|"U.N. issues dire climate report"|
|Written by Jeff Krukin|
|Saturday, 17 November 2007|
It's Saturday morning, and that's one of the headlines on MSNBC.com's homepage. There's no debating that climate change is occurring; the question is to what extent is it a natural cycle vs. due to human behavior... and this will be debated until the space cows come home. And speaking of space...
Watch for those who will make climate change their reason to slow economic development and technology development at the time we'll need it most, as if the only solution is to lower global living conditions and prepare for lives of scarcity. Such an approach ignores the resource- and energy-richness of the Moon and nearby asteroids. Such a view comes from believing the Earth exists alone, as if our environment and economy are somehow disconnected from the space around us. For just one example, take a look the report of a National Security Space Office (NSSO)-led study group which has been investigating space-based solar power (SBSP) as one potential means for reducing US dependence on foreign oil and global climate change. Read Ralph Nansen's "Sun Power" for a concise review of why terrestrial power, wind power, ocean power and such can't provide enough peak-load energy. For a larger view of energy from the Solar System, read John Lewis' "Mining the Sky."
I know, all this sounds like pie in the sky, and some of these ideas may turn out to be nothing more. But none should be dismissed out of hand simply because of past failures of our space program, or because of the anti-business, anti-development mantra of those in the Save the Earth camp who believe the Earth must be saved no matter the cost to humanity.
Wealth is required to deal with global climate change, and wealth is created by market-driven economic activity, which requires technology, which requires energy. The solution is more development that is environmentally aware, not less development that is humanity unaware. And that means increased economic activity in space.
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