SPACE POWER

 

  1. Climate change is the greatest threat ever to humanity.  

    1. The US DOD sees it as the primary threat to world peace, economic stability and the welfare of humanity. We don't have the luxury of taking a long time to address these environmental and socio-political issues.  We need big picture solutions and proposals that can make a difference in the environmental and economic problems we are experiencing today.

 

  1. 91% of primary power is fossil fueled and must be reduced by all means as fast as possible. Hydro, Nuclear, Geothermal Wind and Solar account for only 9 percent of primary power.

    1. Earthly renewables suffer from low density. They aren’t where you need them. in concentration. They are intermittent, expensive to collect, store and distribute. They add instability to the world power grid and require long range transmission... with subsequent losses so the grid must be over built and under utilized. Their energy needs to be regulated adding complexity and cost to the system.

 

  1. Over-population, poverty, and lack of opportunity are also real challenges to humanity’s future.

    1. There are now 7 billion people on the planet, with 10  billion by 2050 and as much as 15 billon by 2100. No one knows what the carrying capacity of earth is, but it seems evident that we have already exceeded it.

 

    1. As population grows, more energy is needed. To provide energy for 10 billion people, we will need 3 times the primary energy and it will need to be 3 times as clean.  There are no earthly technologies, capable of providing this power.  Advances in efficiency although critical in the short run, by themselves cannot solve the problem.  Providing ten billion people with energy is something conventional systems cannot do. Carbon neutral power is necessary.  ...Hoffert, et al.

   

  1. Space Power can provide clean, steady solar power to all earth locations on time on target. Steady power helps regulate the grid, provides emergency power to distant locations, reduces need for transmission lines and losses therefrom.

    1. Lunar Solar Power can utilize moon material to build out solar panels using robotic factories.

      1. A lunar colony can provide power for space operations as well as transmitting power to earth. He3 from the Moon could power fusion reactors - capable of replacing the remaining fossil fuel plants, and powering humanity’s movement into the solar system.

 

      1. Space Power designs are based on known and proven engineering, It is not Science Fiction, but Science Fact. Mankins indicated that we are perhaps 20 years away from the development of a solar power satellite if we made the effort.   This non-military  peaceful space competition could provide an economic stimulus to every major space faring country. It is also a scheme with a very tangible commercial payback in energy production and consumption benefits.  The fears and realities of unemployment and under employment are the realities in US and Europe in particular. So the jobs arguments may also have very strong economic and political appeal as these jobs would create permanent and growing energy infrastructure in cislunar space and with the ground based components on Earth. A bold proposal therefore is very likely to be much more attractive and credible.

 

  1. We need a Manhattan Project, a Marshall Plan funded at $30 billion a year to replace fossil fuels and create millions of high-tech jobs, to grow the world economy. ,,,Hoffert, ISDC http://celestialmechanics.org/2014/09/an-expert-calls-for-an-energy-manhattan-project/

 

    1. Four billion people live in poverty, at least two billion go to sleep hungry every night. ...You can reduce population pressure by nuclear war, pestilence, pandemic, or mass starvation. You can also reduce it by reducing poverty. Wel-to-do people in modern societies have fewer children.

 

    1. Space Power could raise the world average GNP from $400 annually to $12,000. ...Criswell, Gaia Selene.

 

  1. What Climate Deniers Cost Us. 

    The “Stern” Report estimates that if we don’t act, the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global GDP each year, now and forever. If a wider range of risks and impacts is taken into account, the estimates of damage could rise to 20% of GDP or more.” http://celestialmechanics.org/2014/07/what-climate-deniers-cost-us/

                    

  1. Funding the MoonHattan Project: 

    Fossil fuel energy companies are the biggest and most profitable corporations in the history of the world. Still, they receive $1 Trillion dollars in government subsidies a year. http://celestialmechanics.org/2014/09/untold-billions-fossil-fuel-subsidies-their-impacts/  http://celestialmechanics.org/2014/09/de-funding-climate-change/

 

    1. Eliminate Fossil Fuel Subsidies. Direct the money to renewables including Space Power. 

 

    1. Reward fossil companies (In return) with a tax break for every dollar invested in Space Energy. Energy companies have the wealth and expertise...

 

    1. Money spent in developing Space Power is not lost. It goes directly into the world economy, creating high-tech jobs, employing millions and multiplying and transforming the economy for many years (Help, Paul? )

 

  1.   Jobs..

    1. “Globally, we are already producing more people with high levels of education for which they will find no meaningful roles. In the US, many science postdocs can’t get tenure and seek out alternative opportunities.  China, which is producing vastly more technical specialists than the US, is finding it hard to generate jobs that match the skills and expertise that are being acquired. This problem will be compounded as universities around the world disgorge increasing numbers of highly trained specialists. Limited to the environment of the Earth, there is no known economic model that can deliver high income jobs globally.” ...Vid Fossil Fuels create few jobs.   “ http://celestialmechanics.org/2014/08/kentucky-loses-money-on-coal/

 

10. Space Power Jobs

    A Space Frontier creates millions of high-tech jobs. Space related initiatives, particularly those that involve human space flight have the potential to generate high quality jobs.   Vid Beldavs, Dave Dunlop

 

    (I don't know if anyone has taken John Mankins solar power satellite scenario and tried to project out both the capital cost of implementing a solar power satellite and also what the associated jobs that would be created. (Paul Wendos???)

 

    We go to the Moon not because it is easy, but because it is hard.” ...JFK

    In the past, technical innovation created jobs, now with automation, robotics and artificial intelligence, it eliminates jobs. New environments demand innovation.  Doing hard stuff demands the best of people.  Developing the Moon could create millions of jobs.  Mars settlement could create tens of millions of jobs.  Industrial development on the Moon with the significant involvement of people demands solutions of scores of problems that translates into tens of thousands of scientists and engineers each of whom has families and who live in communities whose livelihood would be stimulated through the good jobs of the people involved in creating technologies for space industrialization and space settlement.   The space development jobs multiply human capacity by enabling humans and their descendants to live, work and play in a broader range of environments.   Other symptoms of the problem is the limited number of open positions in many fields.      Vid Beldavs, Dave Dunlop

 

11.    Limits to Growth

    The compelling argument for space industrialization is that we are near the limits of our ecological niche on Earth and, as a species, must expand our territory much as territorial expansions have occurred many times before. 

    Most arable land is already in use, much with mono crops. The seas are being swept clean of edible fish. The air, land, sea, the aquifers, our cities and whole regions have become toxic with our waste. Natural resources are stressed and running out. Some scientists predict a massive die off from pandemic, nuclear war, political conflicts or mass starvation. 

    We have arrived at a historical moment of economic crisis where no exit appears visible. The limits of financialization and the “service” economy have been reached. The way forward is through a return to developing the real economy. However, we are also at the limits of globalization. Technological advances and their commercialization with new products, though necessary, will not solve the problem.

    Meanwhile, states with few natural resources and little manufacturing are pursuing austerity policies in an attempt to escape the present crisis. The result has often been a further deepening of economic problems. 

    The crisis we face is much deeper than the end of globalization. Humanity is reaching the limits of its ecological niche on this planet. The financialization of the economy that led to the present crisis is a symptom of the deeper crisis. Finding opportunities in the real economy is limited, while clever people created a virtual financial world with seemingly limitless opportunity. Yet this virtual world is dependent on the real economy. For the virtual financial economy to continue to deliver real rewards, the real economy must ultimately see real development. However, we no longer have a frontier to conquer . Limited to the environment of the Earth, there is no known economic model that can deliver high income jobs globally.  The earth is a closed system with finite resources. There is no way to get more of anything except going off planet. Continual economic growth, seen as critical by economists, cannot happen on a closed system. Wealth and growth must be imported from outside the system... It is time we return to the space frontier.

 

    The most powerful historical example is the American frontier with its extraordinary global impact. The technologies needed to make space exploration a reality will likely deliver innovations that will make life on Earth more livable going forward. Space industrialization is the next industrial revolution that Robert J. Gordon could not find in his National Bureau of Economic Research article “Is US Economic Growth Over?”

     Space-based solar energy will be a key technological leap that comes with such a project. Space-based solar energy can deliver electricity to remote areas of the Earth, enabling rapid development across India, Africa, and the Asian hinterland. Keeping a large contingent of people alive on the Moon for prolonged periods will require significant advances in life support and medical technologies, plus the development of entirely new fields such as ecological engineering to create large scale, closed cycle ecosystems. Advances in life support—space agriculture to keep people alive indefinitely on the Moon and other bodies in the Solar System—can contribute to increased food security on the Earth. Humankind will be taking steps to emerge out of the limited environment of its home planet to build a solar-system-wide civilization with challenges to absorb humanity’s energies for centuries to come.

    Large-scale concrete projects, such as establishing a lunar base, mining the Moon and asteroids for minerals, developing networks of space-based power plants to generate clean power for the Earth, and developing a space elevator to reduce launch costs to Earth orbit are major technical challenges. The technologies to solve these challenges will spawn new industries and numerous new products that will also have spinoffs and applications in the terrestrial economy.

    Would very large-scale space projects be expensive? Of course: the cost over a decade is likely to be in the range of a mid-sized war such as the Iraq conflict,($3 Trillion and counting)  or upwards of a trillion dollars. Yet, investments in space industrialization, unlike investments in military technology, can generate large, near-term commercial benefits.

    With indirect employment over one million jobs were created as a result of Apollo.  The 400,000 involved in building bases, designing and constructing the numerous pieces of equipment all used other services, bought cars, sent kids to school, etc.

 

    Apollo did not get involved in long duration, low gravity life support, eco-system engineering, lunar resource processing, space manufacturing, and numerous other activities including tourism operations where engineers, physicists, chemists, and other scientists, and psychologists, sociologists, and numerous other professions would have a role.  James Wertz  of USC is working on a economic model of a lunar base with 1000 people. A thousand person facility would be too small to house all the professions that would be called upon.  How many would actually work on the Moon itself will depend on how many people can adapt to Moon gravity on a sustained basis.    I believe the Chinese program directly employs in excess of 300,000 but need to find confirming figures.   US, EU, China, India and other competing space programs will duplicate much of the effort with total global employment rising as an increasingly broad range of challenges are addressed.  

 

    NASA has been considered a good national investment for what has been put into it.

     Economic critics would have to argue that it would be cheaper (most cost efficient to simply let civilization destroy itself through environmental destruction. That is not an attractive end point position to defend.

    We need to make sure the economist and employment arguments are not easily discredited.  We might also seek the counsel of Paul Werbos who is an economist and well equipped to address these consideration. ...Dunlop 

        

    “(With) the recent worldwide economic near-collapse,”... “Governments around the world, including many of the major ones, are deep in debt.  Incredibly in debt.  Major economies are groaning under debt.  Most have bounced back after the sharp, worldwide recession earlier this century, but that debt is still out there, and, to my knowledge, nobody has any plan to deal with it.  A new infusion of several trillions of dollars, backed by real value, could allow economic expansion, infrastructure build out around the planet, the creation of millions of jobs.  Hundreds of millions.  As those jobs expanded national economies, middle classes would begin to assert themselves, tax revenues could increase, government debt could be addressed from a position of growing economic strength, not collapse.  Simply printing paper money on that scale, unsupported, can only eventually lead to huge inflation.” 

 

    To answer the critics of the space program, those who say we should not go into space until we have solved our problems on Earth.  Suppose saving advanced, technological civilization and liberal democracy meant reaching beyond the planet, into space, for the resources and opportunities required to provide those nine billion(?) with material lives and life options similar to those you and I enjoy?  Would the critics be for that?” ...Gregory Anderson

 

ADD - Dunlop on precious metals from space as basis for wealth, backing earth currencies and economies...

 

C. Proser 7/13/2015

 

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