Sometime during the era of USA President Ronald Regan, a since-fiction became reality. It was called the Biosphere 2. Around the same time we had our Sky-lab and in a book by Erich Von Danikën an artist impression of a Space City Although this article is not about God or Space travel, reading Von Danikën has given me a futuristic Green Business Idea relevant for the present but perhaps a mission which could become a reality in the near future.
What if we take all our mining activities to the Moon ? And the heavy engineering and production activities too? ISRO has already mapped various minerals found in the moon. And this was not done by the International Space and Scientific community because they wanted to spend some idle time they had between their regular work. Both Moon and Mars are possible destinations for us to find the minerals we need with Moon being more possible in the near future. And the sooner we recognise the matter the better it would be for Earth.
We all know that Colonising the Moon and Mars is simply not possible. At least not with the present technology and understanding we have of it, but having a mining station on the Moon is another matter altogether. Something which can rest under similar hermetically sealed cities like the Biosphere 2. The technology is available to us. All we require is to pause form the silly wars we like to fight with each other and spend our energy into something constructive. Perhaps the war-mongers who make their business form sale of war materials would find changing their vocation to space pursuits more profitable.
We had begun well in the era between 1968 – 1986 but somewhere down the line we simply forgot about it. Fortunately it began again a few years ago when Virgin started thinking of passenger space ship, and the Virgin Galactic Space Hotel. What if we can have Space stations which could act as Mid-way between Earth & Moon for (Space) Shipping ? Imagine if the CIICESD and other such institutions come together and in the Rio+20 UNFCCC summit, and WBCSD review on their cornerstone Vision 2050 report, which calls for a new agenda for business laying out a pathway to a world in which nine billion people can live well, and within the planet’s resources, by mid-century. The report is a consensus piece that was compiled by 29 leading global companies from 14 industries and is the result of an 18 month long combined effort between CEOs and experts, and dialogues with more than 200 companies and external stakeholders in some 20 countries.
That modern human can not live its present high-carbon economy life-style, without raising the Global temperature to 3.5°C leading to catastrophic Climate Change is a given. It is also a given, that no amount of persuasion would turn the people, me included; to live a frugal life-style which is truly carbon negative. Centuries of industrialisation has programmed us to live in a certain fashion; we fancy that we can make do without many things, but its wise to recognise that even the tools which we use for protest and raise awareness about climate change is in itself a product of the very same GHG producing industry and life-style. Therefore while we should be concerned about those who do not want to do ‘their bit’ we must also understand their concerns and try to work things from their perspective too.
Imagine, if the USA & Canada the non-signatories of Kyoto Protocol and the fence sitters like Russia & Japan who do not want to ratify KP2 agree to pool in their collective resources taking along the support of the BASIC Nations, to speed up the Vision 2050. The fear and uncertainty which the leading Nations face about losing out their numero uno position would ease, because whether one likes it or not, when it comes to cutting edge science the USA still has the edge with other Developed Nations close behind. And therefore we must pamper its ego ( with some financial backing & negotiations ) to devise ways as how soon we can remove all GHG producing manufacturing units form the planet Earth.
It would not solve the energy problem though. There is no way we can produce energy in space and transport them back to Earth. For that the combination of Renewable Energy & Alternate Energy must be explored in tandem and improved upon.
But by being able to stop Mining for minerals we would perhaps be able to save the Forests. Also if we produce steel in 1/6th the gravity we could perhaps have a better product and less Smog. Thus only finished products need to be made on Earth while the smelting and mining activities taken up on the Moon. Moreover, should Nations gear up for the idea, immediate employment opportunities would arise. People would not only require Astronauts / Cosmonauts /Vyomanauts ( Indian) who are high-end engineers and doctors but also maintenance technicians, janitors and other services. As in the initial days the best of the best would be drawn upon, it would create more employment opportunities for those who are unemployed at present. And even on terra firma ancillary and support would itself generate more work opportunities.
Lastly, the question that is fundamental is where would we get the money for this adventure ? Strangely, very few question the same when Nations allocate funds to their War coffers or Bale-out packages or Grants /Loans given to other Countries for vested interest. Where does that money come from? If World Leaders are able to produce and justify the source, surely they can re-allocate some for advancement of Science. Moreover its their job to create more employment and business opportunities. With present economies plateauing, new avenues must get explored.
A futuristic Green Idea for sure…but to insure we do have a future in this only living planet ..we must look beyond the obvious. And perhaps OASIS, ALBA and LDC should do a Tharir Square on the UNSC to have a mindset regime change. For they are going to face the brunt of Climate Change, should nothing gets done.
- Domino’s Pizza plans to open moon location for $21 billion (celebritynetworth.com)
- Brits predict holidays to the moon (confused.com)
- Biosphere 2 and the joy of ‘failed’ experiments (paulmiller.org)