It’s the battle of the billionaires, 2.0. While it’s no longer Branson, Bezos and Musk racing to go to the outer limit of space, Microsoft founder and billionaire philanthropist, may also have just taken a sly dig at the entire process of space exploration itself. While the billionaire has been very vocal about his climate change ambitions and making Earth more sustainable, on an interview with James Corden, Gates took a dig at the other three billionaires who are currently in a race to escape Earth – and colonize another planet. During his recent appearance on American late-night talk show, the Late Late Show with James Corden hosted by James Corden, on September 23 to talk about the climate crisis, Gates made a remark which Corden called ‘the classiest burn.’
The ‘burn’ in context came after Corden asked for Bill Gates thoughts on other billionaires investing in space travel and what he felt about that, Gates replied that he was instead “obsessed with eradicating diseases here on earth rather than with space.” Corden had opened the interview by thanking Gates for being the “one billionaire who is not trying to escape planet earth on a spaceship at the moment.” When asked about why billionaires were “obsessed with” space travel at the moment, Gates replied, “I don’t know. I have become obsessed with things like Malaria and HIV and getting rid of those diseases and I would probably bore people at cocktail parties talking about diseases. Space? You know, we have a lot to do here on earth.” For the rest of the interview, Gates called upon being optimistic and the combined efforts of all people to tackle the climate crisis.
This is not the first time Gates had this same dig. In February this year, during an interview for his new book, “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster”, he mentioned how unlike Tesla CEO and Space X boss, Elon Musk, he wants to focus on issues right here on Earth – not on Mars.
The Microsoft co-founder in an interview with Kara Swisher on her “Sway” podcast, says “Well, it’s important to say that what Elon did with Tesla is one of the greatest contributions to climate change anyone’s ever made. And you know, underestimating Elon is not a good idea.”
He adds however, he doesn’t see Musk’s solutions as real solutions, “He added that he’s “not a Mars person” and that he doesn’t “think rockets are the solution.” In the interview, he says that companies like Tesla are doing great work on “easy stuff, like passenger cars” but that we need to tackle other industries to make a bigger climate change difference.
Gates would also rather spend money on measles vaccines than travelling to space in a rocket. “I’m not going to pay a lot of money because my foundation can buy measles vaccines and save a life for $1,000. So anything I do, I always think, OK, I could spend that $1,000 buying measles vaccine.”
Earlier this very week, United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres during his opening speech at the UN general assembly called out the gap between the rich and the poor with “billionaires joyriding to space while millions go hungry on Earth.”
“평생 사상가. 웹 광신자. 좀비 중독자. 커뮤니케이터. 창조자. 프리랜서 여행 애호가.”