TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Given the rates of poverty and despair in even our most "advanced" nations and the onset of global warming, is space exploration prudent?

Is it really important to spend our limited resources on space programs while ecosystems are failing here and those same resources could be used to improve the lives of those we share the globe with? Is the carbon cost of space exploration worth the loss of ecosystems and resources it produces? Should developing nations follow more industrialized nations' examples by forsaking their disadvantaged for the amusement and luxury of their affluent?

Some miscellaneous reference:
http://blog.ted.com/2006/09/28/virgin_galactic/
http://blog.ted.com/2009/02/24/capt_charles_mo/
http://www.ted.com/playlists/67/the_quest_to_end_poverty.html

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Comment deleted

    • thumb
      May 23 2013: Do you really believe that we would never have developed any form of solar power if we were not attempting to use it for space or could it be that aerospace was simply one of many possible routes to solar power?

      If a powerful way to get corporations involved in social good is to allow a select few corporate shareholders and executives to profit from a development that millions of global citizens have to produce and pay for, then we should always allow such an exchange. At least that is what I understand that last sentence of yours as saying. I'm sure early American plantation owners would agree with such an argument as their trade in slavery resulted in many new innovations and improved conditions for masses of people both on and beyond their plantations. Solar panels from space programs are as good as cheap rum from slave plantations, right?
      • Comment deleted

        • thumb
          May 23 2013: Although I am prone to simply agree to disagree with you I can't resist this trivial aside:

          The cotton gin [note that's not a East Indian spirit djinn or jinn) did not end slavery because it was invented in 1793 while slavery in America fueled the civil war there and didn't become illegal in the US until 1865. This obviously ignores the fact that slavery continued in other parts of the world and persists in small pockets even today, though in various forms.

          Your errors in this one thing appear to be typical of your other errors, which seem to be fueled more by emotion than information.

          Naturally you probably think my premise here too is "completely incorrect." So, I'll guess that we are at an impasse that won't spiral into an absurd tangent any longer.

          Thanks for your time though.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.