[LMB] Luna, and Space generally (was Arecibo)

Pouncer pouncer at aol.com
Tue Nov 24 19:54:13 GMT 2020

Matthew George says:

 >Settling hostile environments on Earth - like the continental shelf,
 >Antarctica, various deserts, etc. - would be far easier [than Luna]
 >and generally we don't bother because of how hard it is to eke out
 >even a basic existence there.

There is generally no profit motive, so far, on the continental
shelf, etc. Nor even loss-avoidance motive.  The point we began
upon for replacing and improving Arecibo was to (a) detect dangerous
asteroids in time to (b) do something about them. So (a) build
radar dishes and (b) improve rocketry.  Seems to me those expenses
ought to be combined...

Settling new terrestrial territories -- here again we agree, but
differently -- ought to begin with terraforming.  Terraforming
terrestrial territories ought tempt us to terrific attempts, again for
loss avoidance reasons. A canal from the Mediterranean into the
Qattara Depression to create the new "Sahara Sea" for instance. We
could alter the environment and climate ON PURPOSE, for once. We
could literally turn our weapons in plows. Make the desert green.
Grow more food and much closer to a new market. Just the opposite of
what the Soviets did to the ARAL sea.  (Does a coincidence of proper
nouns count as an ObBujold?) The problem there is the
expense/investment of localized terraforming falls on nations that
already enjoy a nice climate and profit/benefits of the climate change
would fall on nations that can't contribute.

Investing on Luna, by contrast, benefits (or again, mitigates risk)
to everybody living on Earth.  We might do both, of course. If we
weren't wasting money and effort tilting at windmills.

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