Before you begin reading this speech, it is a harsh review of mankind and its activities on this planet, and for the record, I'm not some extreme hippy gun-hating environmentatist, but I am worried about the future of our planet and the human race in general, I know that we, has a species, are not prepared for what is coming. I am also a realist and an historian, that is fully aware of the darker side of human expansion and its price. I grew up in Oklahoma, I went to school with members of the Poncan Tribe and was even engaged to a member of the Potawatomi Tribe, there I witnessed the legacy of western colonization, and possible the face of the future if and when we encounter any alien species. This blog is devoted to military science fiction, and I know that as there are wars here on Earth there will be worlds on new planets, either between ourselves or others that may exist out there. But when I read Brian May's speech it made me think about the present and the future.
I hope it does you too.
WHAT ARE WE DOING IN SPACE?
Starmus 22 June 2011
It has been amazing for me to meet the astronauts and learn from them how much they share this concern … how much they care for the planet … for the animals … for mankind, a mankind not split into fragments.
WHAT ARE WE DOING IN SPACE?
There is more than one shade of meaning in this apparently simple enquiry. On the surface is the purely factual question of what is currently happening in the Human Race’s exploration of the space around our planet, - which has largely been answered already in this great conference – and very exciting it is too.
And … if we walk through, in bulk … what will we take into Space?
So now it was clear that Humans could journey into Space.
From then on, one wonders what happened to the motivation – the power. Yes, there were more moon landings – 12 people have walked upon our Moon. But we are now 50 years on, and does it not seem incredible that the huge momentum of that time did NOT translate into a colonization of the Moon by now, half a century later?
I can only guess, but I look at a recent failure of an application to study Zodiacal Dust to secure funds of about 10,000 pounds to make further studies of its motions, and contrast it with the roughly 330 million dollars that were allocated for NASA to hit Comet Tempel 1 with a projectile, and please don’t tell me that military considerations have nothing to do with the decision making process. I don’t doubt the sincerity of the scientists who pulled off this feat, but how jolly for the politicians to be able to demonstrate to the world that the USA can hit a target at 100 million miles!
The prime motivation for much of the money allocated to space exploration is evidently still tied up with the military, and with political power. …
If it’s true, are we happy with that? Does that make it the right kind of motivation?
IS THIS WHAT WE WILL TAKE INTO SPACE - through that door - into the future?
But let’s look seriously at the mess we make right here - the pollution from humans … its effect on the Earth.
Is THIS the kind of behaviour WE’RE GOING TO TAKE INTO SPACE?
IS THIS the kind of behaviour WE WILL TAKE INTO SPACE?
Is this disregard for the welfare of animals what we will take into Space?
Just supposing we are lucky enough to find animal life out there … is this the way we will reat it?
This is how we treat the other species on the planet. But how do we treat our own kind?
If we allow large numbers of men to go into space, who is to stop a country building a military base on the Moon? Or on a conveniently hard-to-monitor asteroid? And using it to bring about the next Hiroshima The next act of destruction committed in the name of keeping peace – or spreading what we call democracy Perhaps the next Hiroshima will be New York, or Moscow, or London. Suddenly the conquest of Space takes on a huge heavy overtone.
Not Conflict - but Cooperation,
Not War - but Peace, in which all men, all women, all creatures, share the glorious gifts of Nature.
For now, in a sense, we are all participants at a new Copenhagen.