Amazon founder Jeff Bezos shares surprising reason to explore space during special press tour
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' vision of "millions of people living and working in space" drives his space company Blue Origin.
Space reporters taking the first-ever media tour of Blue Origin's ultra-modern headquarters just south of Seattle heard it multiple times on Monday.
But why Bezos thinks that vision is not only good, but necessary, might surprise you. It's about energy.
"Energy usage per capita has been growing at 2 to 3 percent a year for a long time," Bezos said. "The early part of the 20th century it grew even faster, but it's been growing that fast for centuries."
"By the way, we really benefit by that," Bezos said. "We do live, in my view, in a much better world than people lived in a hundred years ago or 200 years ago or 300 years ago, and a lot of that is tied to our ability to harness energy for ourselves...."
"If you compound 2 percent for just a few hundred years, you have to cover the entire Earth's surface with solar cells, high-efficiency solar cells," Bezos said. "Just a few hundred years (and) we'll be using all of the solar energy that impacts the Earth. That's an actual limit. You can't argue about it. It's a thing."
"We now know in our solar system this is the only planet that's really ideal for us," Bezos said. "It's pretty extraordinary. Some people even think we were evolved to live on this planet, that's how ideal it is for us.... That was a joke, folks."
"We're not going to find another Earth," Bezos said, "and we can't cover the whole surface of the Earth with solar cells. We only have a few hundred years to figure this out."
"I like the idea we kind of expand out into the solar system," Bezos said, "and preserve Earth as, you know, kind of light industrial and residential. Keep this the great planet that it is and move all heavy industry off Earth where there's for all practical places limitless energy and limitless resources."
There are fundamental limits, Bezos said, and Earth is within a few hundred years of finding them. "Some people say, and I think it's a reasonable point, that you need a Plan B if something bad happens to Earth," Bezos said. "I look at this the opposite direction. We need space to make sure nothing bad happens to the Earth. "
The second reason, Bezos said, is "it will just be an incredibly fun and inspiring part of humanity's future to go exploring the solar system. Who wouldn't want to do that? Sign me up."
( Source )