Bloggreen: Elevate the argument

Friday, February 04, 2005

Elevate the argument

Here's a nice piece of political satire, aimed at luxury high rise development. But does raise some interesting questions about whether we like space elevators or not. Most arguments in favour of space evelators are along the lines of safety and environmental protection. Although I still have my doubts in terms of the propensity for the military-space complex to dominate space ventures. But in general (to answer questions asked of me earlier about Greens supporting space exploration), I think having access to space is good for humans because it gives us a sense of perspective. As Jeanette said in her State of the Planet address "You have all seen the image on the posters today: that wonderful picture of our planet, taken from space. After thirty years, it still catches our imagination with its beauty, its subtle colours, and its roundness. At ground level, this planet seems huge, indestructible. What that aerial picture brought home was our isolation, our vulnerability, and our planet’s fragility." So one could say the value of comparative research and the planetary consciousness facilitated by pictures, both things of Green value, weigh against the relatively small amount of resulting pollution, although it is also true space programs should try a lot harder to make it cleaner. We do have to ask ourselves though, what is the point of space exploration? Is it the new colonialism? Are we only exploring space so we can conquer new worlds? Capture resources? Or should we instead be exploring the potentials of space as a gravity free space? Hmmm.. For more on space elevators check out the Space Elevator website.


At 2/14/2005 03:54:00 PM, Blogger Rich said...

Gtting to space isn't that hard - getting to orbital velocity (so you don't fall back out of space) is. If you took an object up a space elevator and dropped it, it would fall rapidly back to earth. To get it to stay in space like a satellite you'd have to take a rocket up there - not quite as big a rocket as to reach orbit from ground level, but not a small one either. (This is also why using a weather balloon as a 1st stage for a rocket doesn't work well).


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