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environment | sustainability

Lost in Space

As an unprecedented and underreported mass extinction continues here on earth, the recent mission to mars was a waste of time, money and human intelligence.
Sending strip-mined contraptions into outer-space so they can send back pretty pictures while the beautiful ecosystems on earth are being destroyed is despicable. Talk about not being about not being able to see the forest for the trees! Imagine if all the time and money that went into the space program was used for conservation. They probably just want to make better rockets. And if you want to talk about educational benefits, let's talk about overcrowded classrooms and kids who don't get enough nutrients to learn in the first place. Rocket scientists are so ignorant and stupid. Who cares if they know their math?
danger, will robinson 05.Jan.2004 14:23

spliff

I'd like to agree but we have a long way to go to figuring out where we'll all go after we're done mucking up this planet. Better yet, there mere suspicion ought to be pretty sobering, but I could hope they find out that a long dead moon or planet used to look just like earth, and that there may be some kind of hint in that, hint, hint.

As far as the waste in dollars, that is one place I do feel for NASA, having to pull off missions more like the old super-expensive ones on the even shorter "better, faster, cheaper" shoestring. If you want to see some wasted money, the Bush admin's excercises in "diplomacy" (deploymacy?) are a MUCH better place to look. I've been saying for months that NASA could have gotten quite a mission out of a small fraction of what was squandered there.

Purpose of humanity is to think, grow and explore 05.Jan.2004 14:29

Alex

Well, I'll take the bait.

AFAIK, our purpose, the reason why we were given the gift of intelligence and curiousity is to explore and grow. I think it's great that we (the US) have
done something we can be proud of here.

We pay taxes, we work in this country, that's our rover, our scientists, our technology, and I think we can all be proud of it.

You think there'd be a solar industry w/o the space program? Solar cells were much too expensive to develop w/o space providing a crying
reason for them. Now they're commercially availiable, used in remote power regularly, and making headroads in displacing dirty fossil fuel
generators in many applications.

You think we have a chance at warding off bad meteor hit incident (and it will be coming) and preventing the extinction of our own species,
without a space program?

You think little kids are gonna grow up thinking less about their place in the universe, and caring less about how they interact with it
becuase we've got a space program that inspires them?

Not to mention the space program provides a lot of well paying jobs... is 800 million a waste if it's mostly wages to American citizens?

Take the Toyota Prius. Sure the Japanese commercialized the hybrid in a workable form. But power electronics would've never got off the ground
without US Gov't support in the early stages of development. It shames me that American corporations haven't taken the lead in commercializing some of
these technologies. But I do believe we, the United States and its citizens are directly responsible for supporting technology in its infancy..
and I'm proud of it. We've also got hybrid busses in town.. they're not perfect.. but they'll get better, and more efficient.

Don't like the Prius 'cause it's a car? Ok.. well, there's CFL lighting, more efficient appliances and
industrial processes, better thermal insulation, appliances that power WAY down when not used, compared to the older ones.

A company won't look ahead 20 years. That's why we need our government stretching technology which will have long term benefits.

I'm proud of the fact that our country spawned and commercialized aviation.. linking people all over the globe with unprecendented ease and safety.
Do you know a 747 from here to Tokyo gets over 100 miles to the gallon per person on board? Is that evil? I look forward to the day when we'll touch
the edge of space (less friction) and fly even more efficiently. Bert Rutan is doing work on that as we speak. He's the guy who flew around the
world on one tank of gas in the Voyager. We (the US) has the Voyager hanging over the front desk at the Smithsonian Air and Space museum
(free admission) in Washington, complete with damaged wingtip, along with most of the planes that have made aviation history, becuase most of
aviation history has been made here, in the US. I'm proud of this, and I want to keep it up.

Sure.. We need a government with the guts to legislate SUVs off the road. We need to be dealing with population and disease issues.
We need a government with the guts to encourage people to take responsibility for reducing their consumption, and apply a little legislative force
where needed. We need a government that's not to sissy to take on big projects... like huge windfarms and other non-polluting generation. We need
a government that will build efficient high speed rail between our cities. We need a government who cares about its citizens, not just campaign donors.
But we can't get there by spouting off that anything our government does is evil. Anyways, it seems there's enough truly evil stuff to spout
about without dissing the space program.

You know, we progressives are just killing ourselves by the fact that only the most fringe element of us seems to ever speak.

I am an electrical engineer, a political moderate.. I think the Iraq escapade is wrong, and that George W. has really taken us down the wrong path. But I'm proud
of my country and what it has and can accomplish with the right leadership. I'll be holding my nose and voting for the democrats this year...
I voted for Nader last time around, but we need to get rid of Bush.

I would encourage the fringe elements of us out there to attempt to sound and act reasonable. The conspiricy theories, the luddite crap, the
anti-americanism and self-hatred will just encourage swing voters to support the far opposite side.

If you're one of these self-hating trust fund babies who hates money and hates capitalism and hates technology and hates America becuase
you feel so guilty about being born lucky... get yourself a shrink, don't tear down our chances at building a better country.

Enjoy the snow, and think about the effects of your actions.

Alex

hmmm 05.Jan.2004 15:37

James T Kirk

nanu nanu
Mars before america...
Mars before america...
Mars after america...
Mars after america...

ha! 05.Jan.2004 15:54

this thing here

you know it! i can see the gigantic strip mines and tailings piles already, with little on-site shopping malls, fast food restaurants and apartments for the mine workers. we're gonna treat mars like total shit...

Operation Weightless Eagle (OWE) 05.Jan.2004 15:58

The Final Frontiersman

Cute pic . . . but we all know the first structure on Mars will be some kind of offensive space weapon aimed at "the evil enemies of the homeland".

Hey, I'm being too cynical . . . maybe the first business will be a "Mars Bar"?

thanks James T Kirk 05.Jan.2004 17:39

ha

that was very funny! though sobering.

i know it was tounge in cheek, but 05.Jan.2004 19:46

clamydia

It would be ridiculous to aim weapons at earth from mars, since the missiles would not reach their target for months--plenty of time for people to see it coming. It would be like pulling a gun on somebody in exaggerated slow-motion.

So...Build a Better Mars 05.Jan.2004 19:53

Burroughs

OK. You stay and I'll go. I' ll finally open my dream business-- Barsoomian zero-gravity bong manufacturing. The high silicon and iron oxide content of the Martian regolith would make great glass!

And why not? The spectral hand from the ghost of Harry Anslinger extends only to lunar orbit.
It would take up to a year before DEA space troops could deploy to the surface, and something as simple as dust can be an extremely effective defensive weapon.

Mars. It's a tabula rasa thing...

Sophistry in Space... re:Alex 06.Jan.2004 10:57

Spiff

Alex wrote: I think it's great that we (the US) have done something we can be proud of here.

Spiff replies: What he have mostly done is spent billions on a space program while our planet is laid to waste and people on earth are starving more now than at any other time in history.

Alex wrote: We pay taxes, we work in this country, that's our rover, our scientists, our technology, and I think we can all be proud of it.

But Spiff doesn't reply because this just seems like patriotic chest pounding.

Alex wrote: You think there'd be a solar industry w/o the space program?

Spiff replies: There really isn't much of a solar industry now and the idea that it will solve our energy problems is just a pipe dream anyway.

Alex wrote: You think we have a chance at warding off bad meteor hit incident (and it will be coming) and preventing the extinction of our own species, without a space program?

Spiff however isn't too afraid of this and doesn't respond.

Alex wrote: You think little kids are gonna grow up thinking less about their place in the universe, and caring less about how they interact with it becuase we've got a space program that inspires them?

But spiff is more concerned with how these kids are going to interact with the earth not with the mars or the rest of the universe.

Alex wrote: Not to mention the space program provides a lot of well paying jobs... is 800 million a waste if it's mostly wages to American citizens?

And spiff replies: Ford and the defense industry provide a lot of jobstoo, but that doesn't make the world a better place. Nor does randomly spending money for that matter.

Alex praises: Take the Toyota Prius. Sure the Japanese commercialized the hybrid in a workable form. But power electronics would've never got off the ground without US Gov't support in the early stages of development.

But spiff is not impressed by the Toyota Prius.

Alex is ashamed: It shames me that American corporations haven't taken the lead in commercializing some of
these technologies.

But Spiff thinks these random technologies that he's talking about haven't helped people out too much.

But I do believe we, the United States and its citizens are directly responsible for supporting technology in its infancy..
and I'm proud of it.

Spiff is happy as he can be for Alex in his pride.

Alex dotes: We've also got hybrid busses in town.. they're not perfect.. but they'll get better, and more efficient.

Spiff replies: So what?

Alex guesses: Don't like the Prius 'cause it's a car?

Spiff replies: That's true

Alex then praises: Ok.. well, there's CFL lighting, more efficient appliances and industrial processes, better thermal insulation, appliances that power WAY down when not used, compared to the older ones.

Spiff replies: Many of these things probably harm the environment during manufacture.

Alex states: A company won't look ahead 20 years. That's why we need our government stretching technology which will have long term benefits.

Spiff is bewildered. Technology is good but out not to be released? Which is it, Spiff wonders?

Alex pride swells once again: I'm proud of the fact that our country spawned and commercialized aviation.. linking people all over the globe with unprecendented ease and safety.

And Spiff replies: And aviation technology made Hiroshima and Dresden easier too - not to mention 9-11. D

Alex spews: Did you know a 747 from here to Tokyo gets over 100 miles to the gallon per person on board? Is that evil? I look forward to the day when we'll touch the edge of space (less friction) and fly even more efficiently. Bert Rutan is doing work on that as we speak. He's the guy who flew around the world on one tank of gas in the Voyager. We (the US) has the Voyager hanging over the front desk at the Smithsonian Air and Space museum (free admission) in Washington, complete with damaged wingtip, along with most of the planes that have made aviation history, becuase most of aviation history has been made here, in the US. I'm proud of this, and I want to keep it up.

Spiff insn't impressed.

Alex continues: Sure.. We need a government with the guts to legislate SUVs off the road. We need to be dealing with population and disease issues. We need a government with the guts to encourage people to take responsibility for reducing their consumption, and apply a little legislative force where needed. We need a government that's not to sissy to take on big projects... like huge windfarms and other non-polluting generation. We need a government that will build efficient high speed rail between our cities. We need a government who cares about its citizens, not just campaign donors. But we can't get there by spouting off that anything our government does is evil. Anyways, it seems there's enough truly evil stuff to spout about without dissing the space program. You know, we progressives are just killing ourselves by the fact that only the most fringe element of us seems to ever speak. I am an electrical engineer, a political moderate.. I think the Iraq escapade is wrong, and that George W. has really taken us down the wrong path. But I'm proud of my country and what it has and can accomplish with the right leadership. I'll be holding my nose and voting for the democrats this year... I voted for Nader last time around, but we need to get rid of Bush.
I would encourage the fringe elements of us out there to attempt to sound and act reasonable. The conspiricy theories, the luddite crap, the anti-americanism and self-hatred will just encourage swing voters to support the far opposite side. If you're one of these self-hating trust fund babies who hates money and hates capitalism and hates technology and hates America becuase you feel so guilty about being born lucky... get yourself a shrink, don't tear down our chances at building a better country. Enjoy the snow, and think about the effects of your actions. Alex

Spiff just doesn't have the time or energy to explain it all so he offers these link...

www.eces.org
www.dieoff.com
www.primitivism.com