|NewSpace Meets The FUD Era|
|Written by Jeff Krukin|
|Wednesday, 16 January 2008|
Not Elmer Fudd... FUD; Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. FUD is back with a vengeance, especially in this US political season. NewSpace, pay attention. What am I referring to? Keep "CGO" and the number two in mind.
From "Curbing Carbon" in the Jan. 7, 2008 issues of Aviation Week & Space Technology we read that, "Europe is struggling to define the rules about including aviation in its emissions trading scheme (ETS),...." During the last twelve months or so, commercial aviation has come under increasing fire from environmental organizations for its C02 emissions. Is this deserved? What is the percentage of global CO2 emissions caused by commercial aviation?: 2%. By comparison, land use change/forestry is responsible for 24%, industry for 16%, electricity and heating for 32%, and other transportation for 16% (Source: Rolls-Royce, World Resources Institute, International Energy Agency).
2% is a small number, but when multiplied by the FUD Factor it looms large in the hearts and minds of concerned citizens. Whether connected with the legitimate problems of environmental degradation or the huffing and puffing "We must save the Earth from its miserable, greedy, parasitic, upright-walking denizens," crowd, the size of the number no longer matters. FUD is all-powerful, as it preys on our emotions... and thus is an ideal tool during election campaigns. Without FUD, there is no need for Presidential candidates to wrap themselves in the "agent of change" blanket.
The need for commercial aviation to deal with new environmental regulations is a warning shot across the bow of NewSpace, with one such shot brought home to me personally after I spoke at the first Overview Effect Day. The first question asked of me after my talk practically demanded that commercial space launches not begin until environmentally benign rocket fuels become standard. Otherwise, the growing number of launches would be too harmful to the environment. While this may not seem like an immediate concern, it reflects the views of the politically powerful environmental movement... power that can only be increased in the FUD Era.
It should be clear by now that "The Environment" is "The Current Big Thing." NewSpace companies and the industry as a whole would be wise to begin hiring CGO's; Corporate Green Officers.
Now where did I put that box of post-consumer recycled paper so I can print my business plan for my next investors meeting?
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