Posted on | September 2, 2011 | No Comments
In a press release underlining one this era’s great irony, the US National Research Council informed us that the amount of debris orbiting the planet had reached dangerous levels. If all we had to do was clean up, it would already be quite an ordeal but, to make things more interesting, it appears that international law forbids us from picking up stuff we do not own in space.
As we can see wishful thinking is still wreaking havoc today. We once thought that natural resources were unlimited, that we could pollute soil, air and water without fear. Space, which is nearly infinite, naturally seemed appealing as a first class junkyard.
But Hundreds of thousands of debris spinning through the void at a few thousand miles per hour are now surrounding us. A collision could cause a fearsome space accident. At the rate we’re going we soon won’t be able to ship anything at all in low Earth orbit.
Not satisfied with the destruction of our own environment, of having deprived future generations of a safe haven, we are now making sure our descendants will be isolated on this planet as we make any attempt to leave this world as dangerous as possible. More sarcastic readers will say that this is probably a good thing, too. Let’s leave any potential new world to those who will really deserve it.
Still, why do I feel saddened by this entire situation?