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  • Jeff Bezos was asked to respond to critics who say billionaires should focus on Earth rather than space.
  • Critics miss the fact that "we need to do both, and that the two things are deeply connected," he said.
  • Bezos said he spends more money on his climate change charity than he does on space.
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Amazon founder and Blue Origin CEO Jeff Bezos has responded to critics who say billionaires spend too much money on space travel and not enough addressing problems on Earth.

These critics miss the fact that "we need to do both, and that the two things are deeply connected," Bezos said during the Ignatius Forum event on Thursday. 

Bezos said he was spending more money on the Bezos Earth Fund, a philanthropic venture announced in February 2020, than he was spending on space travel. The philanthropic venture's stated goal is to spend $10 billion on combating climate change by 2030.

Neither Bezos nor his interviewer at the event mentioned any critics in particular, but after Bezos flew to the edge of space in July he attracted criticism from public figures including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, fellow billionaire Bill Gates, and Prince William.

Bezos also talked about the importance of space travel, saying there's a "tremendous amount to be done in the here and now, and we cannot forget about that. But at the same time in a deeply connected way, we need to look to the future."

"We humans have always done both things, we've always looked at the here and now, we have always looked out to the future. And this planet is so small, if we want to keep growing as a civilisation, using more energy as a civilisation, most of that in the future needs to be done off-planet," he added.

Bezos has said in the past he believes humanity will have to move "all polluting industry" into space.

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