Newsletter 2007

Colonize the Near Earth Space

di A. Autino

         

Dear Co-planetaries,

one year has passed, since the last newsletter, and many of you perhaps have thought that TDF has closed, or given up, overcome by events. Yes and no. 

 

Yes, we are overwhelmed by events, both personal and general. No, we haven’t given up voicing our opinion, since we maintain the illusion that it can contribute, modestly, to sorting out the problems. Many things have happened, in this 2007, and at an ever faster pace. The impression is that there’s no more time to explain, to deduce, or to "educate", as the kindest, open and democratic institutional slang suggests. It is easy to be democratic, kind and smiling, when one occupies jobs sustained by public money. But no, I didn't want to start with such a hard antibureaucratic attack. The bureaucrats will have to help too, in the coming times, and we will not make them see reason, if we keep on calling them a "caste", though they deserve most of the accusations. Yes, I said “reason”. Apart from reasoning, only violence can exist, and we already have seen too much of that. A thousand times we have seen that violence doesn't resolve problems; rather it creates new and worse ones, as soon as the illusion of an easy victory fades into long slaughter. Therefore let’s tell things as they are, in few lines, because a newsletter has to be short and essential.

While in Italy we discuss the mediocrity of an endless Middle Ages, 500 years behind the times on reform, the world, or the human civilization, is facing problems of great severity. Planetary ideological crusades on climate change are carried on, claiming human responsibility in this crisis. Even if none of it was true, and if, as it seems, the rise of the CO2 level follows the rise in global temperature, and not vice-versa, and if however the CO2, as greenhouse-gas, it is laughable, do we think that we are to enjoy centuries of boundless development on this planet? Will the dreamers please immediately wake up!: their ideological sleep puts civilization in serious danger. We have in fact to consider a looming menace, which is almost insoluble with traditional strategies: the finite nature of available energy resources, of raw materials, and of the water and food resources of our mother planet. The fact of our population, now almost 7 billion, seems to be neglected by the majority. The development of China and India is creating the enormous growth of the Asian markets. A benediction, for the course of the world economy:it offers the best possibilities for everybody to have job opportunities, to create enterprises, to develop businesses, scientific and technological research. However, the finite nature of the resources of this planet leads to the indiscriminate growth of the prices of oil, of copper and other metallic raw materials. These recently started enormous processes are causing upheavals of massive scope, of which media are giving a few cryptic signs, for those who know how to find them.

 

The crisis of the globalized subprime mortgages is a clear symptom of a more and more claustrophobic culture, built up on illusions of superstructural self-sufficiency (communications, entartainment, financial self-targeted speculation). Such a culture no longer succeeds in valuing the always essential industrial base. It ends up therefore mired in avarice, in a renewed form of slavery, in the creeping Nazism of the green philosophies, and in the naked return of the Holy Inquisition, which was was never truly beaten, no reformed from within (proof is the recent beatification of 498 Spanish franchist torturers). In this environment workers' deaths on the job only make news when a terrible fire happens, like that of Thyssen Krupp in Turin, but they continue silently, in Italy, at the horrible rate of 4-5 deaths a day. Sharks, hyenas, vultures and other lovers of war as an instrument for development, are proceeding with their goal to impose their very simple doctrine on the whole world: the poor have to resign themselves to serve as slaves or to be exterminated without pity, in the name of a claimed moral superiority of western civilization (but how is it moral, if we are the worse assassins and slave drivers??).

Once more, if Astronautics has a possibility, it seems to be fully in military hands: the US’ Pentagon is exhuming the project of space solar power, and the Moon exploration plans are entirely due to the fear that their Chinese competitors, and the revived Russian ones, can arrive perhaps first, to plant their flag on our pale natural satellite. Only a few months ago I was considering a question: will the West be able to understand and to decide the priority of the space option? Nowadays this question is already obsolete. There was an opportunity to take an evolutionary footstep in name of human and humanistic principles, understanding the urgency to realize the space option. But we have already missed this option. In the world there’s a new rattling of swords, and similar noises will be propagated into our extraterrestrial neighbourhood. However, if we go to space for these primitive reasons, it will still be better than if we didn't go there at all. It could also be that, once the frontier is open, whatever motive that provoked its opening , warfare can be avoided…. You know: the exasperated husband goes out, takes the car and drives for a ride to the sea-side. This way he forgets to actually attack his wife… a one less death in the newspapers. This is what we need: to open the doors, to take a breath, and to reduce the tide of death in our newpapers. Maybe even a smile will return to our faces, and we won't be depressed and in decline anymore. If we simply remain Earthbound, I have doubt that we would soon come to blows.

The road is simple and almost inevitable: we colonize the Moon, start exploiting its resources, and start using the Near Asteroids as source of raw materials, to build the Space Infrastructure. Only this can truly relaunch economic development, making the cake return to growth, and therefore to replace the swords in their scabbards. To garrison Near Space is also the only way to defend ourselves from possible asteroids or comets, which could strike our planet. To take possession of near- Earth Space is essential, today, not the next century. The greater our growth in population without having opened up the solar system, the more our chances of settling outside our planet will be decreased. Probably we are nearing a critical point, a make or break-event, beyond which the situation of our civilization will be so difficult, fractious and desperate that we won't be able to expand into space anymore. Perhaps many more people, nowadays, are noticing the approach of such a critical event, even than only one year ago: this greater number of aware and concerned people is our only hope. The moratorium on the death penalty, adopted by the U.N., is another small flame of hope, in the correct direction.

On June 7th 2008 TDF will hold its second international convention, the title is:

"A new Renaissance: Colonizing the Moon and the Near Earth Asteroids"

at Belgirate, on Lago Maggiore, for people who are awake and concerned, and want to roll up their sleeves and start working for this concrete and simple goal, to focus again on the absolute priority of development and growth. 

Subscription are already open, the registration fee is free (according to eachone’s possibilities and sensitiveness), tickets for food can be purchased on site. As soon as possible the other information will be available on the convention’s site (in progress).

In this number of TDF:

[English translation revised by Michael Martin-Smith]

[022.AA.TDF.2007 - 23.12.2007]