I have been emboldened as of late to further press the agenda of Interstellar Colonization.
When Hollywood and the media powers that drive social consciousness, awareness, and attitudes decide to hop on the bandwagon, this site becomes no longer a cry in the dark or a whisper in the night with espousing the absolute necessity of our species to spread to other planets, which has been a formal core tenant of our creed since 1979.
The hindrance of progress toward this goal is dwarfed by the absolute failure of your government and mine to wisely invest in space exploration, instead spending trillions on archaic military shows of force (no longer relevant in today’s world) and scare tactics to keep us domicile to the egregious, internationally-recognized class warfare that unbridled capitalism has brought upon us. It is a clear recognized fact that wealth, supported by the institutions and policies of a crooked government (YOUR Congressman and Senators, in the US, other titles meant to impress and intimidate in other lands) will continue to be centralized, making the rich richer and the average, middle class and poor, poorer. All for the temporary comforts and excesses that bribery (illegal and legalized via political contributions) affords.
The system is broken.
Gates, who personally acknowledges his fortune is due to the “system,” is free to spend your money and mine on malaria band-aid vaccinations rather than invest at least some in space technologies that will not only allow unprecedented access to the riches of raw materials in space that could improve all our lives, but that will also mitigate the risks of human extinction created by our own hands. All driven by momentary greed and profits:
- The global warming resulting from our oil economy and burned fossil fuels.
- The continual pumping of ocean pollutants into the deep blue jewel of the universe.
- The over-use of antibiotics that can only end in a losing human battle.
- The stripping of our majestic natural rain forests.
- The erosion of of our rich and fertile co2/oxygen conversion and food producing lands.
All because some people can’t get enough, and others don’t have enough. And profit, we’re lied to since birth, is the only way for us to get the stuff we want and need. Folks, there is plenty to go around. You and I have to right the wrong. It is time for a Seachange. It is time for progressive taxes at a minimum, and a complete overhaul of our political and economic policies and institutions.
It is time for worldwide governments to operate on a 100% visible basis (yes, hello reality show big brother, ever-present cameras) that cause short-term one-term elected or appointed politicians, perhaps via a scientifically-based meritocracy, to make decisions that are for the betterment of ALL. Not personal gain, not a district, not a state, not a country, not a continent.
To reiterate the above, and to provide continuity with the original “Reasons for Interstellar Colonization” article some 12 years ago, the most obvious reason is that the earth’s existence is finite. It may very well be billions of years before the sun burns out or explodes, but it may only be months or years before a natural disaster such as an asteroid impact, or mega-volcano, or a biological agent makes spaceship earth uninhabitable by humans. Global warming is In-Our-Face. We must expand beyond one environment to decrease the likelihood that a single catastrophe will cause our extinction.
We will see wondrous sites. More unimaginable than the most gifted digital artist of today. In the course of our explorations we hope find evidence of other civilizations if not living members of those societies. The confirmed existence of extraterrestrial life developed independently of our own planet’s history will help to provide some additional perspective on fundamental questions like “why are we here?” If we discover that life is ubiquitous, our human-centric perspective will give way to a greater cosmic truth. If on the other hand we are able to confirm, after much exploration that we are indeed alone, that will perhaps have the greater impact.
Scientific and Technological Advancement
Every major scientific initiative results in the need for new, never-before existing tools, machines, techniques, and processes. Entire new technologies can be born, or revolutionary and radical new ways of performing, creating, or manufacturing materials and components and their functions can be invented.
Oft times such new breakthroughs are ‘spin-offs’ – i.e. a new manufacturing technique for space modules finds itself on the surgeon’s table in full spinal column replacement.
New Social and Political Freedoms
In a reality of abundant worlds and inexpensive transport between them, entire worlds or continent-sized colonies on them may subscribe to particular sets of social, political, religious, economic, or other doctrine. Nay-sayers and the rebellious have to but leave toward the colony or world that is of like mind.
Perhaps the only universally-enforced standard across the colonized worlds would be the sanctity of freedom – the ability to choose. Even if one’s only choice is to leave behind a world that offers no perceived alternatives. An appeals process involving a multi-colony panel and available to those sentenced to severe punishments and/or death may also seem reasonable as an arbitrator of justice and human rights.
However idealistic and valid these other reasons for space exploration are, it may be simple economics that ultimately provides the impetus for our serious, sustained effort at living in extraterrestrial environments. Space is literally the largest store of natural resources in the universe. And it remains COMPLETELY untapped.