A gang of billionaires — Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Richard Branson — were asked why they were spending so much of their ill-gotten gains on space travel. They answered that they’d been inspired by the space programs of the 1960s, and then, the usual stupid bullshit.
“We humans have to go to space if we are going to continue to have a thriving civilisation. We’re in the process of destroying our planet. We’ve sent robotic probes to every planet in the solar system; this is the good one. We have to preserve this planet. We can do that using the resources of space.”
That’s Bezos. He seems to have a superficial understanding of the fact that we’re wrecking our home, but his excuse is that we can go get stuff from space to reduce our drain on the system, which is nonsense. There’s no oil in space. Mining is always going to be more difficult, expensive, and dangerous on asteroids. The kinds of resources that drive the material development of society are going to be more destructive to the environment if we haul in more of them. If you’re serious about saving Planet Earth, work to end capitalism and build sustainable, renewable institutions.
But I don’t give a damn what self-serving excuses greedy rich fucks give for their profligacy. Skip to the end where Michael Mann (not a billionaire) gives his rebuttal.
“I’ve confirmed that Mr Bezos carries the collected works of the great Carl Sagan on his website. I would advise that he read what Carl Sagan had to say on this topic,” says Michael Mann, a climate expert and professor of Earth sciences at Penn State University.
“Sagan loved space exploration as much as anyone, and he envisioned us eventually travelling out into the cosmos. But he harboured no illusions about the near-term prospects for making that happen. That’s why he devoted the latter decades of his life advocating for the protection of this planet.
“Mr Bezos needs to absorb the sage advice of Sagan and invest his funds in efforts – environmental preservation and, especially, action to avert catastrophic climate change – that might actually accomplish his stated goals.”
He’s polite not to mention that we should also end the concentration of wealth in the hands of people who only believe in concentrating wealth even more.