Prince William calls for entrepreneurs to “repair this planet” not explore space travel

it’s been in the back of my mind for quite a while you know the whole climate change debate uh environmental issues growing pollution so i’ve always felt very strongly about it and i’ve been watching very carefully what others have been doing and for me over the last few years the the sort of the urgency and the positivity um particularly positivity around the debate has been missing it’s been very negative understandably it’s it’s such a large issue that everyone feels completely overwhelmed by the facts the the scale of the problems and things like that so we wanted to break it down and try and work out how could we add something that was going to create action create positivity create energy towards actually solving some of these problems and i think for me it sort of formulated and sort of cemented itself a bit in my mind in namibia about three years ago i love community conservation and namibia have been some of the sort of world leaders in in community conservation and for people don’t know what that is it’s effectively the locals wherever you are in the world taking an interest and management of the wildlife nature the environmental assets around them so they very much manage them they protect them they nurture them for their own prosperity and for me that you know i came away i’ve met loads of good people there and i felt really inspired really energized by what i’d seen but then coming back to the uk and seeing the headlines around the world and you know the media also like to concentrate sometimes on the negativity and i felt you know you’re losing people every single time you have those headlines we all get that there’s a really big urgent message and and you know i’m not saying we shouldn’t talk about the urgency or the or the the big issues but ultimately if we want to tackle this we want to get on the front foot we’ve got to bring people with us and people got to feel like they’re there’s a there’s hope there’s a chance we can fix this and that’s what the airshot prize is about is providing those solutions to some of the world’s biggest environmental problems and so is the dream that that kind of the awards show calendar goes baftas oscars earth shots well i think it should go earth shot baftas oscars it depends exactly uh no i mean you know the idea is to make the uh the upshot prize the biggest you know global environment prize in history and i think we’ve got time on our side this is the right time to do this we’ve got 10 years of critical uh time where we have to making inroads and finding these solutions and inspiring people that we can fix these solutions because past 2030 things get you know rapidly worse very quickly and of course it’s called the earth shot and as soon as you hear earth shot you think oh moonshot and jfk absolutely so the original kind of genesis of this is to try and capture the ingenuity and the problem solving and the the ambition of the moonshot and so you know based on jfk’s idea to get a man on the moon all those years ago and you know all the technology and all the advancements that came out of trying to get them out on the moon like solar panels cat scanners you know all that stuff um we’re trying to galvanize and push um solutions forwards and i think for me particularly the idea this 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 not trying to find the next place to go and live and i think that’s that ultimately is what sold it for me is that that really is quite crucial we need to be focusing on on this one rather than giving up and and heading out into space to try and think of solutions for the future having said that though would you like to be a space tourist one day i do i have absolutely no uh interest in going that high i’m a pilot but i’m a helicopter so i stay reasonably close to the ground i’ve been up to 65 000 feet once in a plane and that was truly terrifying right and that’s high enough you go weightless at that point not quite but the sky is black above you you can see the curve of the earth yeah that’s close enough to space to me yeah because you can come back down again it’s in the orbit so it’s okay so i tried to think what is the carbon footprint of like a rocket going into space for 10 minutes that is also yeah fundamental question and it’s the idea that that basically you’re you’re a technological optimist and actually in an ideal world technology politics and business can look after all of this stuff for us and and you and i as individuals maybe actually might not need to change our lives that much absolutely adam so that is the key is it’s about it’s about inspiring and finding solutions um that can be around us you know right now and hopefully in the future rather than just the debate concentrating on what we need to give up what we can’t do which is very negative and all of us you know as much as we would try even if all of us did a little bit here and there to to change our ways it still isn’t going to be enough that’s the thing i think we have to get across this is this is a big challenge this is a big task we’re about to take on and i think we need heroes we need those people who uh really got vision who’ve got ambition energy to step up come forwards and and give us solutions and it’s not just about technology as you pointed out the airship price isn’t just about technology there are plenty of technological solutions we can celebrate but it’s about thinking differently it’s about thinking outside the box it’s about doing stuff in a different way that makes us richer healthier and happier in the future and you talked about future generations we’re always then in this debate talking about what it means for for our kids i don’t have kids you have kids i mean what what do you say to your children about this i think they they they’re living and then growing up in a world where it’s much more talked about than you know when we were growing up so that has benefits and that has negatives as well because you know we are seeing a rise in in the climate anxiety you know people young people now are growing up where their futures are basically threatened the whole time it’s very unnerving and it’s it’s it’s very you know anxiety-making um growing up you’ve got to worry about a job you’ve got to worry about family life you’ve got to worry about housing you’ve got all these things and you’re putting in the climate the very thing that we live breathe and walk around in on top of that so no wonder we’re having a lot of you know mental health concerns and challenges coming along now i also believe that the younger generation are going to lead this and are going to dominate this i mean we can’t not and wherever we go and speak to young people they’re all very concerned about the environment i mean they love it you know children love being outdoors they love getting money they love playing and then chasing and playing sport and a lot of stuff and i think they have a truer appreciation of what we’re going to miss and what we’re letting down than actually many of the adults and that’s where a bit of the disconnects happening is that those adults in position of responsibility are not channeling their inner child to remind themselves remember how much it meant to be outdoors and and and what we’re robbing those future generations of that outdoor childhood have your children got to the age where they’re starting to nag you about this because quite often that’s the way around it works yeah so george school recently has been doing litter picking and i didn’t realize but talking to him the other day he was already showing that he was getting a bit confused and a bit sort of annoyed by the fact they went out litter picking one day and then the very next day they did the same route same time and pretty much all the same litter they picked up back again and i think that for him he was trying to understand how where it came from he couldn’t understand he was like well we clean this why is it not why has it not gone away and you know if we look at it like that it starts to realize if you go back to the childhood wow yeah this is this is where we should be at we’ve got to be asking ourselves these questions why why is that okay for that litter to come straight back again 24 hours later but is he also then starting to ask questions about how he lives his life and the resources that he uses and what his impact on the planet is i think like we’re all having to do yeah i think i think a definite sense of realization and understanding so the education piece is really key so for instance you know not over using water you know being careful with our resources turning off light switches things like that which you know it was instilled in in in me growing up um these things you know when i have to extrapolate them bigger and bigger so yes he’s acutely aware more so than the other two at the moment charlotte’s still a little bit young she’s still not quite sure and actually louie just enjoys playing outside the whole time so he lives outside um but i think it is slowly dawning on them that these things matter but i think when you’re that young you just want to have fun and enjoy it and i feel bad i don’t want to give them i don’t want to give them the burden of of that that worry mm-hmm and i suppose going in the other direction your dad has been worried about this stuff for a very long time and actually people used to sort of take the mickey out of him a little bit for it yeah absolutely um i think it’s been it’s been a hard road for him my grandfather started off um helping out wwf a long time ago with um its nature work um and and biodiversity and i think that my father’s sort of progressed that on and talked about climate change a lot more very early on before anyone else thought it was a topic so yes he’s had he’s had a really rough ride on that and i think you know he’s been proven to have been well ahead of the curve um well beyond his time in in in warning about some of these dangers but it shouldn’t be that there’s a third generation now coming along having to ramp it up even more and you know for me it’ll be an absolute disaster if george is sat here talking to you or your success adam you know in love 30 years time whatever still saying the same thing because by then we’ll be too late you  

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