Duke of Cambridge brings William Shatner down to earth with pot-shot at space tourism
William Shatner, 90, celebrates in the west Texas desert after becoming the oldest person to reach space
The Duke of Cambridge has made a damning charge against space tourism, warning that "the world's greatest brains" should focus on repairing the planet rather than "trying to find the next place to live".
His comments came as a jubilant William Shatner, 90, stepped off a rocket in a west Texas desert after becoming the oldest human to reach space, declaring the experience "extraordinary" and "profound" and added: "Everyone in the world needs to do this."
Prince William, 39, was apparently less blinded, suggesting the vulnerable planet was a much more worthy cause for time and investment.
Speaking to BBC Newscast on BBC Sounds ahead of the Earthshot Prize ceremony on Sunday, he said, “We need some of the best minds in the world who are focused on fixing this planet, not trying to find the next place find and live. "
Prince William discusses the state of the planet with Adam Flemming, chief political correspondent for the BBC, for an episode of Newscast - Kensington Palace
It comes after the Duke warned in an article published in USA Today that the next generation would wonder why humans put so much effort into the space race while leaving their own planet "vulnerable".
Prince of Wales had a "really hard ride"
Prince William also warned that young people suffered increasing "climate fear" as they witnessed the "unnerving" prospect of their threatened future.
He said the current way of life threatens to "rob the future of our children" and urged attendees at the upcoming Cop26 climate conference to focus on actions rather than "smart, wise words."
The Duke said it would be an "absolute disaster" if his eldest son, Prince George, eight, had to fight on the same issues 30 years from now if it was too late.
He said his father, the Prince of Wales, had "a really tough ride" in the struggle for the environment but "proved he was way ahead of the curve" with his early warnings about climate change.
In the 35-minute interview, taped at Kensington Palace, the Duke voiced his concerns on a number of environmental issues.
He said he hoped the Earthshot Prize, a £ 50 million initiative aimed at promoting and funding innovative ways to repair the planet, “will inspire solutions and actions that many people have not necessarily produced yet to have".
"I hope, you know, the award will push many people in positions of responsibility to go further, get bigger and actually deliver," he added.
"We are seeing an increase in climate fear"
He said that as a parent, like others, he had started to see the world differently.
"I want the things I've enjoyed - the outdoors, the outdoors, the environment - to be there for my children and not just my children but everyone else's children," he added.
“If we are not careful, what we do now will rob our children of their future. And I don't think that's fair. "
The Duke continued: “We are seeing an increase in environmental fear. You know folks, young people are growing up now where their futures are being threatened basically all of the time. It's very disturbing and it's very scary. "
Last year, the Global Action Plan, an environmental organization, reported that a third of UK teachers noted high levels of climate anxiety among students, while 77 percent of students said the thought of climate change made them anxious.
Last November, the Royal College of Psychiatrists reported that more than half of the psychiatrists treating children and adolescents in England now saw young people worried about their environment.
Looking ahead to the Cop26 summit, where the world's leaders will meet in Glasgow from October 31st, the Duke said it was crucial “to communicate very clearly and very honestly about what the problems are and what the problems are what the solutions will be ”.
He added, "We can't talk smarter, wise words, but not do enough."
Credit to the Duke of Edinburgh
The Duke owed the royal family's decades of interest in the environment to his late grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, who he said introduced them to the issues at stake.
“My grandfather started helping WWF with nature work and biodiversity a long time ago, and I think my dad kind of pushed that forward and talked a lot more about climate change very early on before anyone else thought it was an issue ", he said.
“So yeah, he's had a really tough ride with it, and I think you know he's proven to be way ahead of the curve.
“Much more than his time to warn of some of these dangers.
"But it shouldn't be that a third generation comes along that has to ramp up even more."
Both the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend the high-profile Earthshot Prize ceremony hosted by Clara Amfo and Dermot O’Leary at Alexandra Palace in London on Sunday.
In this article:
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
Duke of Cambridge
Prince George of Cambridge
Eldest child of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
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