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Re: shuttle disaster

On Wed, Feb 05, 2003 at 11:41:19AM -0600, DvB wrote:
> csj@mindgate.net writes:
> > On Mon, 3 Feb 2003 22:36:45 +0000,
> > Pigeon wrote:
> > 
> > [...]
> > 
> > > Personally, I think that the space programme in its current
> > > state of development is frequently trying to run before it can
> > > walk, and consumes money which would be better spent on famine
> > > relief.
> > 
> > That's one way to look at it. Agreed, famine victims should have
> > priority. But a country which already spends a hundred billion
> > dollars for its defense ought to spend a few more tens of billion
> > dollars for a space program that could save the planet when the
> > next Big One comes along
> Wanna "save the planet"? Why not spend some money on finding a way to
> reduce our dependence on fossil fuels? I know it would be exciting to be
> able to experience escaping to Mars with a gas mask over your face, but
> some of us like adventure a little less than that.

I can think of a few off the top of my head:
- run mobile power plants (vehicles, locomotives) off RME or alcohol
- design the products of industry to last ten times as long as they do
at the moment, and reduce industrial output by 90%
- impose a 1% cashflow tax on the oil industry and put the money into
fusion research
- put sails on ships

They all suffer from the problem that people who currently make vast
amounts of money out of fossil fuels won't be able to any more. I have
an unpleasant suspicion that we'll be dependent on fossil fuels until
they actually run out and force us to do something else. Science can
find lots of solutions, politics/greed are the problems when it comes
to putting them into practice.


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