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Obama Challenges Bezos: Earth’s Preservation Over Space

Obama Challenges Bezos: Earth's Preservation Over Space

At the 2024 POwR Earth Summit in Paris, former President Obama expressed scepticism towards Jeff Bezos, the visionary founder of Amazon, for his ambitious space colonization plans and their potential impact on Earth. 

Obama criticized Silicon Valley CEOs, including Bezos, accusing them of prioritizing space exploration over addressing pressing environmental concerns. 

“When I hear some of the people talk about the plan to colonize Mars because the Earth’s environment may become so degraded that it becomes unlivable, I look at them like, what are you talking about?” 

While Elon Musk, the innovator behind Tesla, kickstarted SpaceX with a $100 million personal investment, Bezos reportedly poured between $7.5 billion and $20 billion into his aerospace venture, Blue Origin. 

Obama Critique at 2024 Earth Summit

Obama argued that such vast sums would be better utilised to address urgent environmental challenges on our home planet.

Expressing disbelief at the notion of abandoning Earth due to environmental degradation, Obama emphasized the need to confront severe ecological issues threatening life as we know it, particularly climate change. 

Citing a report from the Associated Press, he highlighted the UN weather agency’s declaration of a “red alert” for global warming, citing alarming increases in greenhouse gas emissions, land and water temperatures, and the rapid melting of glaciers and sea ice in 2023. 

Despite global efforts to reverse these trends, the agency warned that current actions are insufficient.

In contrast, Bezos contends that space exploration offers the best chance to safeguard humanity’s future by preserving Earth’s natural resources. 

Speaking on the Lex Fridman podcast, the billionaire pointed to societal progress in literacy, poverty reduction, and declining infant mortality rates as evidence of humanity’s advancement, but acknowledged the toll it has taken on the environment. 

He argued that while society enjoys the benefits of progress, the natural world is regressing, necessitating a bold leap into space to achieve a balance between advancement and environmental preservation.

Blue Origin aims to launch its New Glenn mega-rocket on its maiden voyage by the third quarter of 2024.

 The company’s objective is to enable humans to choose between living on Earth or inhabiting large space stations nearby, with the potential to tap into resources from the asteroid belt and near-Earth objects to fuel human expansion. 

Bezos envisions a future where space tourism becomes commonplace, likening it to visiting Yellowstone National Park for vacation. 

His ultimate vision? A solar system bustling with a trillion inhabitants, fostering an environment conducive to nurturing countless geniuses akin to Mozart and Einstein.


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