Friday, January 04, 2019
Chang'e 4 on the Moon!
It's off to an interesting start, with one foul-mouthed radical in Congress spewing hate, and another vowing confiscatory taxes and destruction of our energy systems. If left to their own designs, these people will bring us to ruin, so in response, junior senator Mitt Romney decided to "bring us together" (and co-incidentally launch his 2020 presidential bid, heh) by preaching against Donald Trump's alleged failure to be sufficiently nice. And Pocahontas declared she's running for president. Such shenanigans.
But meanwhile, elsewhere, some other human beings actually are up to some serious stuff, very serious stuff. China has landed the Chang'e 4 explorer on the far side of the moon, and is exploring. SpaceNews and Space.com have coverage. This is really interesting and important. Narcissi Craig of Victory Girls laments that "We Just Lost the Moon."
I would say we’re not lost yet. But we should pay attention. I'll expand on the comment I left on her post.
One of the very biggest developments the future decades will be the building of the economy in space. Morgan Stanley predicts the space economy will be over 1 trillion USD in 20 years (about three or four times what it is now); I think that will be low, but regardless, it will continue. Humans are on the verge of developing a Kardeshevian Type I civilization. As we do, the space economy will grow and very likely surpass the Earth economy. It's really only the time frame that should be in dispute here.
Building this economy will require development of private property rights in outer space. This will happen, because the benefits relative to costs of doing so are going up over time. Currently, property rights are supposedly prohibited by the international Outer Space Treaty of 1967, to which most nations (including the U.S. and PRC) are signatories, but this will prove toothless. The race is already on, now, to establish property claims. Think Huntington's Clash of Civilizations in space. Whoever owns space will essentially run human civilization for the next few centuries at least. Also, whoever dominates space militarily will dominate Earth militarily. It would be desirable, for those of us who believe in individual liberty, if it were the Western liberal civilization. Humans will do much better with this than any alternative.
Fools in the Western nations who imagine the great global challenge is “sustainability” and that the great goal is to decarbonize and to detechnologize would hand the game to the Chinese. (And I can imagine the Chinese and Russians might not mind encouraging us in this.) The insane push for socialism in America has to be defeated, and it must be done and quickly and thoroughly. Chang'e 4 is rolling.