Round 2. saltheart foamfollower vs KrazyJethro: Exo-environmentalism

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posted on Nov, 12 2010 @ 01:15 AM
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The topic for this debate is "Humans should not attempt to colonize other planets until they have demonstrated the ability to protect their environment.”

saltheart foamfollower will be arguing the "Pro" position and begin the debate.
KrazyJethro will be arguing the "Con" position.

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posted on Nov, 16 2010 @ 01:33 AM
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24 hour time limit for saltheart foamfollower's opening statement begins as of the timestamp on this post.



posted on Nov, 17 2010 @ 01:15 AM
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24 hour being used.



posted on Nov, 19 2010 @ 06:41 PM
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Sorry folks, I have been gone for 3 days. I got a contract to do some work and feed my family. I was not able to access the net. I ask Jethro to post a cumulative posting of the first 3 statements. Give me one counter and a conclusion. If I lose, I deserve it.



posted on Nov, 19 2010 @ 07:31 PM
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We won't be consolidating the debate. The above post will be considered Saltheart's opening statement. KrazyJethro shall now make his opening statement, and each side will have 4 posts remaining then.



posted on Nov, 19 2010 @ 10:24 PM
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Space Exploration and Colonization is essential to the human race, but is it wise to begin pushing towards those goals before we have demonstrated the ability to successfully manage our original host? During the technological acceleration, from the Industrial Revolution to the present, humans have eyed innovation over care of the ecosystem more often than not. Only recently, in human history, has there been an environmental consciousness regarding the planet in a holistic way. The cries are valid, as this planet is currently our only bastion of safety in a universe predominately unsuitable for habitation.

That, however, might not always be the case.

The need for human survival, individually and genetically, is wired into the psyche of humans. There stands the real possibility that disaster could strike from natural or cosmological sources, destroying the tenuous balance that exists even today or eliminate humans entirely. Diversifying human habitation, planetary or independent constructions, is essential to posterity. Doing so, however, will require technological advance from the current level and time to produce and implement the new ideas.

Technological achievement frequently comes from necessity and drive. The space program in the United States, heretofore, has produced a great amount and variety of innovations. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has, directly and indirectly, made serious contributions in the form of consumer goods, scientific discovery, transportation safety, medical care, and much more. From energy creation, sustainable living and recycling, and materials study, advancement through necessity would continue as humans worked towards space colonization.

The result most, if not all, would like to see is the Earth healthy, clean, and with less human impact. The idea that humans should cease space colonization programs until able to prove prudent stewardship of Earth is antithetical to the solutions to many of our current problems. If humans colonized space the resources of Earth would be less taxed, if at all. Industries that can not help but pollute do not have to be housed on Earth itself any longer. Advances in energy creation and transportation would lower harmful emissions, and the population of Earth could be kept at a reasonable level.

Ultimately, who or whom would be the arbiter of when humanity is ready? Could it be ensured that the group or person could or would not be corrupted, coerced, or used for political or economic gain? Would the arbiter(s) place mandates or milestones to force change along a predetermined path rather than allowing it to happen organically?

Humanity will best be served by pursuing space colonization immediately.



posted on Nov, 21 2010 @ 09:30 AM
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First off, I have to apologize that I have not had the chance to fully enquire into the substance of the discussion. As we all have been engrossed in our own semblance or proprietary, we need to differentiate the actual discussion.


Originally posted by KrazyJethro
Space Exploration and Colonization is essential to the human race, but is it wise to begin pushing towards those goals before we have demonstrated the ability to successfully manage our original host? During the technological acceleration, from the Industrial Revolution to the present, humans have eyed innovation over care of the ecosystem more often than not. Only recently, in human history, has there been an environmental consciousness regarding the planet in a holistic way. The cries are valid, as this planet is currently our only bastion of safety in a universe predominately unsuitable for habitation.


Life or the universe, the final frontier? Many revelations have preceded and many have been found wanton. To be, or to not be, that IS the question. Are we to regulate our very nature, our very substantive meaning of our lives?



That, however, might not always be the case.


What is the meaning of life? What is the meaning of human existence? What is meaning?



The need for human survival, individually and genetically, is wired into the psyche of humans. There stands the real possibility that disaster could strike from natural or cosmological sources, destroying the tenuous balance that exists even today or eliminate humans entirely. Diversifying human habitation, planetary or independent constructions, is essential to posterity. Doing so, however, will require technological advance from the current level and time to produce and implement the new ideas.


Life is but a dream or a leaf on the wind. The discussion on this topic is moralistic, more than anything else. Where do WE decide the limits are? For this is the relevant question.



Technological achievement frequently comes from necessity and drive. The space program in the United States, heretofore, has produced a great amount and variety of innovations. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has, directly and indirectly, made serious contributions in the form of consumer goods, scientific discovery, transportation safety, medical care, and much more. From energy creation, sustainable living and recycling, and materials study, advancement through necessity would continue as humans worked towards space colonization.

The result most, if not all, would like to see is the Earth healthy, clean, and with less human impact. The idea that humans should cease space colonization programs until able to prove prudent stewardship of Earth is antithetical to the solutions to many of our current problems. If humans colonized space the resources of Earth would be less taxed, if at all. Industries that can not help but pollute do not have to be housed on Earth itself any longer. Advances in energy creation and transportation would lower harmful emissions, and the population of Earth could be kept at a reasonable level.

Ultimately, who or whom would be the arbiter of when humanity is ready? Could it be ensured that the group or person could or would not be corrupted, coerced, or used for political or economic gain? Would the arbiter(s) place mandates or milestones to force change along a predetermined path rather than allowing it to happen organically?

Humanity will best be served by pursuing space colonization immediately.


My collaborator/opponent and I shall peruse this discussion vehemently. But I have to ask a question.

"Humans should not attempt to colonize other planets until they have demonstrated the ability to protect their environment.”

I am to argue the point of pro in this sentence. What is our environment? Are we talking about the tree hugger’s viewpoint? I myself am a tree hugger per se. I can live off the land. I can live without destroying the environment that provides the very fruit that which it provides. The problem comes from the collectivist endeavor. As a whole, we are just virus; we expand without knowing the environmental factors. Look at our metropolises; they are abominable constructs of the very symptomatic problems of our existence. We cannot exist within the confines that nature predisposes to us.

First off, I will define why we should not be allowed to expand as we have attempted to do in our current format.

Second, I will define the reasoning behind that we will not be able to expand in our current format.

Third, I will explain the inability of our path to become the fruition of expanding the universal meaning of the human existence.

At this time, I hand it back to my opponent with not a Socratic question, but a simple idea, If we are so great, why do we need to expand? Have we even contemplated the inner instead of the outer consciousness?

No need to answer, as I said, just a relevant postulate to contemplate.


(Added note-sorry about the delay, I have too many baskets and I will attempt to put more effort to making time)



posted on Nov, 22 2010 @ 09:50 AM
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“The Earth is the cradle of humanity, but mankind cannot stay in the cradle forever.” ~Konstantin Tsiolkovsky - Pioneer of Rocketry and Astronautics.

Close to 43 miles east of Flagstaff, Arizona lies the site of an impact crater named the Barringer Crater, created about 50,000 years ago. The meteorite, only 50 meters across, is suggested to have been traveling 28,600 mph and produced a crater 1200 meters in diameter and 170 m deep.(1)

The current estimate of what occurred during this impact is that it produced a blast equal to “20 to 40 million tons of TNT,” more than 1000 times more powerful than the blasts produced in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. “The explosion produced a shock wave and an airblast, which radiated across the landscape. The airblast produced winds that dwarf those produced by hurricanes. Within three kilometers from the impact, winds in excess of 2000 kilometers per hour scoured the ground. Virtually any plant or animal within that area was killed. The air blast flattened trees out to distances of about 20 kilometers and animals in the same area were either killed or injured so severely that they would be unable to feed or defend themselves.”(2)

Recent adjustments to impact estimates have put the average chances of asteroid impact capable of causing serious regional damage is about once per century. These types of impacts are the equivalent of 1 megaton of TNT. To put the power into perspective, lesser impacts of roughly five kilotons of TNT in released energy occur nearly once a year. An example of one of the smaller impacts is what occurred in Tunguska, Siberia in 1908, where the “energy was big enough to flatten 2,000 square kilometres of forest. It would have completely destroyed a city the size of New York.”(3)

"Luckily, preparing for the worst actually carries the great good fortune of being the best means of furthering our common humanity." ~David Tamm - In his Master Thesis Tsiolkovsky's Imperative: "The Reinvigoration of the West through Outer Space Development"

The survivability of the human race has always been in question, from humanity’s beginning to today. A recent and extensive genetic study suggests that, approximately 70,000 years ago, extremes of climate and environment reduced the total estimated population of humans to around 2,000 on the planet.(4) The threat of climate change, while debated, remains a serious issue considering any even moderate change in overall climate would have massive repercussions. Those repercussions may or may not eliminate human life on the planet, but would seriously change the current landscape and lifestyle. Yellowstone National Park houses of the of the lies one of the largest supervolcanoes in the world. While this area is dormant at the moment, there is always the probability for eruption. While the methods of the eradication are largely the same, humanity has reached a point of technology to reach that end by its own hands, increasing the dangers of relying entirely on the safety of planet Earth.

"I believe that the long-term future of the human race must be in space. It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster on planet Earth in the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand, or million. The human race shouldn't have all its eggs in one basket, or on one planet. Let's hope we can avoid dropping the basket until we have spread the load." ~ Stephen Hawking

Humans have made great strides in technology and the scientific disciplines in recent history. This pattern is not just accelerating, but the acceleration is accelerating. At the rate of advance, it is not unwise to include human accident to the list of manmade disaster. “From a high of 65,000 active weapons in 1985, there are now nearly 8,000 active nuclear warheads and more than 22,000 total nuclear warheads in the world in 2010.”(5) While there has been a serious reduction in the number of active nuclear weapons at the ready, the decommissioned weapons were not necessarily destroyed; rather they were partially dismantled or simply stored. Coupled with the current trend of asymmetrical warfare, the threat of severe Chemical, Biological, and Nuclear weapons stands as a growing threat to human survival. The Patterns of Global Terrorism Report issued by the U.S. Department of State in 1996 stated that “Of the seven countries listed by the U.S. Department of State as sponsoring international terrorism, at least five are suspected to have biological warfare programs.”(6) Clearly, humans have reached the level of technology to effectively end their own existence on this planet.

The survival of the species is as important to the race as is the survival of the individual and posterity. With the growing threats to human life, can man afford not to diversify in terms of habitation? With a technological focus on colonization, science could focus on that which lies outside our planet and the possibilities and mysteries it holds rather than remaining inwardly focused. Solutions to the problems of long-term habitation in inhospitable areas of space or other celestial bodies would aid in agriculture, self-contained habitation, pollutant mitigation, transportation, materials study, renewable energy creation, and sustainability. Not only would this increase our level of technical understanding of space and mastering it, but the improvements would aid in taking better care of the Earth.

Colonizing space would bring improvements to the current problems we have through innovation of necessity and would allow for the ultimate survival of the human race if global threats were to strike.


Originally posted by saltheart foamfollower
If we are so great, why do we need to expand?


It seems clear that the human race is not great and currently has not the technology to truly explore the tiny solar system it resides in. The observable Universe has an estimated 70,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (70 Sextillion) stars, let alone planets, asteroids, black holes, and much more. The wonders and sheer scope of the Galaxy alone is too much for the finite brain of humans to truly measure when related to even the Pale Blue Dot of Earth.

A species so small, limited, and immobile as humans are have no cause to apply the term greatness to itself currently. The capacity of human kind to become great, however, begins with a single step in a journey towards space colonization.

1- Meteor Crater. In Wikipedia. Retrieved November 20, 2010, from en.wikipedia.org...
2- Kring, David, Environmental Effects of the Impact Event, Retrieved November 20, 2010, from www.barringercrater.com...
3- Communications Staff, University of Western Ontario, Satellite Study Establishes Frequency of Megaton-sized Asteroid Impacts, Retrieved November 20, 2010, from communications.uwo.ca... 9436614/
4- Schmid, Randolph, Study says near extinction threatened people, Associated Press, Retrieved November 20, 2010, from www.breitbart.com...
5- List of states with nuclear weapons. In Wikipedia. Retrieved November 20, 2010, from en.wikipedia.org...
6- Kortepeter, Mark & Parker, Gerald, Potential Biological Weapons Threats, Center for Disease Control, Special Issue



posted on Nov, 23 2010 @ 05:50 PM
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To BE, or not to BE, THAT is the question. Blah, blah, blah, blah, Shakespeare.


What I find relevant and humorous, this discussion about the efficacy of the human race.

We have those that denigrate our authoritarian nature.
We have those that denigrate our expansionist attitude.

THEN, we have those that say that we HAVE to expand for our very lives.

1) Our current format of understanding should and shall not be the means of our survival. We will destroy the very systems we expand to. We HAVE to change our Modus Operandi.

2) We will fight to continue our expansion components of society. GO TEAM!

3) The human existence does NOT need to expand, we need to understand the near universe first before we expand.

First off, how the hell do we expect to expand beyond our own biosphere? Do we think that it will be defined or promulgated by corporate interests? Do we think that we will develop a system of conveyance that will NOT be controlled by our governments?

It ALWAYS comes back to relevance. Our fiction is not a mirror to the idiocy of our entertainment system, it is a mirror to our fear, or our soul to speak.

If we are talking moralistic issues, I will defeat my opponent on the basis of our past, but I will not go down that road. I believe we should and could expand. But my problem is that we are not ready, if we have not taken the very road that is needed.

To continue, I will ask the requisite question.

1) If we cannot sustain the very biosphere we come from, how do you expect us to sustain the next one?

Your comment does NOT address the issue. The issue pertains to the viability of the human race to exist on another biosphere, even though we cannot maintain the one we are on. You can sight numerous studies, you can extenuate numerous hypothesis, but by the VERY nature of the question is this, can we survive if we cannot sustain the very system we come from.

That be the question.

The question is more of a moral issue, not a sustainable issue, I think you are missing the point of the question or the argument of the debate.

Let us reiterate the debate-"Humans should not attempt to colonize other planets until they have demonstrated the ability to protect their environment.”

It does not say could, it states "should not" and then talks about the environment. I believe you are attempting to change the nature of the debate.

You have attempted to actualize the debate to the scientific, where it should be the moralistic or philosophical component. Which sucks! I will agree with your assertions, but they are irrelevant to the discussion.

Are we viable? Are we relevant? Are we WORTHY? That be the question. I say yes. I say those of us that ask this very question are the ones that make this possibility possible. BUT, are we the ones that are prevalent in society? Are we viable? Are we relevant? That be the question.

Answer my first question-

1) If we cannot sustain the very biosphere we come from, how do you expect us to sustain the next one?

Now answer this-

2) Do you believe that we as a species, deserve to expand?



posted on Nov, 24 2010 @ 12:13 PM
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“and yet the true creator is necessity, who is the mother of our invention.” ~Plato, The Republic

Humanity stands at the very doorstep of being able to destroy or restore balance to the ecosystem of the entire planet, yet begins to strain the resources the Earth alone has to offer. Technological advance is the key to changing the current disposable culture in the West and, to a lesser degree but rapidly growing, Asia. What would it take to create such massive change in the way humans create power and materials, gather and utilize resources, and create a new balanced and sustained system? One might say the answer is necessity.

It is also said that failure is the mother of all invention. To rely solely on correcting Man’s failure to be good stewards of the Earth while staying isolated on this single planet would only give a fifty percent chance of success, the other half being the end of the human race. This does not seem a prudent strategy, so one can only comfortably rely on necessity over failure. But what would generate such necessity better than the single greatest goal human’s can achieve to spur longevity and technological advance? Establishing a serious and sustained effort in the pursuit of space colonization would be the precursor and creator of the solutions we currently require.

The American space agency, NASA, has had to solve complex problems that required innovation and technology yet to be developed. The resulting technology has been applied in many ways, from “miniaturized integrated circuits, satellite technology, GPS navigation systems, bone-density measurements, miniaturized heart pumps and other technologies derived from NASA research and development have saved and improved our lives. New spin-offs include water filtration systems that turn wastewater into drinkable water, wireless light switches, remediation solutions for sites contaminated by chemicals, the development of Liquidmetal and sensors on reconnaissance robots used in Afghanistan and Iraq to deal with improvised explosive devices.”(1)

“The NASA Hubble Space Telescope has literally changed our understanding of the universe. A telescope on the moon, shielded from both solar and earth radiation, has the potential to see further into the universe than anything previously built.”(2)

One fact that can not be escaped, is the the increasing consumption of Earth's resources to sustain our way of life. This is one of the major environmental concerns of our time as many non-Western nations advance from agricultural to industrialized nations. While the standard of living will increase, it will also mean more people and nations will be competing for the same resources. There are many who, justifiably, call for renewable energy solutions. These are important to creating a healthier planet, but these ideas will not fix the long-term problems.

Creating new environmentally friendly approaches will not change the current system for some time. Even if all vehicles were emission free and manufacturing no longer polluted, the population of the planet would still require massive resources. Solutions are still needed to address the growing demand of evolving technology while still dealing with the equally massive byproducts, disposal, and recycling needs that will naturally continue and increase over time. While technology can, and most likely will, help humans to be more efficient with Earth’s resources, in the end, the resources on the planet are limited and will become strained, if not dangerously low.

According to NASA, “Space colonies could be the answer to the limitations of using the resources of just one world out of the many that orbit the Sun. The colonists would mine the Moon and the minor planets and build beamed power satellites that would supplement or even replace power plants on the Earth. The colonists could also take advantage of the plentiful raw materials, unlimited solar power, vacuum, and microgravity in other ways, to create products that we cannot while inside the cocoon of Earth's atmosphere and gravity. In addition to potentially replacing our current Earth-polluting industries, these colonies may also help our environment in other ways. Since the colonists would inhabit self-supporting environments, they would refine our knowledge of the Earth's ecology.”(3)

Author Sid Goldstein “analyzes the long-term health of the economy and the environment.” in his book You Can Make It So: How To Cure Our Environmental, Economic, And Crime Problems. Goldstein proposes providing economic incentives to the private sector to create the required technology for colonization and long distance travel. This coupled with a suggested $300 billion in U.S. Federal funding over 10 years for the construction of the transportation and manufacturing infrastructure needed to produce energy and mine raw materials in space. “The money could fund research to advance solar power technology, the study of asteroids and how to mine them for minerals and construction materials, and even scientific bases on the Moon.”(4)

Socratic Question 1

If we cannot sustain the very biosphere we come from, how do you expect us to sustain the next one?

Humans are not tasked with sustaining the biosphere, as we do not produce the energy on which it relies and it would, easily, continue without humans as it did before the human race even evolved. Humans should, however, be able to live in a more sustained balance with the environment of planet Earth. This point is not in contention, but rather whether the cart or horse should come first, the horse being a focused stimulus, that isn't fear of extinction, to generate the technology and bring forth solutions.

Many want the technological advance to reach that balance before we move on to other celestial bodies. With the current state of resources and the exponentially growing demand, due to population and technological acceleration, it would be more prudent to look for resources elsewhere while this transition is occurring.

“Unless we are willing to settle down into a world that is our prison, we must be ready to move beyond Earth. . . . People who view industrialization as a source of the Earth's troubles, its pollution, and the desecration of its surface, can only advocate that we give it up. This is something that we can't do; we have the tiger by the tail. We have 4.5 billion people on Earth. We can't support that many unless we're industrialized and technologically advanced. So, the idea is not to get rid of industrialization but to move it somewhere else. If we can move it a few thousand miles into space, we still have it, but not on Earth. Earth can then become a world of parks, farms, and wilderness without giving up the benefits of industrialization.” ~ Isaac Asimov, 'Our Future in the Cosmos,' lecture given at the College of William and Mary, 1983.

Additionally, there are no known bodies in space that humans might reach in the near future that have environments that remotely approximate Earth, so the point of contaminating other environments is almost moot for some time. While humans might gain the ability to terraform, literally "Earth-forming", a planet in the distant future, it is so far so as to be of no consequence.

Socratic Question 2

Do you believe that we as a species deserve to expand?

The question is less metaphysical than it is philosophical or moralistic. While the idea that humans might, though actions, be judged worthy of reward or punishment is interesting, it has little literal effect on the reality of the world. Again, it should be asked who the arbiter of such a proclamation would be?

"But does Man have any 'right' to spread through the universe? Man is what he is, a wild animal with the will to survive, and (so far) the ability, against all competition. Unless one accepts that, anything one says about morals, war, politics, you name it, is nonsense. The Universe will let us know—later—whether or not Man has any 'right' to expand through it." ~Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers, 1959.

The worth of humans to leave Earth is solely based on our technological ability to do so. The moralistic questioning of the topic paints it in a light that shades only one half. Humans may continue to be destructive or they may collectively change to embracing. Considering the volatile nature of the universe to human life, it seems like space colonization would be the lens by which human technological efforts should be focused should the desire be sustained and renewable existence.

After all, morals only exist as long as humans do.

1 - Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Texas), Numerous Benefits of Space Colonization, The Hill, July 14, 2009
2 – Silver, Matt, In Defense of Space Exploration, The Tech, MIT Publication, Volume 123, Issue 66, January 28, 2004
3 - Space Colonization, NASA Headquarters Library, Revised March 2010, Retrieved November 23, 2010 from www.hq.nasa.gov...
4 –Britt, Robert, The Top 3 Reasons to Colonize Space, October 8, 2001, Retrieved Novermber 23, 2010 from www.space.com...



posted on Nov, 28 2010 @ 02:48 PM
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There are numerous questions brought about by the positive position, abstractly rather than directly. If man “should not attempt to colonize other planets until they have demonstrated the ability to protect their environment,” then there must be an authority by which to judge the actions or corrections and there must also be some metric used to measure against.

The guiding person or body created, as there is not specifically one now, to oversee the correction of mankind’s environmental actions would be in dispute considering the state of modern international politics. How would poor or developing nations compete for placement against rich nations, or even groups of rich nations, when vying for power ? The United Nations, currently, is the only true global political body, although a generally useless one. World Government is still an unpopular view, especially since the National governments are so reticent to give up any power or sovereignty. Would the United Nations be the authority or would a new group emerge? How would membership in this new group be delegated and is it possible to create such a group without implementing puppets of richer nations? How would this be achieved?

Having the cooperation of all nations would be essential, but there would be more than that. A measure of global agreement or global government, with true enforcement ability, would need to occur. At the present time, the former is far less likely than the latter since many nations would simply choose not to participate or would ignore portions of the agreement. If global treaty, how would the action be enforced? Global government seems a more effective way to move mankind to prove an “ability to protect their environment” due to the ability of government to use force or remove benefits.

Currently China is a model of how not to grow into a modern nation with proper respect for the environment. In fact, while there has not been one country to emerge as an industrial power that has not created sizable environmental damage, the sheer speed and scale of China’s rise have no real parallel in history. “Public health is reeling. Pollution has made cancer China’s leading cause of death, the Ministry of Health says. Ambient air pollution alone is blamed for hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. Nearly 500 million people lack access to safe drinking water.” Currently there are children begin killed or made terribly sick by lead poisoning or other local pollution and “a coastline so swamped by algal red tides that large sections of the ocean no longer sustain marine life.”(1)

This is only one other nation of many that need to drastically modernize in order to provide even the same level of sophistication and energy regulation as the United States or Europe. Where would the money come from to overhaul these nations if not from nations who have been successful and become reasonably responsible in their actions? These are the sorts of problems humans are dealing with now and most certainly will encounter in the future.

The time it takes to handle problems of this magnitude might not be simply years, but decades, and perhaps even more than a century. This leaves a dangerous window of opportunity for disaster, especially in the wake of mankind’s wanton environmental behavior heretofore.

To compare development of space colonies to the development of a healthy Earth without space colonies, one would be hard pressed to not question the motives and limiting influences of national governments. In the past few decades, and mostly in the past few years, there has been a growing private sector space race. That, coupled with national governments, could lead to voluntary cooperation in space projects that would be beneficial to all. This more organic approach seems far more preferable to a more strict approach of limiting human ingenuity and drive.

Lastly, how would the human race, collectively, stop movement into space? Space has been in the imaginations and cultures of mankind for many decades, and shows no signs of diminishing.

These questions require an answer if we are to stop movement into space.

1 – Kahn, Joseph & Yardley, Jim, As China Roars, Pollution Reaches Deadly Extremes, The New York Post, August 26, 2007



posted on Nov, 29 2010 @ 04:07 PM
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saltheart foamfollower has missed a second post and thus forfeits the debate. KrazyJethro will advance to Round 2.





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