2014/11/01

A Virgin Galactic rocket exploded. Good.

It's unfortunate that a pilot died, but it's good that a Virgin Galactic rocket launch failed and crashed.

Virgin Galactic's whole purpose is to start a new industry: space tourism. Many people have paid $200K and up to get a seat on a short space flight.

First of all, such luxury indulgences are obscene in a world where so many lack the most basic necessities.

But even more glaringly, we are faced by the urgency of climate change. It is criminal to invent a new industry that requires truly obscene amounts of energy based on fossil fuels at a time when we need to rapidly and drastically scale down the use of such fuels.

The Virgin Galactic program should be shut down; if Richard Branson won't do it, governments should outlaw it. If they won't do it, people should pressure potential customers to boycott it, and should engage in direct action to shut it down. All of the capital put into Virgin Galactic should be put into ramping up wind and solar energy and energy efficiency programs.

The crash of a Virgin Galactic rocket is a good thing for humanity as a whole.

1 comment:

David Kerrigon said...

1. Envision a time travel machine. If Andrew Guzman's book Overheated is correct, millions of subsistence Africans begin to perish in about 2025. Send various space entrepreneurs to Africa in 2025, let them see how bad things are, send them back to 2014. Presumably they will be able to see how to best spend their efforts. Space entrepreneurs are visionaries without vision.
2. Sergey and Larry are big into private space rockets. They also have the Google X Solve For X project, which smells of Sergey's techno wet dream, rather than being a responsible use of that platform or of either billionaire's fortune.
3. Here is a great techno-optimist (spelled with an infinity sign instead of "o-o") image: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-E8PKK534xfY/UlbOYNoV0xI/AAAAAAAACQU/2-iFr5fwLuI/s1600/robert-mccall-The-Prologue-and-the-Promise-1024x427.jpg. Is this ever going to be a reality for the 3B subsistence income humans? No way. Such a blindered reality.