Monday, February 04, 2008

Why are we going into space?

Why the sudden rush by people like Richard Branson not only to put people in space but to colonise space for a possible future? Here's Branson's words on the matter, taken from the recent SpaceShipTwo unveiling:

Our population is now heading to 9 billion people by the middle of this century — that’s three times more than when I was born. With the end of the oil era approaching, and climate change progressing faster than most models have been predicting, the utilisation of space is essential not only for communications but also for the logistics of survival through things such as weather satellites, agricultural monitoring, GPS and climate science.

I also believe that someday we will be able to use space as a source of energy for the planet, through solar power satellites, using the most sustainable source available – our Sun. In the unscientific view which people unfortunately sometimes take about the problems we face on this planet, aviation has often been singled out as a key component of climate change.

While, as you know, I believe that aviation has to get much more carbon efficient than it is today, it is important that people begin to realize that seemingly benign industries such as IT have in fact overtaken aviation in terms of their CO2 output.

Interesting also that he singles out IT energy consumption.

Read - 'Richard Branson’s Remarks at the SpaceShipTwo Unveiling'

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