Skip to main content

View Diary: This week in science: billions and billionaires (107 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Please explain (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JBNathan85

    why you are assuming that space development and space settlement presupposes not restoring Earth?  

    •  restoring Earth won't happen regardless of space (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Happy Ones

      The rich have zero incentive to curb consumption of resources and cut their profit margins by cleaning up their acts.  Ergo, so long as they're calling the shots, environmental catastrophe is inevitable whether we colonize other planets or not.  Opening up new resources in space isn't going to do anything to protect Earth, not least because the space-based resources will be more expensive, but because again in a capitalist system there's no incentive to use less of anything.  All consumption - whether it's clean or dirty, necessary or frivolous - makes a profit for someone.  The closest the market wants to get is to use the same huge and constantly growing amount of resources more efficiently: in other words, more profitably.  Minerals mined from asteroids and solar power beamed from space-based arrays will join fossil fuels and terrestrial strip mining to kick the consumption orgy up to the next level.

      Space boosterism is less a conscious decision to abandon Earth to its fate than the logical conclusion for people who either see "gold in them thar hills" and/or take it for granted that the Earth (and anyone left behind) is screwed.

      •  Sorry, but you are ALL over the map (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JBNathan85

        You are applying a strict assumption about how the system works, that isn't fundamentally true.  

        As for space boosterism - just because someone sees resources offered by space does not lead to the logical conclusion of abandon earth.  I don't see it.  

        •  I'm assuming based on what I see (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Happy Ones

          Nothing I see suggests that humanity is interested in anything but BAU: more consumption, more pollution, more profit ... glory be to Mammon in the highest!  If things change, it will be because change is forced upon us, most likely as blowback in the form of catastrophic ecosphere failure.  We're not just going off the cliff, we're doing it with grim determination because we think we have to.  As far as the rich are concerned, the environmentalist utopia is functionally equivalent to straight-up economic suicide.  Fewer people consuming fewer resources?!  Why don't we just blow our greedy wad and end up just as poor a century later after a really awesome party?  It really doesn't help that these are the kind of people who'd rather reign in hell than serve in heaven; the kind of people who'd rather be buried in pyramids in a climate changed wasteland surrounded by their treasures and the bodies of their wretched slaves ... than be mulch for a tree growing in a park in a sustainable utopia.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site