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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

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    May 23 2013: The solution is through technology

    http://www.ted.com/talks/peter_diamandis_abundance_is_our_future.html

    Regarding poverty if you really want to understand this situation, I recommend this book:

    "Equality, the Third World, and Economic Delusion"

    by P.T. Bauer of the London School of Economics

    Regarding global warming that is far from demonstrating causality.
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      May 23 2013: So, am I to understand that your point is that there is no problem with spending our resources on space exploration because the perceived negative effects are simply a misrepresentation sensationalized by the media, while our productivity, via technology, has, and will, continue to grow? If so, then I am guessing that you also believe that the expansion of the American work day, inversely to increased production capability, is a model that should be followed globally because technology should afford all of us longer work days and decreased pay, in the American manner.

      Of course, I am left to respond with a lot of assumptions about your position as you have provided reference without much context. I'd love it if you would clarify your position more directly. I doubt I'll be able (or interested in) reading the P.T. Bauer text (book or article?) while attempting to respond to others in this conversation. So, the more direct information you can give the better.

      [edit] btw: Peter Diamandis' position that technology will and should be available to all global citizens eventually can only be attained if the production of technology becomes a sustainable system, which it currently is not. The "cradle to cradle" movement in industrial design recognizes this irony and addresses it by attempting to design reuse and recycling as part of the life of a product from concept, through use, to termination. The amount of toxins released by the Pacific and Atlantic garbage patches (gyres) compounded with the tragedy of e-waste throughout Asia and the global south would point to the fact that increasing technology production to solve our problems might collapse our ecosystems before we are able to overcome the problems we seek to address with technology.

      As to to global warming being "far from demonstrating causality." Well, the science supporting global warming is not contested by most respectable scientists, as attested to in many TED talks and other intellectual venues.
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        May 23 2013: Am I to understand you believe the media to be an unimpeachable source exercising impeccable logic?

        Increased productivity is what allows us to discuss the nuances of inane ideas, not longer work hours.

        The idea of equality is irrelevant, it is a straw man, created by those who would benefit from the straw man's existence. What is important is the standard of living of people. Which has been raised by the technology of the free market. That is why you see an African tribesman standing in the middle of Africa talking on cell phone in Peter's talk.

        The toxins will be resolved Chinese aren't stupid they will solve it.

        It is my understanding that current data indicates that the earth is now cooling, a few decades ago they talked about a mini ice age. Either way they have not proved it was caused by man.

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