Note: This comment system was replaced with Disqus in May 2010.
Thursday, November 1, 2007 at 10:50:16 mdt
The ultimate irony is that extra-terrestrial destinations require 100% exploitation for us to survive. Should people go to Mars, they will not only have to exploit very available natural resource, but fully manifest their need to transform the environment to sustain human life. "Conserving" a hostile, probably lifeless environment would be like harvesting only a few apples from a tree full of ripe, juicy fruit. Dr Robert Zubrin's book "The Case for Mars" claims Man actually has all the technology we need to begin the terraforming process now, and in such a way that would create planetary chance in less than a century.
The Beck quote is so spot-on regarding environmentalism. Instead of objectively assessing the sustainability of particular resources on Earth and suggesting that perhaps it will be necessary to leave in a few hundred years, these nuts want to crush the effort before it's even begun.
Thursday, November 1, 2007 at 11:33:03 mdt
Name: Clay Hellman
sheesh.. do you think that any average person reading this is going to see it for anything other than the irrationality that it is?
I understand how these environmentalists gull the average joe who hears them and thinks something like... "they're saying I should be more efficient which is a good thing." I would think that the average person reading this would simply roll their eyes and think to themselves that someone has been hanging out in the ivory tower too much for their own good.
Thursday, November 1, 2007 at 16:43:30 mdt
Name: Jeff Montgomery
>The other thing is that space is not an infinite resource.
Oh man, that it so utterly ridiculous. And I thought once environmentalists secured spotted owl habitat they'd stop. (not)
>natural resources are there simply to be exploited
Somebody -- stop us before we combine inert elements into new and useful shapes again! Help!
Friday, November 2, 2007 at 2:36:12 mdt
It's a tough call to say whether or not "the average person" will grasp all this. I still manage to confound people by simply stating that there is a finite amount of things in existence. Apparently, the idea that the universe, the set of all things that exist, is infinite is really pretty common in spite of what you probably learned in 6th grade science class.
Friday, November 2, 2007 at 3:55:03 mdt
Name: Jim May
In a sci-fi novel I started writing in the late 80's but never finished, the opening scene that kicks off the story, is the assassination by environmentalists of the CEO of a fully private spaceline that had built fusion-engine ships that could go to the Moon in 24 hours, kicking off a space development boom and rendering obsolete all the government space programs in one go.
He was shot outside the courthouse on the first night of a government antitrust suit against him; his sobriquet in the media was "The Man who Bought the Moon" (in a tip of the hat to Heinlein).
I'm wishing I had completed it, as some of my predictions have come true. Most are trifling ones (such as blue LED's) and a few undershot the target (1GHz CPU's and ten meg floppies by 2003, woohoo!) but predicting that the environmentalists would oppose all space exploration was just about dead on.
Having said that, even I expected that to be a reaction to *actual* space activity, not to the mere potential decades before the fact!
This sort of thing needs to be archived and trotted out every time it is necessary to point out the utter hatred of human life that infuses the Left.
Those who wonder at what kind of cultural insanity gave rise to Nazism and Communism, pay close attention -- this is its essence, happening live before you, right now.
Friday, November 2, 2007 at 17:16:27 mdt
Name: Richard Watts
So somebody wants us to sacrifice to spare the rocks now? What will they say tomorrow -- that we should sacrifice for the pristine vacuum of empty space?
Saturday, November 3, 2007 at 14:59:38 mdt
Name: Richard Watts
I've posted the following comments to J. F. Beck's blogpost:
"...if we do destroy a planet that's uninhabitable, is that a problem? It's an ethical issue."
Yes, it's an ethical issue. It would be unethical for humans to forgo anything worth having, or worth achieving, for the sake of leaving rocks and dust in their untouched condition.
Why does one need a code of ethics at all? To guide him or her in how to live well, so he can make his life good, and be happy.
A code of ethics that seeks to persuade man to destroy his life by giving up the resources necessary to his success, is no-good. The essence of that code of ethics is the notion that one has no right to live for his or her own benefit.
That code, altruism, hides behind a false pretense of benevolence when it claims one should sacrifice for the benefit of others. But the true malevolence of that code becomes obvious when it claims that man should sacrifice his welfare to save dirt and rocks in their untouched, unused (and therefore worthless) condition -- to spare them from being made useful to man. The real goal of altruism, and of its child environmentalism, isn't helping others, nor saving Bambi. The goal is the sacrifice itself -- the destruction of any value to the individual, and to man.
For a rational alternative to that code, see aynrand.org .
What could it mean to "destroy" a planet that's uninhabitable? In other words, a planet that has an environment which is hostile to life? If some part of that planet is made useful to human life, what value has been destroyed? What the "save the space-rock" people actually value is keeping man from using whatever resources would do man any good.
"The other thing is that space is not an infinite resource."
Isn't it? If the statement had been "The universe is not infinite", then it would have been true. The universe (the total of everything which exists) is finite. Any thing or any collection of things which actually exists -- including the universe -- is finite, in that there are a certain number of objects present, and no more, each with a certain size and a certain mass.
But the amount of material, of "resources", in the universe is very, VERY large. Try to picture man making use of any significant fraction of that material. Try to picture an object a million times the size of the earth -- then consider that if you compare that object to the total amount of matter in the universe, the object would be just a speck compared to the total.
The statement that "...space is not an infinite resource" seeks to imply that the total of the matter in the universe is inadequate for man's uses -- which is false. For man's purposes, you might as well say that the resources in the universe are infinite -- they exceed man's ability to make use of them all in any foreseeable future.
"...space is not an infinite resource" also falsely implies that man could not only use all the resources, but could also use them up. But when man uses matter, its elements do not pass out of existence, and the same elements can be used over and over. Even when man burns nuclear fuel, he does not banish the materials from existence, he only changes their form.
There is no scarcity of materials in the universe to limit man's resources. The only limit will be the extent of man's ingenuity and ambition in aquiring and making use of those resources -- if each person will only recognize his or her moral right to live and to succeed.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007 at 9:44:39 mst
Name: Allan Blackburn
Just a note to say, that as an Ojectivist, finding your comments was a pleasure. I only had to read the first two sentences before I was thinking back to my writing days trying to further the ideas of Ayn Rand, who; however, bloodied by her personal life remains almost unblemished in her philosophical one. Your comments, are of couse, right on. Thank you. Funny how surfing the net brings one back to his philosophical base.
Your spam block blocker is no fun. The answers "four" and "6-2" didn't work. Oh well, now the obvious.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007 at 17:13:14 mst
Name: Diana Hsieh
Allan -- Thanks! As for Ayn Rand's supposedly "bloodied" personal life, you might want to read James Valliant's _The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics_.