'Lot to do on Earth,' Bill Gates on space tourism
Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates on Wednesday criticized space tourism, saying rather than exploring space for recreational activities, "we have a lot to do here on Earth." Gates made the comment during his appearance on The Late Late Show with James Corden. Gates's statement has won praise across social media with many users agreeing with the philanthropist's view. Here are more details.
Gates's comment came when host James Corden thanked him for being the "one billionaire who is not trying to escape planet Earth on a spaceship at the moment." "I have become obsessed with things like Malaria and HIV and getting rid of those diseases," Gates said. "Space? You know, we have a lot to do here on Earth," the billionaire continued.
When asked why billionaires are obsessed with space tourism, Gates said, "I don't know...I would probably bore people at cocktail parties talking about diseases." Corden praised Gates's jibe at other billionaires, describing it as the "classiest burn."
Notably, the show was about climate change, and Gates spoke at length about the issue. He also discussed the changes that individuals can make to combat climate disasters. "We are going to have to act together, and we are going to have to innovate at a very rapid pace. This will be the hardest thing humanity has ever done," he added.
In light of the Youth4Climate event in Milan, Italy, climate change dominated late-night shows in the US on Wednesday. On Twitter, Gates thanked all "late-night hosts for focusing on this critical challenge," adding, "I'm optimistic that we can come together to avoid a climate disaster."
Billionaires have recently been channeling all their wealth to travel to space. Elon Musk's SpaceX recently launched four people into space on a three-day mission. Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos flew to space in July. Similarly, Virgin Group billionaire Richard Branson, too, flew over 50 miles above the New Mexico desert in his Virgin Galactic rocket plane.