Environmentalists have backed Prince William's plea to stop “absurd” space tourism and called on billionaire tech giants to unite to help solve the climate crisis.
The Duke of Cambridge and green campaigners want billionaire tech giants to focus on solving the climate crisis instead of taking jaunts into orbit.
As Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos and Tesla creator Elon Musk, two of the world’s richest men with a combined wealth of more than £300billion, engage in a new age space race Chris Venables, head of politics at Green Alliance, said: “Prince William is absolutely spot on – it’s the moral responsibility of those with influence and wealth to do everything they can do to prevent catastrophe.”
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Prince William is a critic of the new space race
Scientists say one rocket launch produces up to 300 tons of carbon dioxide into the upper atmosphere where it can remain for years.
Musk has launched the Falcon 9 reusable rocket manufactured by his company SpaceX which can return to Earth and be flown again multiple times at a cost of around £20million per time.
Bezos’ rockets which flew 90-year-old Star Trek actor William Shatner into orbit this week for 10 minutes costs a similar amount.
SpaceX founder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk is reaching for the stars
Eloise Marais, an associate professor of physical geography at University College London who studies the impact of fuels and industries on the atmosphere said: “Even water injected into the upper atmosphere – where it can form clouds – can have warming impacts.”
Angela Terry, environmental scientist and founder of the green consumer website One Home, said: "I'm team William.
"The idea of going into space when we are battling a climate emergency is absolutely absurd.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos wants to beat his fellow billionaires
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"We need to concentrate on saving the planet through investments to get us to net zero, adapting to more extreme weather, as well as ways to better insulate our homes and more public transport.
"This is just another example of the nonsense, competitive streak of some of the world's richest people who have some of the biggest carbon footprints yet are not paying the price for the harm their lavish lifestyles cause.”
The Duke admitted he “once travelled to 65,000 feet” in a plane but added: “That was high enough”.
Making an impassioned plea to the billionaire tech giants, 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.”