Fascist scientists propose excluding 85% of solar system from human use


Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.


 

Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


 

If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
 
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

The tyrannical Earth moves to oppress future spacefarers: Scientists have now proposed a new fascist plan designed to exclude any human development in 85% of the entire solar system.

Great swathes of the solar system should be preserved as official “space wilderness” to protect planets, moons and other heavenly bodies from rampant mining and other forms of industrial exploitation, scientists say.

The proposal calls for more than 85% of the solar system to be placed off-limits to human development, leaving little more than an eighth for space firms to mine for precious metals, minerals and other valuable materials.

While the limit would protect pristine worlds from the worst excesses of human activity, its primary goal is to ensure that humanity avoids a catastrophic future in which all of the resources within its reach are permanently used up. [emphasis mine]

These fascists really only want power. They really have no interest in preserving anything. If their proposal was ever made law it would put control over that 85% in the hands of bureaucrats on Earth, not the people who will be living and working in space and who would also know best how to handle the situation. Also, their justification for the proposal, to prevent humans from using up all the available resources, is beyond ludicrous. We haven’t yet come close to using up Earth’s resources, even though doomsayers have been predicting that to happen repeatedly for the past century.

This story more than anything provides a window into the future political conflicts that will occur once humans finally establish space colonies. Much as the American colonies had to revolt from Great Britain’s overbearing power, colonists in space will have to do the same to get away from the same overbearing power coming from Earth.

Posted on a ferry taking us from Dublin, Ireland, to Holyhead, Wales.

Share

18 comments

  • Col Beausabre

    Time to re-read “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress”

    If you want to see what this would look like, see the American West where the Federal Government owns the vast majority of the land – an astonishing 85 percent in Nevada! And it’s being “managed” by “experts who are thousands of miles distant from the people who actually live there. If you want to see the impact on people, see the Indian reservations, where the people who live there aren’t allowed to own the land they live on. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/07/native-americans-property-rights/492941/

  • mike shupp

    We should exploit space resources over time but not rush into doing it all at once. And maybe we should keep some record of where we’ve been already and what we got from there.

    That doesn’t strike me as inherently objectionable. Yeah, record keeping requirements can be seen as an imposition on the perfect freedom of corporations and individuals, but we happily impose such demands today on banks and people mining bit-coins and the like. You wouldn’t want to buy a house where real estate dealers and city officials told you “Property rights? Deeds? Liens? Leases? Nobody pays attention to that sort of thing. You put your money down, so just go through the door with a gun in your hand and you’ll be sure the place belongs to you. Every evening.”

    As for the 85% notion, put up time limits. You could do this with treaties. “Nobody mines on Mercury before 2050. No nuclear explosions in the Oort Cloud, please! Hands on Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids until the UN or a successor organization gives permission, maybe in 2100.” I

    Not that the UN seems a great choice as a governing organization. I’d rather put the controls on space development and exploitation in the hands of people who actually live there — permanent colonists on the Moon and elsewhere rather than terrestrial politicians and bureaucrats. We seem to be eye on eye agreement about that.

    A minor digression while you’re between OIreland and Britain — or past that point. Once upon a time, colonists from those lands revolted against English misgovernment and tyranny — successfully. And two and half centuries later, the United Kingdom is still there, still under the Hanoverian despots, still declaring itself the lawful government of those islands, still invincible against French and Germans and others, still proclaiming its dominion over Canada and Australia and other foreign lands … With complete American equanimity and even some affection. So time withers tyranny. Is the UK a special case in history or typical?

  • Mike Shupp wrote

    ” I’d rather put the controls on space development and exploitation in the hands of people who actually live there — permanent colonists on the Moon and elsewhere rather than terrestrial politicians and bureaucrats.”

    And in time that will happen, but Earth will exercise dominion as long as the operations (financial/management) are based here. I expect as space operations move off-planet, some governments will attempt to impose restrictions on the movement of people and capital, similar to efforts by New York and California. Better be careful: it’s not all that hard to drop a rock on someone’s head.

  • m d mill

    Dream on.

  • wayne

    U2
    Sunday Bloody Sunday
    https://youtu.be/1glfzAoHYiI
    4:35

  • Ben K

    As disturbingly familiar as the article’s tone of nascent power grab is, the sentence I found most concerning is:

    “Once you’ve exploited the solar system, there’s nowhere left to go.”

    Such pessimism.

  • pzatchok

    Who seriously thinks that sometime in the future we will have cities on the Moon that will be viable from the Earth?
    No one I can think of. We can not even see Earth cities from low earth orbit.
    With the naked eye of course.

    Exactly how HUGE will the strip mine of Mars have to be to even see it from Mars low orbit?

    Much ado about nothing.

    As for asteroid/comet mining.
    Obviously we need to keep track of any that get moved. Obviously no explosives used for mining or moving. Just too random.

    Sell temporary deeds and titles to space land with the stipulation that after one year to start they will turn permanent after 10 years of continuous occupation or operation.

  • pzatchok

    Not viable but visible.

  • wodun

    I’m in favor of putting the Earth facing side of the Moon off limits to nearly all development and human activity. We only have the one Moon and it’s cultural importance is immense. The terrain there is not self-repairing like Earth. We have parks on Earth. The Earth facing side of the Moon would be a great preserve. It may seem like a lot of territory to set aside but only if you don’t realize how big the rest of the solar system is.

  • wayne

    Star Trek– Original Series
    –2nd pilot Intro segment
    https://youtu.be/GFtc2Ypwzl0
    4:18

  • Lee S

    @pzatchok

    “Sell temporary deeds and titles to space land with the stipulation that after one year to start they will turn permanent after 10 years of continuous occupation or operation.”

    Sold by who?

    The whole concept is nonsense…. Nobody owns the resources of the solar system….
    Some sort of of multinational agreement will have to be made to stop competing companies muscling in on one another… ( And it WILL be companies, not governments…)
    Other than that, it’s going to be first come, first served…. If I had secretly developed the technology to go mine an asteroid tomorrow, who is going to stop me?

    This is a rare occasion …. The pinko commie left wing socialist that is me, is fully in favour of almost totally unregulated free enterprise!!!
    Take the risks, open up the last great frontier, reap the rewards…

    No doubt there will be conflict, piracy even, but that is many centuries in the future… And the off-Earth community will no doubt figure out how to deal with these issues, when they arise, without any need for involvement from earthbound governments….
    ( Unless Mr Trump’s “Space farce” is still around!) ;-)

  • pzatchok

    How about instead of saying ‘sold’ we say ‘issue’ instead? The small fee is to pay for keeping the paperwork.

    Yes companies will be the first out of the gate but a government will need to regulate and control them. We don’t want to much shooting to be going on.

  • pzatchok

    The time limit is to keep people from buying up and claiming all the ‘land’ and then turning around and selling it for a profit later without putting anything into the effort.

    Uncle Jim doesn’t get to sit on millions of acres of land deeds for 50 years just to pass them onto his children who turn around and sell them in 100 years.
    That would slow down development.

  • Lee S

    pzatchok,
    “How about instead of saying ‘sold’ we say ‘issue’ instead? The small fee is to pay for keeping the paperwork.”

    My statement still stands…. Payment to who? And for what? And if I don’t pay, who is going to stop me?

    The solar system is huge…. and resources massive. For the initial stages of its colonisation and exploitation at least, a “gentelmans agreement” between nations will be fine.

    Your thinking that permits need to be issued means you think there is any organisation with the authority to issue…. There is not.
    No one owns the asteroids… If I want to go and mine one…. ( I repeat ) .. who is going to stop me?

  • Lee S

    “Uncle Jim doesn’t get to sit on millions of acres of land deeds for 50 years just to pass them onto his children who turn around and sell them in 100 years”

    Errrrrm…… Perhaps not millions of acres…. But this is ongoing here on earth… And has been for millennia….

  • Edward

    Robert wrote: “We haven’t yet come close to using up Earth’s resources, even though doomsayers have been predicting that to happen repeatedly for the past century.

    Longer than that. Around the year 1600, Dutch policy makers were concerned that there were only 300 years worth of peat left for that country to use as an energy source (specifically heating). It is now 400 years later, and there has not been a worry about that limitation for well over 100 years. So much for the doomsayers.

    From the article: “Do we want cities on the near side of the moon that light up at night? Would that be inspiring or horrifying?

    Good lord, does that mean that we have to prevent the cities on Earth from lighting up at night, too? Clearly, they are either inspiring or horrifying t spacefarers. How would we prevent such light pollution; remove the cities?

    Lee S asked: “Sold by who?

    I’m willing to draw up a deed for you. Just send me $100 U.S. (cash, not check), and you can own the right half of the Moon. (The left half, when you are in Australia or New Zealand.) I’m keeping the other half for other buyers.

  • pzatchok

    Lee S

    Who is going to stop you?
    They will get their the same way you did. Unless you think your the only guy with rockets.

    Who can stop any rocket launch now? Oh you can launch from some third world country but will they help you defend your right of ownership? No.
    It would be better to launch from some nation that has the power.
    And what are you going to do with it if the UN claims ownership for the world when you bring back or mine your asteroid?

    Unless you have your own army.
    if you don’t have an army you better rent one fast. And the easiest way is to get a government to issue a deed or title and let them defend your right of ownership.

    By the way, who issues the first deeds and titles to any land?

    I already have a star named after me and I own a small piece of the Moon.
    Me and Ed are willing to sell you a deed for a few bucks but I don’t see either of us being able to support the claim and paperwork in a world court.

  • m d mill

    This is like arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *