Talking to the Code Conference Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said that we have to start bringing parts of the industrial economy to space in order “to save Earth”.
He said that Earth was the best planet and we need to protect it and the only way to do that is by going out into space.
“You don’t want to live in a retrograde world where we have to freeze population growth.”
Tasks that require lots of energy shouldn’t be handled on Earth. Instead, we should perform them in space, and he thinks that will happen within the next few hundred years.
“Energy is limited here. In at least a few hundred years … all of our heavy industry will be moved off-planet. Earth will be zoned residential and light industrial. You shouldn’t be doing heavy energy on earth. We can build gigantic chip factories in space.”
Solar energy, for instance, is more practical for factories in space, he said.
“We don’t have to actually build them here. The Earth shades itself, [whereas] in space you can get solar power 24/7. … The problem with other planets … people will visit Mars, and we will settle Mars, and people should because it’s cool, but for heavy industry, I would actually put it in space.”
Of course there is the small matter of getting product’s cheaply back to the earth’s surface and the construction materials to the factories, but we are sure Bezos’ team at Amazon will have worked that out in a few hundred years.