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NASA is extending Mars and Jupiter missions, citing notable success


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On 1/14/2021 at 9:30 AM, crobe said:

Continued..

 

While I have some sympathy with your viewpoint about the human race pursuing the same sort of ecological damage on the Moon and Mars as it has on Earth - and there are plans in place from many countries including China to start trying to mine the moon, there is a way in which this can be of ecological benefit to the earth.

Our use of organics (hydrocarbons for fuel and plastics, coal for fuel etc.) could be drastically reduced in the next 30 years with more investment and government mandates on renewables, but there is still the issue of mineral mining. The mining of metals, whether they are industrial metals like iron and nickel, precious metals like gold and platinum, or rare earths such as Scandium or Yttrium which are used in mobile phones and increasingly sought after as we go into quantum computing, creates massive ecological damage and pollutes the community, as has been the case in Thailand. And it is still getting worse as we dig deeper and farther in the earth's crust.

 

But the Earth is not the only place where these metals are fund, if you imagine the crust of the earth split apart into thousands of pieces, this is the asteroid belt lying in between Mars and Jupiter. 

It is estimated that a single asteroid - 16 Psyche - contains more than $10,000 Quadrillion  (yes Quadrillion) worth of metals - that is more than the supply on Earth mined in 20 years and a value greater than the total of the worlds GDP. And that is only one of thousands of asteroids.

 

At the moment we do not have the technology to go straight to these asteroids, mine them, and safely bring the metals back, but the technologies being developed for colonizing the moon and Mars are essential stepping stones to  this end objective.

While it may be utopian to envisage Earth as a "garden planet" with no fossil fuels used and no mining - at least we are pursuing some concrete programs to eventually get to this point.

 

 

Thanks for your lengthy and well-thought-out reply. However, I disagree with most everything you say, or at least the ramifications of what you say.

I have identified the three causes of humankind's continued destruction of the Earth's biosphere as:

1. Technology, a proximate cause. Technology is a physical instantiation of the human intellect. All technology is destructive to the environment. Let me say that again... Some technologies are less destructive than others, but all technology is destructive to the environment. The belief we have that we are so smart that we will, someday soon!, invent a new technology that is environmentally beneficial, or at least neutral (green technology) is just a pipe dream. And the idea that we will invent technologies that will allow us to tap into or create "free" energy is just as delusional.
2. Human Hubris, one of two primary causes. We think we are so important and special that we can do whatever we want with the resources, including other life, on this planet just to make us more comfortable. We're not special. We're just another lifeform that has evolved, and someday, probably sooner than we'd like to think, will disappear.
3. Overpopulation, the other primary cause. Maybe, if our population was 10% of what it is now (a 90% reduction) we could live on this planet with a lifestyle we want and still not cause the complete destruction of the biosphere. But, IMO, that's not going to happen, at least voluntarily. Maybe a few hundred more viruses like COVID-19 could help us do that, but it will not be something we will try to do ourselves.

I've written much more about this in my book THE ICARUS SYNDROME. You can pick up a free ebook copy of it on the book's Facebook page at https://web.facebook.com/booktheicarussyndrome.

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1 minute ago, billsmart said:

Thanks for your lengthy and well-thought-out reply. However, I disagree with most everything you say, or at least the ramifications of what you say.

I have identified the three causes of humankind's continued destruction of the Earth's biosphere as:

1. Technology, a proximate cause. Technology is a physical instantiation of the human intellect. All technology is destructive to the environment. Let me say that again... Some technologies are less destructive than others, but all technology is destructive to the environment. The belief we have that we are so smart that we will, someday soon!, invent a new technology that is environmentally beneficial, or at least neutral (green technology) is just a pipe dream. And the idea that we will invent technologies that will allow us to tap into or create "free" energy is just as delusional.
2. Human Hubris, one of two primary causes. We think we are so important and special that we can do whatever we want with the resources, including other life, on this planet just to make us more comfortable. We're not special. We're just another lifeform that has evolved, and someday, probably sooner than we'd like to think, will disappear.
3. Overpopulation, the other primary cause. Maybe, if our population was 10% of what it is now (a 90% reduction) we could live on this planet with a lifestyle we want and still not cause the complete destruction of the biosphere. But, IMO, that's not going to happen, at least voluntarily. Maybe a few hundred more viruses like COVID-19 could help us do that, but it will not be something we will try to do ourselves.

I've written much more about this in my book THE ICARUS SYNDROME. You can pick up a free ebook copy of it on the book's Facebook page at https://web.facebook.com/booktheicarussyndrome.

If your thoughts above are any indication of your book then it may not be worthwhile reading.

You misunderstand completely the interaction between technology and society.

You start from the luddite perspective of 10% of the world population - this was around 1760 and the start of the industrial age, but it was also a time with rampant disease, high infant mortality and low life expectancy.

If that is your sense of utopia it is not mine, besides the fact that you are advocating the death of 90% of the worlds population, which is sick. The only one to have tried this was Pol Po and I don't believe anyone on their right minds would advocate a "year-zero" solution

 

Whatever the population is, it will still have an ecological effect - people were mining tin in open-cast quarries in the first century, it is just the scale which has changed.

 

Technological progress is not the cause of overpopulation, but is an effect of the increased communications and incremental collaboration that is possible with an increased population - Einstein would not have been able to produce his ideas if he was working in a field as part of an agrarian society.

 

Limiting the population explosion is necessary as we cannot continue to expand at the current rate and feed the entire population on one planet, but the best means to achieve a limiting of the population growth is well documented - it is by educating women - something sorely missing in your analysis.

Technology in its many forms helps to educate women and access to birth control (a technology) gives the means to that end - it is not a coincidence that the countries with the most backward and luddite societies - particularly those with a theocratic religious influence, have the highest rates of population growth - such as in sub-saharan Africa - where both Islamic fundamentalism and catholic church interference have combined with disastrous effects. The most technologically advanced nations have a native population which is stabilising or falling - but are being topped up by immigration to provide continuous growth in terms of GDP.

 

And this is the second point at which you have misunderstood the interaction between technology and society - it is not the progress of technology which is the issue, it is the continual pursuit of growth as calculated in financial terms which leads to unsustainable practices such as the over-consumption of all natural resources.

 

So the choices are

 - murder 9 in 10 people to provide your luddite utopia and go back to an agrarian economy (which will then just start the cycle all over again)

 - mandate birth control such as a more aggressive "one-child policy" of China (with forced abortions and sterilizations) with all the demographic chaos that would ensue or

 - Use technology to educate women and allow for technology and population growth by becoming a multi-planet species

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2 hours ago, billsmart said:

We are using our intellect, and that is what is resulting in the destruction of this planet. 

The anthropogenic affect on the planet is a different issue, which I commented on appropriate threads. Here I was referring to the diversity of our intellect.

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1 hour ago, TKDfella said:

The anthropogenic affect on the planet is a different issue, which I commented on appropriate threads. Here I was referring to the diversity of our intellect.

Wow! All this on TVF. For any of our readers who don't go for such a multiplicity of syllables, and challenging statements, send me a fiver and I'll explain what it all means. 

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