Onstage at the Code Conference on Tuesday, the Amazon founder and CEO said that we have to start bringing parts of the industrial economy to space in order "to save Earth."
"Let me assure you, this is the best planet. We need to protect it, and the way we will is by going out into space," he told Recode Editor at large Walt Mossberg. "You don't want to live in a retrograde world where we have to freeze population growth."
Bezos says tasks that require lots of energy shouldn't be handled on Earth. Instead, we should perform them in space, and 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," Bezos added. "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," he said. "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."
No word yet, however, on when Bezos plans to move Amazon fulfillment warehouses beyond the surly bonds of Earth.
—By Noah Kulwin, Recode.net.
CNBC's parent NBCUniversal is an investor in Recode's parent Vox, and the companies have a content-sharing arrangement.