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Archive for the ‘sustainability’ category: Page 227

Mar 29, 2013

Life and Boats

Posted by in categories: lifeboat, sustainability

In an enormously influential article published in 1974 in Psychology Today, and in a longer version published later that year in BioScience, Garrett Hardin introduced the metaphor of the lifeboat for economic and ethical consideration. This conceptual construction was intended as an improvement over the then-popular ecological metaphor of “spaceship earth” coined by Kenneth Boulding in 1966. Interestingly, in the opening paragraph of “Living on a lifeboat”, Hardin indicates that metaphors in general may be understood as only an early stage in mentally approaching difficult problems, and that this stage may be surpassed as theory advances and becomes more rigorous.

In Hardin’s analogy, large entities such as nations or the biosphere are likened to a boat, while smaller entities – for example, migrating individuals or groups – are likened to swimmers trying to board the already cramped vessel and exploit whatever resources are on board. In the imagined scenario, it is believed that the boat is near carrying capacity, but exactly how near is not known with certainty given the many future possibilities. A central question focuses on at what point, if any, the risk of sinking the entire boat outweighs the good provided for each additional rescued swimmer.

The metaphor of the lifeboat has structured thought about conservation, economics, ethics, and any number of other disciplinary areas for decades. The question I would like to pose is the following: Is the lifeboat scenario still (or was it ever) an apt metaphor for structuring thought about ethical conservation of resources, or have we reached a stage where the boat should be scuttled in favor of either a new metaphor or more literal language? Please feel free to post any thoughts you may have on this issue.

Mar 19, 2013

Ten Commandments of Space

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, biological, biotech/medical, cosmology, defense, education, engineering, ethics, events, evolution, existential risks, futurism, geopolitics, habitats, homo sapiens, human trajectories, life extension, lifeboat, military, neuroscience, nuclear energy, nuclear weapons, particle physics, philosophy, physics, policy, robotics/AI, singularity, space, supercomputing, sustainability, transparency

1. Thou shalt first guard the Earth and preserve humanity.

Impact deflection and survival colonies hold the moral high ground above all other calls on public funds.

2. Thou shalt go into space with heavy lift rockets with hydrogen upper stages and not go extinct.

Continue reading “Ten Commandments of Space” »

Jan 1, 2013

Cosmic Ray Gorilla

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, biotech/medical, defense, ethics, events, existential risks, futurism, habitats, military, nuclear energy, nuclear weapons, policy, space, sustainability, transparency

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121231180632.htm

Excerpt: “Galactic cosmic radiation poses a significant threat to future astronauts,” said M. Kerry O’Banion, M.D., Ph.D., a professor in the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy and the senior author of the study. “The possibility that radiation exposure in space may give rise to health problems such as cancer has long been recognized. However, this study shows for the first time that exposure to radiation levels equivalent to a mission to Mars could produce cognitive problems and speed up changes in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.”

It appears when Eugene Parker wrote “Shielding Space Travelers” in 2006 he was right- and all the private space sycophants claiming radiation mitigation is trivial are wrong.

Only a massive water shield a minimum of 14 feet thick and massing 400 tons for a small capsule can shield human beings in deep space on long duration missions. And since a small capsule will not have sufficient space to keep a crew psychologically healthy on a multi-year journey it is likely such a shield will massive over a thousand tons.

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Dec 31, 2012

13: The Year of The Comet

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, counterterrorism, defense, economics, ethics, events, existential risks, futurism, geopolitics, habitats, human trajectories, lifeboat, military, philosophy, policy, space, sustainability, transparency

A happy new year to the human race from it’s most important member; me. Since self-worship seems to be the theme of the new American ideal I had better get right with me.

With my government going over the fiscal cliff it would appear that the damned soul of Ayn Rand is exerting demonic influence on the political system through worship of the individual. The tea party has the Republicans terrified of losing their jobs. Being just like me, those individuals consider themselves the most important person on the planet- so I cannot fault them.

As Ayn Rand believed, “I will not die, it’s the world that will end”, so who cares about the collective future of the human race? Towards the end of 2013 the heavens may remind us the universe does not really care about creatures who believe themselves all important. The choice may soon be seen clearly in the light of the comet’s tail; the glorification of the individual and the certain extinction of our race, or the acceptance of a collective goal and our continued existence.

Ayn Rand made her choice but most of us have time to choose more wisely. I pray for billions, tens and hundreds of billions of dollars- for a Moonbase.

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Dec 18, 2012

Beamed Energy Myth

Posted by in category: sustainability

I was recently told by a person commenting on another blog that beamed energy is a myth. The commenter claimed that Fusion energy would be a more likely future development. I cited Criswell and Zehner and gave back.I am a very progressive eco friendly person and I have wondered many years if there is some energy industry conspiracy that keeps clean power from becoming a reality. The only conspiracy is human greed influencing exactly how we live on this planet.

Zehner’s book spells out the situation in a unique way; he calls it as he see’s it and the numbers cannot be spun too much because he presents the basic foundations of what it takes to make the electricity flow. Criswell is more biased toward his proposal even though it is peer reviewed and has all the math equations.

What Criswell is proposing is a river of energy traveling from vast collectors on the surface of the Moon to Earth Geostationary orbit and from there down to surface recievers of several square kilometers.

What fusion proposes is to keep a sustained nuclear reaction going without the use of a sun. The other way to generate useful energy from a fusion reaction is to actually explode H-bombs underground and harvest the resulting heat and nuclear products. The only useful work that can be had from a H-bomb besides this kind of excavation is to use it as a propulsion device for spaceships.

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Dec 13, 2012

Deathstars and David Criswell

Posted by in categories: space, sustainability

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/build-death-star-petition…itics.html

When the possible mixes with fantasy it should turn peoples heads- it does not happen very often. But this toungue-in-cheek petition is actually a case of truth being so close to fiction and no one seems to be noticing. I have been posting in the comments section of Centauri Dreams lately due to my disappointment with the contributor situation on the lifeboat blog and I am now happy to share edited versions of them here.

December 11, 2012 at 7:50

It is now the second decade of the twenty first century and we actually have a
tremendous amount of technology available and devices that may have been tested in some form in the past and found to work quite well but by various circumstance did not enter production. The example that every real space nut is aware of is the Aerojet AJ-260 monolithic solid rocket booster. Each of these put out over 7 million pounds of thrust and would probably have been used in a pair with yet another aerojet product called the M-1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-1_(rocket_engine) as a core liquid engine as in the Titan configuration. This was the logical progression of a more powerful partially reusable vehicle to replace the Saturn V; a vehicle with over twice the first stage thrust. Instead we tried to go cheap with the Space Shuttle and recieved zero ROI. In fact we have the ability to build much larger solid boosters of up to 325 inches. Built with submarine hull technology it is recovered at sea and resused. This system is the only practical reusable technology as the liquid shuttle motors turned out to be a total waste of time returning to earth for reuse.

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Dec 11, 2012

I Voted for you to Dream Big Mr. President

Posted by in categories: space, sustainability

I recently began studying David Criswell’s Lunar Solar Power concept. If I was a conspiracy theory type I would say investigate Elon Musk. About the time Elon decided to go into space instead of into solar power, David was proclaiming he could solve the Earth’s energy problems by beaming microwave energy to Earth from the Moon. My suspicion is that Musk is building a microwave deathstar weapon on the Moon. Think about it, he has tested these rockets and they seem to work fine but how many has he built somewhere in secret and put on ships to launch from the poles? There may be space-x factories on the lunar poles busily building solar energy converters and microwave antennae fields and fabricating the gargantuan constructs necessary to be launched from the Moon and put in geostationary Earth orbit as relay stations. Darth Musk may be building Criswell’s system with a slight improvement- the microwaves can be focused on the Earth in catastrophic concentrations. This guy is the anti-christ; he will be able to conquer any country, even the United States, by using these geostationary microwave transmitters to incinerate any target on the surface of the Earth. The point being that there will be no reason to destroy a nation when you can sell them cheap electricity instead. In this concept, the armed forces of the planet also control the power supplies to the planet through a network of super power battle stations. The trick is building these giant space fortress power relay stations on the Moon and launching them into geostationary Earth orbit. This lunar launch technique would take advantage of beam propulsion and also insert into geostationary orbit using power beamed from the Moon. As soon as the power is available from geostationary orbit then powering a vehicle from the surface to escape velocity becomes practical. These launch vehicles will most likely be in the form of a disc; flying saucers. The Flying Saucer Airlines will finally whisk thousands and then millions of people into the heavens. It would be better if the government would set up this giant power system that will so forever and completely solve the Energy problems of Earth.

Nov 17, 2012

Is Failure to Prepare Our Silent Existential Event?

Posted by in categories: education, existential risks, lifeboat, sustainability

Note: The below is exclusively about the United States of America, yet the theme is international.

Each time an extreme weather event takes place humanity is reminded again that basic preparation for an off-grid experience did not take place across large swaths of an affected population. Ironically, it does not begin to take place, publicly and en masse, after the event.

Saving humanity will have a lot to do with teaching a kid to build a fire, in the near term. More esoteric “preservers” and “shields” have their place, but “Scout” knowledge can produce immediate quantitative and qualitative improvements in humanity’s survival capabilities, fast.

After weather-induced disasters, our tendency is toward construction of physical things – better towers, more resilient dams, improved architecture. Seldom do we do anything to improve ourselves. Thousands remain helpless and dependent in the face of the Hurricane “Sandy” aftermath.

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Nov 12, 2012

Our Youth, Thinking Outside the Box

Posted by in categories: business, defense, economics, education, engineering, human trajectories, military, philosophy, space, sustainability

Recently I attended the AIAA Rocky Mountain Region’s First Annual Technical Symposium, October 26, 2012. Link to Symposium Photos, here. Link to Symposium Presentations, here.

I must congratulate many of the presenters, our youth, our next generation leaders, for thinking outside the box. And I congratulate their supervisors, advisors and team members for facilitating a supportive environment that nurtures outside the box thinking.

Here is why. Several remarkable papers were presented. For example, Tom Joslyn (Lt. Col, PhD) presented “Use of Liquid Droplet Stream Momentum Transfer for Lunar and Interplanetary Missions”. By using liquid droplets to conserve and transfer momentum between the momentum storage spacecraft and the lunar landing spacecraft, one could reduce the LEO mass from 200,000 kg to 24,500 kg. The presentation wasn’t about theory. It was about the how such a concept would be Engineering Feasible. The type of liquids required, and the ejection and capture systems required. That is impressive.

Second, “Cockpit of the Future” by the Capstone Team. They presented many new concepts like Palm Piloteer, haptic feedback suits, wrap around displays and seat designs.

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Nov 2, 2012

Atlantica Undersea Colony — Undersea Colonization and Research

Posted by in categories: education, engineering, futurism, habitats, space, sustainability

It may have gone unnoticed to most, but the first expedition for mankind’s first permanent undersea human colony will begin in July of next year. These aquanauts represent the first humans who will soon (~2015) move to such a habitat and stay with no intention of ever calling dry land their home again. Further details: http://underseacolony.com/core/index.php

Of all 100 billion humans who have ever lived, not a single human has ever gone undersea to live permanently. The Challenger Station habitat, the largest manned undersea habitat ever built, will establish the first permanent undersea colony, with aspirations that the ocean will form a new frontier of human colonization. Could it be a long-term success?

The knowledge gained from how to adapt and grow isolated ecosystems in unnatural environs, and the effects on the mentality and social well-being of the colony, may provide interesting insights into how to establish effective off-Earth colonies.

One can start to pose the questions — what makes the colony self-sustainable? What makes the colony adaptive and able to expand its horizons. What socio-political structure works best in a small inter-dependent colony? Perhaps it is not in the first six months of sustainability, but after decades of re-generation, that the true dynamics become apparent.

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