Saturday, 28 May 2011


World economies do not need to be a closed-system, profiting rudely on the gullibilities and vanities of others, selling faded dreams, outstanding debt and financial hocus-pocus. Such things are not upwardly infinite. As an instrument to raise people’s standards of living sustainably, promote peace and cooperation, and to keep the engines of progress and development running smoothly, economies and investment opportunities can expand indefinitely and beyond this mundane sphere.

As the brilliant and always insightful Neatorama directs our attention to stellar prospecting and the new wealth possible with mining asteroids (a tiny metallic asteroid with an estimated worth of $20 trillion) alone, the new frontier is just begging for carpet-baggers. It is hard to believe that some clever (just playing by the numbers and the cold, unfeeling math of return on investments) are not already sending out corporate probe droids. Not that the skies should be brought down on us—unlimited resources added to the closed-system that is ecology would be equally devastating. Just has one cannot simply send all the excess carbon-dioxide to Rigel 7 and expect that to fix global warming without consequence, one cannot provide emission-free automobiles to the world’s population without paving over every last space of land or without being buried in our own trash. Still, the business of space exploration and exploitation could be managed well at its inception, putting factories and refineries off-world and maintaining a balance of trade in egress and import. Energy to power all these endeavours would be crucial, and considering all the capital already spent on the debate over the future of household atomics in Europe, Germany should be building a space elevator (Weltraumlift) and a stratospheric lightening rod, a wind sock to harness power from cosmic rays. That aurora alone would go a long way in meeting the world’s growing energy demands.