Richard Branson drops his trousers to save oceans – CNET

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Branson puts his back(side) into it.

Late Show/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I don’t think of humanity as an especially salvageable species. 

It’s charming, though, to see humans who still have faith.

On Thursday night, Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, Virgin Orbit, Virgin Vodka and many other branded items, appeared on Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show” to discuss World Oceans Day.

Yes, I missed it too, what with the Comey hearings, the UK elections and the Giants blowing another save. 

Branson, ever ready for a PR opportunity, came to Colbert’s studio fully clothed in items made of plastic recovered from the oceans. Naturally, this included bright blue Speedo-like swimwear. Branson had to — just had to — drop his pants in order to show them off.

After all, if your aim is to protect 30 percent of the world’s oceans so that fish will continue to live there happily in order to become our dinner, you have to dramatize your cause.

Colbert, though, also wanted to talk about space, a place where Branson promises to send wealthy tourists (but not William Shatner) beginning perhaps next year.

The host wondered whether there was antipathy between the Virgin Galactic owner and Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, two other billionaires who have space on their minds. Branson referred to Musk as a friend and said all three are competing in the same area.

Space, though, made him think of the president.

“This man called Trump,” said Branson. “Mars, I hear, is a really hospitable and beautiful planet, and we’re building a beautiful craft, and we thought we might give him a free ticket.”

The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Branson is no fan of Trump. Last year, he called him stunningly vindictive.

I fear, therefore, that the president might not take up the offer. He’d worry that he couldn’t tweet from up there.

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