Thursday, December 07, 2006

the next boom

Forget about Vancouver. Forget about Paris, London, Tokyo, Wichita. The next hot land rush will be on the moon. And I mean hot! Once you get beyond the Earth's magnetic shield, cosmic radiation becomes a bit of an issue. Retiring boomers from Chernobyl, or Three Mile Island are expected to be the first ones lining up to buy their plots.

NASA has announced that it wants to set up a permanent, self-sufficient outpost on the moon by 2024. There is a fair bit to exploit on the moon, so there will be very low unemployment. Lot's of minerals, and such, and huge supplies of Helium 3. Helium 3 can be used as a fuel in nuclear fusion - as opposed to fission, which produces nasty radioactive waste. Fusion results in no such waste. I have read that one shuttle load of the gas could provide all of Earthlings' energy needs for a few years.

There is lots of sunlight at the South Pole too, which can provide solar power to run things, and makes for a great growing season. Inflation will be a thing of the past in the vacuum of space, though you will live in an inflatable condo.

Beam-me-up Moonray has first option on marketing moon condos on the shore of the Sea of Tranquility. The first development might have a name such as Tranquil Towers, or Maison on the Mons. Maybe The Manse at Mons Ampère - a high energy complex for swinging Septuagenarians. The bold will move there from Crater City. Retiring boomers will get into bidding wars over the available abodes.

Weather is guaranteed to be sunny, views of the Earth are spectacular, and they are just not making any more moons.


Babybull40 said...

fly me to the moon.. where I can sit upon the stars.. da da da da

Freako said...

Horrific waste of money. It is a first step in the quest to put man on Mars, which is an even more horrific waste of money. I can see the first moon missions as a product of the cold war, but what about now? Jeez, cure cancer or slow climate change or something.

solipsist said...

I agree regarding the waste of money. My cynical side feels that cancer will not be cured though. There is too much money at stake in the cancer "industry". Billions of dollars are already spent, and cancer just gets more prevalent. If they want to cure cancer, or rather, stop it, I can tell them how for free. Stop using so many chemicals for everything. Get rid of sodium laurel sulfate in toothpaste, dish soap, laundry soap, etc. Stop using Thimerosol in vaccines, stop using mercury in dental fillings, stop using pesticides, herbicides and petroleum fertilizers, stop packaging everything in plastic, stop using fire retardent in mattresses and couches, etc. Curb the emissions of microwaves, and so forth.

That is not all of it either. China, Japan, and others are all looking at the moon, and the first to stake it out will be the "winner". Of course, the US is positioned the best for such a foray, and it leaves me wondering if it will not be the source of more international rancour.

It seems to me that if we are lokking beyond Earth for more living space (no pun intended), and resources, we are in serious trouble.

I have long had a dream in which most of Earth's population head for the moon, or Mars, whatever, and leave this beautiful planet to those of us who appreciate it.

Who the hell would want to live in a plastic bubble in a place that has no flipping oxygen or water? Not me.

bcubbins said...

Speaking of bold moves to up-and-coming neighbourhoods, the Sun has a great article about the Woodwards neighbourhood...

Our four blocks of hell

Even the trash collectors demand police protection....

A four-block area of the Downtown Eastside is so filthy and hazardous that sanitation workers have asked for police protection when they go in on routine duties.
The zone, which has more police officers assigned to it than anywhere else in Vancouver, is the scene of "some of the most profound and concentrated public disorder and street cleanliness problems in the city," says a report to be considered by a city council committee on Thursday.
Clothing thrown out of the area's many single-room occupancy buildings became tangled on overhead lines and heavier items like television sets were dropped to the streets, endangering passersby. Human feces and urine polluted lanes, sex-trade detritus was littered in public areas, and buildings were opened up to vermin where scavengers took away fittings for their scrap value.
City staff admit in their report that "the area reverted to baseline conditions within three to four days post pilot."
The project was sparked by complaints from sanitation staff and Vancouver police department employees that they no longer felt safe working in the area.

solipsist said...

Thanks for the exerpt and link bcubbins.

I have a feeling that an awful lot of people are going to be upset with Rennie Marketing Systems in a few years. That feeling will be misplaced though - they will only have themselves to blame.

Gentrification, or cleaning up a neighbourhood, requires a lot more than building "fancy" condo's and slick marketing. The problems that have created the DTES denizens need to be addressed first. The people who bought into that are like lambs to the slaughter.


Freako said...

The costs of overcoming gravity are such that space based resource extraction will never ever be economically feasible. Well at least not within 6 generations of my life time.

solipsist said...

Thanks for posting freako.

My understanding is that it costs ~ $11,000 per kilo to get into space. There are all kinds of hokey pipe dreams about space elevators and such, but that cost will continue to be prohibitive.

Strangely enough, I think that some of the solutions may be in more "primitive" technologies - such as air ships. That can get you up over 100,000 ft. at less cost than a Titan rocket, and you can continue from there.

There is much talk of re-implementing wind power (as an adjunct) in maritime transport too.

Horse power may make a literal comeback in the not-too-distant future.