the Prince of Wales recently claimed to understand the “frustration” of the far-left eco-extremist protesters like those in Extinction Rebellion (XR) and Insulate Britain.
“The difficulty is, how do you direct that frustration in a way that is more constructive rather than destructive?” Prince Charles said.
Responding to the comments, Brexit leader Nigel Farage said Prince Charles should “stay out of active politics”, warning that the heir to the throne could threaten the British royal family.
“If one man can bring down the monarchy, if one man can bring this to an end it’s Prince Charles through stupid, thoughtless statements based on eco-alarmism,” Mr Farage said.
Woke Harry to the unwashed masses: “I believe even more that climate change and mental health are two of the most pressing issues that we’re facing and, in many ways, they are linked." https://t.co/UnjZDJeQyu
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) May 29, 2021