[FPSPACE] Re: Your Message 10. Re: Re: More on myopic Vision
gopalavatar at yahoo.co.in
Sun Feb 12 22:54:25 EST 2006
All change starts at the level of the individual, with you and me , and others friends and partners who are reading these thoughts for example, as starters......
About the human penchant , "They wait until a crisis and do things on a panic basis.." that is very true. The energy crisis is already on us. A serious drinking water crisis has also descended on us. Developing countries especially the billion+ populated ones, are bearing the brunt of the energy and water cisis.
But even here in India, only the poor and the district and village administrators see the problem. The elite scientists sitting in aironditioned comfort and basking in the glory of occassional space launches to replace old communication satellites and planning to go to the moon, don't see the problem as an opportunity for man and society....just wait, NASA will do it for the world, sort of thing........
But even George.W Bush has declared solar energy as a thrust area in his recent state-of-th-union message. That could be the trigger should NASA and the space solar power community to see the opportunity but why should they bother about the rest of the world, hey wait a minute here is this great data coming in from a comet we have landed on...........
The President of India [please see www.presidentofindia.nic.in check out "Speeches; 14 Aug 05 on 'Energy Independence"] has announced a requirement for 25 gigawatts solar power by 2030 along with a portfolio of other renwables.
China has decided to invest $ 180 billions in solar and other forms for renewable energies by 2020 and passed a "law" making it compulsory to spend that money on renewables only.
The West Asian world is increasingly worried where will they get water when gas supplies run out? Back to the nomadic desert era, wait for another Lawerence of Arabia?
David, these are real demand drivers, real people crying out for energy and water, for a decent life.
Solar energy from space [even for settlements on the Moon or Mars so there is long term commonality in demand and supply] can materialize provided there is low cost reliable safe access to space. A RLV design for this business requirement can be generated because people and countries are ready to buy energy and fresh water right away...the demand for water is really compelling and a multi-billion dollar revenue earner.
You're right " It certainly requires a different mindset than the one we see around us now."
Isn't Mr Bush visiting India next month?? What are we waiting for?????Just the first step starts a long journey..........
DSFPortree at aol.com wrote:
I like international cooperation, and I don't think it is necessarily more expensive than operating independent space programs, as some who oppose it would argue. It certainly requires a different mindset than the one we see around us now.
I also like the notion of really big technological projects, like solar power satellites. But I have to level with you - I'm a pessimist when it comes to leaders and the behaviors of big groups. I don't think humans generally do big things because such things make sense by themselves. They wait until a crisis and do things on a panic basis, or they do things because they have some justification other than making the big goal happen (a la Kennedy, LBJ, and Apollo), or they do things in a fit of forgetfulness or pique. They bumble through history, missing opportunities, but periodically doing the right thing. I think of the Interstate Highway System, which fundamentally altered the way the U.S. operated (for bad and good). Inspired by the Nazi Autobahn system, it was mainly motivated by a desire to move troops and materiel if the U.S. faced an invasion, a justification which now seems archaic.
Someday, though, I think an international apparatus of the type you describe could in fact evolve, probably for reasons we can barely foresee now. Space will have to become more important to more people first, however. Sorry to sound like a broken record, but it will take time, so we'll just have to wait and see.
David S. F. Portree
author & educator
dsfportree at aol.com
Flagstaff Arizona USA
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