One Finite Planet

Lessons from SciFi: Future Expansion

First Published:

By Monomorphic at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Elvis using CommonsHelper., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4353656The actor Morgan Freeman has declared he is determined to produce a movie based on the novel ‘Rendevous with Rama’ by Arthur C Clarke.  Great Sci-Fi writers like Clarke are renown for their insights in to the possible future and this novel is no exception.  After again reading this novel I realised the insights into possible future with regard to the human population is extremely thought provoking.

The bottom line is that the full analysis is that this solar system does cannot offer a lot of accommodation for human beings beyond earth.

There are four rocky planets. Earth is already occupied, Venus is a superheated hell completely and it is beyond even Clarke’s imagination that it could be made habitable. In the universe of ‘Rama’ a 100,000 humans can live on a the small most hospitable area of Mercury but really Mars is the best possibility.  Without Earth’s magnetic shield the Radiation the radiation is a killer, average surface temperatures on even in summer at the equator have a daily minimum of -70 degrees, there is no oxygen and at Mars atmospheric pressure water boils at only 10 degrees above freezing.

That leaves moons.  Arthur C Clark has people living on the larger moons from Earth’s moon all the way out to Triton (a moon of Neptune). Still, even in the wildest dreams of science fiction,  all these colonies combined have a population insignificant compared to Earth.

During the 2oth century, the population of Earth more than tripled.  There is simple nothing even close to the equivalent of even one more Earth of space in this solar system in our wildest dreams.  The scope to repeat the 20th century is a far greater challenge.

The lesson here is that to find real room for expansion, humans will either have to construct their own planets, or live inside planets/moons,  or that ultimate dream, travel to planets around other stars.  All of these bring many complex questions, but the clear fact is that finding significantly more real room for expansion in term of where we can live, is very far in the future.

 

 

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Table of Contents

Categories

The Power struggle in Australia.

From “the biggest corruption scandal ever” in Brazil, problems in Venezuela, human rights in Saudi Arabia and Iran, to the problems caused by lobbyists against action on climate change, an abundance of fossil fuels is a source of political power, yet rarely force for good, and Australia, with a wealth of coal and gas, is not spared.

The current crisis in Ukraine not only drives up energy prices globally, but it also creates a dilemma for gas producing nations.

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Why Population growth even before the explosion?

Throughout history, although no other species on Earth has experienced such long term overall population growth, even before the recent population explosion, the human population kept slowly growing.

Yes, we recently had an unprecedented population explosion, driven by is hidden by by the near elimination of previously tragic infant mortality, but against the background of long term growth, many of us never didn’t even realise their was an explosion.

But what drove population growth even before the explosion? What will now happen as the explosion ends?

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Fragile Democracy: Was Scott ‘Scomo’ Morrison autocrat of Australia?

Democracy collapses when a leader, who is able to bypass the checks and balances, uses their position to retain power.

Steps by recent leaders Scott Morrison and Australia and Donald Trump in the USA, raise questions as to whether current reliance on conventions and constitutions reliably protects democracy.

China, Russia and even North Korea are all technically democracies, and all proof of how technically being a democracy does not necessarily deliver real democracy.

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Ukraine: Putin and China, method or madness?

What if Russia and China both intended that the invasion of Ukraine would trigger global inflation and food shortages, and a potentially new financial crisis?

That Putin sees himself in the image of Peter the Great and restoring the Russian empire is no secret, and is generally portrayed as evidence that Putin has completely lost the plot. But what if there is a bigger plan involving both Russia and China that starts with triggering a global financial crisis? A dangerous game by two desperate leaders needing to bring others with them as their own economies collapse.

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Ghost cities and ghost homes: housing finance crisis?

Anyone who believes in indefinite growth in anything physical, on a physically finite planet, is either mad or an economist.”

Attributed to Kenneth Boulding in: United States. Congress. House (1973) 

This applies to not just to population growth, but just maybe also to the growth in value of housing.

This page is a look at ‘ghost cities’ and ‘ghost homes’, and the window they provide into how distorted investment can become in the pursuit of growth.

The end result of the distortions can be overvalued assets funded by highly leveraged ordinary citizens. If that is the case, not just with ghost cities but beyond, the correction will clearly present a financial crisis.

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Can Peter Dutton repair the democracy ‘loyal opposition’.

Democracy is under threat, and a significant part of the problem stems for the distortion of the current model of ‘opposition’. While the politics of division and polarisation of the USA Trump republicans vs Biden democrats attracts most attention on the world stage right now, what happens in Australia following the recent election which saw democracy strike back (page coming soon), has the potential to provide the world with an alternate blueprint for the role of the opposition party, which could reinvigorate democracy and spread to the US and elsewhere.

Is there an alternative to the current Republicans vs Democrats style, where ‘opposition’ is about each party demonising the other?

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