§ 5.17: General Benefits to Earth Peoples and World Issues
It would be nice if a cost-sharing, cooperative effort were embarked upon between nations to develop space. However, one drawback would be the bureaucracy and decisionmaking involved in any such group effort. The private sector is capable of industrializing and colonizing space, though assistance from governments in the form of high risk loans and support of long-term research would certainly speed along space industrialization. Also, the private sector is best geared for offering products and services for sale.
Some of the benefits of space development and settlement:
- The human species would be assured of survival by settlements in space independent of the Earth's biosphere
- The only-one-world conflict mentality would be at least partly transcended, as would limits to growth
- Huge communications satellites would make ground-based communications receivers and transmitters cheaper and more successful, thereby facilitating development of poorer nations (education, network access to information, cheaper communications, information on birth control...)
- Preservation of Earth's unique natural ecosystems from annihilation, by :
1. encouraging space investments instead,
2. moving heavy industry into space and converting Earth to a natural preserve,
3. clean solar energy (solar power satellites) radio beamed from space to Earth utilities
- SPS benefits to the environment by reduction in acid rain, pollution, and greenhouse gases
- Strengthen the Free World's security and stability by removing causes for conflict and economic instability by reducing dependence on oil imports by substituting solar energy radio-beamed from space to Earth utilities.
- Transcend the arms race in competing for global influence and domestic resources, by comparing positive space services and goods for world benefits vs. futile and debilitating military excursions
- Enhance surveillance of offensive dictatorial regimes and their armed forces, and have a strong strike capability from space. (Why send pilots over invaded areas on bombing raids when the international force can just drop big smart rocks from above?)
- New, different cultures would evolve in space
Most or all of the above will eventually come to be. The sooner we start, the more we will benefit and the less we will suffer.
We've spent uncountable trillions on military defense, but very little on environmental defense. Indeed, the USA alone continues to spend over 200 billion dollars each and every year on military defense. The US government will respond quickly to a threat by the leaders of another country, but not to a threat to the environment with such strong leadership. It's an old way of thinking.
A sign of maturity of the human race will be when we recognize that our greatest threats are not threats by others against Middle East oil, but threats by ourselves by producing carbon dioxide and the greenhouse effect, and pollutants. We've seen the enemy and it is us!
What if we had an enemy who was just threatening to drop acid rain on our food crops, dispense pollutants in our groundwater, rivers and lakes, and warm up Earth's atmosphere? Well, we do have such an enemy. It is us.
What we need is strong leadership, not the same old politics. What we need is space industrialization and solar power satellites. Then we can stop spending so much on military solutions which will ultimately be unable to fulfull our needs anyway. We can have large scale space industrialization for less than 10% what we spend on a Rapid Deployment Force capability for defending Middle East oil. We have a positive alternative solution, and will no longer need to defend an exhaustible resource that is becoming increasingly precious. We must think about the way out, the real enemy -- our lack of political maturity and responsibility -- for our own futures, that of our children and descendants, and of disappearing life itself on our unique planet Earth.
Old-style politics must be ushered out by a new generation of strong leaders.
We need someone to rise above it all from the bully pulpit and show some true leadership. Or, a new generation of private sector leaders. We're looking at mega-money, mega-power here, and positive mega-status.
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