Finite Planet: will Branson, Musk, Bezos, and Ashurbeyli save us?

via Daily Prompt: Finite

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We have had renewables and manageable natural resources, but we have increased the finitude of nature by a total lack of management and through ignoring the need to plan renewables.

Occassionally  I come across wonderful facts such as the management of forests in some European countries dates back to the sixteenth century, where only small percentages of mature trees could be harvested annually, thereby protecting the resource for all of the environment and for all generations. But we seem to have subscribed to the capitalist notion of domination and utilization of nature. The truth is, what we have dug up, we can’t get back beyond some recycling.

I had a childs vision way back, that if we kept on digging up the earth then the earth’s surface would fold in on itself like a collapsing football with no air. Another was that Mars (and the other planets) were once lush places we had already exited because we had already wrecked them. But the truth is, we’re just constantly looking for a stop gap oasis.

And in the meantime sci-fi has picked up the theme.

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Among several in the genre the movie Elysium is based around space stations as oases for the wealthy, those who can afford to get off the dying, choking earth, can live in hyper sealed luxury.

Sci-fi turned to reality with the Salyut, Almaz, and Skylab developments from 1971, Mir in 1986, the Inernational space Station from 1998, and more recently Tiangong from 2011. Then Branson, Musk, and Bezos have formed companies to launch satelites and then are hopping to launch space stations and to colonize Mars (also Mars One is a contender). More recently A private group headed by Ashurbeyli have been promoting the satelite/station Asgardia as a step to life beyond earth (but is yet content to be a free nation you can become a member of while still residing on earth).

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In all the blurb by the billionnaires there is a constant refrain – we must explore and colonize space because if we stay here we will die. Problem is, we’re just transporting the problem into the future and future worlds. The other problem, it’s another capitalist ego venture which sounds to me like it could trend to Elysium like reality.

I believe space research is vital, but just imagine if we spent some that energy, intellect and money on redesigning our lives on earth. If we can’t sort out here we won’t achieve sustainable life elsewhere. And such projects, I believe, because of their nature, might sadly give licence to us not to care about the environment.

Paul

pvcann.com

6 Comments

Filed under life, nature, Space

6 responses to “Finite Planet: will Branson, Musk, Bezos, and Ashurbeyli save us?

  1. Fascinating discussion, Paul! I remember when I was dealing with seemingly insoluble problems I looked to science fiction in order to be able to envision other, more hopeful solutions. I also look to indigenous communities for alternatives that have continued to provide examples of conservation strategies that work. (https://carolahand.wordpress.com/2017/01/28/reflections-about-roots-and-resistance/)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, and thanks for the lovely link. My honours thesis was based on Deep Ecology and some indigneous input from this end. I feel as if we’re in such a mighty struggle. Marge Piercy was one of my faves from a theological/philosophical bent in terms of sci-fi gender and environment. I’m about to launch into a new series (to me) called “Anniahilation” (The Souther.n REach Trilogy) by Jeff Vandermeer, which takes a particular environmental focus so I’m told.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I look forward to hearing more about your insights as you read the trilogy. In my few spare moments, I’m reading a fascinating book you might like. It’s one of the most beautiful, profound books I’ve ever read. “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants,” by Robin Wall Kimmerer (2013).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow, That title is seductive, That I will track down, thankyou for the ref, and the encouragement Carol.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Just started dipping into Kimmerer’s book, thanks for the tip.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I look forward to your thoughts about it, Paul. I can only read short sections when I’m waiting for appointments these days, but the depth and beauty of her work always transports me to other times and places to view the wonders of nature through clear, innocent eyes.

        Liked by 1 person

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