GZERO VIDEO: The climate cost of big tech's space obsession

NEW YORK (GZERO MEDIA) - Should wealthy individuals and nations concentrate on the Earth instead of space?

Pulitzer Prize-winning climate journalist Elizabeth Kolbert says that technology leaders like Mr Jeff Bezos and Mr Elon Musk should shift more of their focus to fighting for our own planet's survival, instead of space exploration.

"We're doing as much as we can to make life difficult on planet Earth for ourselves. But there's virtually nothing we could do to make it as difficult as life on Mars, where there's, among other things, no oxygen," said Ms Kolbert.

The two tech tycoons have stepped up space exploration efforts at a time when calls for further investments to protect the environment are going up.

According to The Guardian, Mr Bezos has to sell US$1 billion (S$1.33 billion) of Amazon stock annually to fund his space exploration company, Blue Origin, while Mr Musk's SpaceX was this week awarded with a US$2.9 billion contract to put humans on the moon.

Speaking to American political scientist Ian Bremmer about the impact of the developing world on climate change, Ms Kolbert said that equity is an enormous issue and one of the great challenges of trying to imagine a way through to 2100.

She added that the United States must lead the way in countering climate change alongside developing countries.

"If we want to meet, for example, the target set by the UN, the changes need to happen in those parts of the world that are the big emitters... The US is the single biggest emitter in a historical sense... And we (America) have to show that there are different ways of developing," she said.

The conversation comes just days ahead of US President Joe Biden's live-streamed virtual Leaders Summit on Climate on April 22 and 23, involving nearly 40 world leaders.

This GZERO media video is being shown here as part of a media partnership agreement with The Straits Times.