"For a century or more, it's been compounding at a few percent a year, our energy usage as a civilization," says Bezos. "Now if you take baseline energy usage globally across the whole world and compound it at just a few percent a year for just a few hundred years, you have to cover the entire surface of the Earth in solar cells.
"That's the real energy crisis. And it's happening soon. And by soon, I mean within just a few hundred years. We don't actually have that much time. So what can you do?
"Well, you can have a life of stasis, where you cap how much energy we get to use," says Bezos. But to the billionaire entrepreneur and tech executive, that is not an acceptable fate: "[S]tasis would be very bad, I think."
Alternatively, says Bezos, humanity can expand into space, allowing for exponential growth.
"Now take the scenario, where you move out into the solar system. The solar system can easily support a trillion humans," says Bezos. "And if we had a trillion humans, we would have a thousand Einsteins and a thousand Mozarts and unlimited, for all practical purposes, resources and solar power unlimited for all practical purposes. That's the world that I want my great-grandchildren's great-grandchildren to live in."
As humanity expands into space, the Earth will remain the crown jewel, says Bezos.
"By the way, I believe that in that timeframe we will move all heavy industry off of Earth and Earth will be zoned residential and light industry. It will basically be a very beautiful planet," says Bezos. "We have sent robotic probes to every planet in this solar system now and believe me this is the best one."