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Wealthy environmentalist picks his preferred UK spaceport

Capitalism in space: A wealthy businessman who is also involved in environmental causes has invested almost 1.5 million pounds in the proposed spaceport planned for the Shetland Islands, the northernmost British islands.

What makes this investment especially interesting is this same environmentalist’s opposition to a different spaceport proposed for Sutherland, Scotland.

Danish businessman Mr Povlsen, who is reportedly worth £4.5bn thanks to his Bestseller clothes retail empire, and his wife own thousands of acres of land in Sutherland, and on other estates in the Highlands. [Their company] Wildland Ltd has raised concerns about Space Hub Sutherland’s impact on the Caithness and Sutherland Peatlands Special Protection Area, and has sought a judicial review of Highland Council’s permission for the satellite launch project.

Another of the Povlsens’ companies, Wildland Ventures Ltd, has invested in Shetland Space Centre.

This apparently is the ultimate in NIMBY (not in my backyard!). It seems this couple is throwing its weight behind the Shetland site in order to help keep the Sutherland site (in their backyard) from being built.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!

 

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

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4 comments

  • wayne

    some tidbits on this guy. (can’t vouch for accuracy, it’s the internet and all…)

    “The couple started buying land in 2006 and now own about 220,000 acres across 12 estates.”
    –>>”Three of their four children – Alfred, five, Agnes, 12, and Alma, 15 – were killed in the bombing attacks in Sri Lanka which claimed more than 250 lives.”
    “The Duke of Buccleuch is the most prominent of Scotland’s traditional big landowners, owning about 200,000 acres, mostly in the south of Scotland.”
    “The billionaire ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, has also been busy snapping up about 63,000 acres of Scottish land.”
    “…..the country’s biggest landowner however remains the government agencies and public bodies that manage huge areas of land on behalf of the nation.”
    and…..
    “The Povlsens’ extensive Scottish land and property empire is good news for the Danish public purse, as Danes pay tax on all the land they own – regardless of where it is.”

  • janyuary

    Well, it seems like a reasonable solution. Though there may be other possibilities, such as it being a convenient front for some other finance strategy. I like capitalism because at its best, everyone comes away with something good. The spaceport gets built, the guy gets to keep his ol’ peat mogs or whatever (maybe pretty good whisky), and everybody’s happy.

  • Lee Stevenson

    Hmmmmmm…. Definitely something fishy going on here…. And I don’t just mean the shoreline!! Unfortunately I’m about to start a week of 12 hour shifts, so I have no chance to do a deep dive into this… But I’m sure there is dirt to be dug here…..

  • Bob Ryan

    So he has actively started a legal process to stop the other spaceport in his back yard while investing in the competitor?

    Hard to believe that is not relevant to the legal process, the motivation there cannot be pure if he has a financial stake elsewhere. Blatant strong arm tactics. He may have shot himself in the foot.

    All that hand-waving about being environmentally conscious is exposed as bluster when you pull a stunt like this.

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