Why does something need more energy to leave the earth than to get off the surface of it?

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Why is escape velocity so high?

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To “get off the surface” is trivial. I can jump up in the air, and “get off the surface”.
Escape velocity is gaining an initial speed fast enough that gravity will never be able to return you to earth.


That’s a bit of a trick question. It would require more energy for an object to rise 1 meter off the Earth’s surface than it would require to move up 1 meter at an altitude of 10,000 meters.
Leaving Earth for the moon would require the combined force of travelling all those meters until Earth has no pull remaining.
I think that the question is really asking why it requires more energy to enter orbit, but the answer is the same as going to the Moon. Certainly that would require more energy because, like traveling to the Moon, you would need additional energy for your forward speed or orbital speed on top of the energy to climb to that altitude.


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