Thursday, July 29, 2010

Off to Switzerland - Sustainability Conference

Needless to say I'm pretty excited about my upcoming trip to Caux, Switzerland to attend and speak at the Initiatives of Change conference, Leading Change for a Sustainable World. As the days draw closer to my actual departure, I'm thinking about my lecture, what I'm saying, and how awesome this trip is going to be. Okay, so the last part isn't exactly a factor of the conference objective, but come's SWITZERLAND! :)

One of the many things I love about space exploration and development is that it forces us to conquer challenges that simply are not a factor in everyday life on Earth. We must rise to a new level just to maintain the basics of life in space, and this leads us to the invention of technologies that make such a life possible. Sustainability is by far one of the most paramount goals of space exploration. Without it, we could not survive there.

Sustainability is a factor in many aspects of space exploration, such as energy, air supply, food, water, and more. As we know, space is unlike any other environment. It's not like there's a 7-11 down the road to do a quick resupply, nor can you do flyover cargo drops like Arctic missions can do, or like our military does in remote locations. Space is just a wee bit more challenging than that, so your living conditions must be as sustainable and robust as possible.

And as I mentioned, it's because of those conditions that we end up inventing technologies that inherently benefit life on Earth. If you can create sustainable clean energy systems in space, you can apply that to Earth. If you can create sustainable food production facilities in space (like for a Moon Base), then you can do so on Earth. There are many sustainable, long lasting solution options to satisfy humanity while maintaining a solid respect for the environment, and those solutions are technically driven.

The human brain, with its imagination and its innovative capabilities, is an amazing bio-computer, and the people who have used it for positive gain have given us the ability to live amazing lives on this Earth while simultaneously maintaining the positive natural environment we all need to survive long term on this planet. If we do not adapt and use our innovation to this end, we will bring about the systematic self destruction of the human species. The planet will move on, but we won't.

As the late, great George Carlin said, "The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through all kinds of things worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles…hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages…And we think some plastic bags, and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet…the planet…the planet isn’t going anywhere. WE ARE!"

I don't know about you, but I'd like to stick around, so let's do the right thing and make sustainability a paramount issue and technological advancement as the tool to implement it.


Norman Copeland said...

What worries me is that the sustainability for our race seems to be dependant on our interaction with other creatures, or, we just have one species which is ourselves to live with, the importance of the eco system really doesn't show itself in present human nature. I think that is something crucial to consider.

Douglas Mallette said...

Well, in my opinion that's because the modern pursuit of money to live and profit for power has completely blinded the masses to their symbiotic relationship with nature. They are disconnected because they have only one focus, work to get money to live, and/or maintain their power and control. Plus, distractions and mass media do a great job of keeping people in a certain frame of mind, and it's not ecological responsibility, I can assure you of that.

Anonymous said...

Sustainability is basically code word for giving up our rights and freedoms to a one world government.


No thanks! I like liberty!

Douglas Mallette said...

Anon - Sure, and what you think is the gospel truth, right? lol. Your conspiracy theory nonsense blinds you to basic facts, and I'm sure no matter how much evidence I give you to the contrary of your statement, you'll still honk the horn of conspiracy, and throw out total B.S. (bad science) as a means to justify your loose and baseless position.

Nevertheless, I'll try once. By using technology to serve mankind, thereby creating sustainability for the human race, we actually free mankind to pursue freedom, passions, and exert their natural rights as humans to be free, liberated and live in a just and more equitable world for all. No longer do we need to subjugate some to serve others.

It is the ultimate in liberty, and in all actuality, reduces the need for government on national and state levels, returning it directly to cities and regions that are most in control of their immediate conditions, abolishing this notion to have sustainability requires global enforcement by some authoritative figure.

So you are completely incorrect, if and only if you look at technology as the provider, not the destroyer.

Logan Knox said...

It's pretty self evident that liberty is a function of mens attitudes and resources [F_liberty(philosophy,resources]. So in space since there's practically a million times our current resource base, earth, it goes to say the a "new "new world"" would happen with a new version of liberty.

Oh yeah I went there with the double quotes.

Norman Copeland said...

Really Douglas, your ability to chore from basic philosophy is sometimes crude and mainly effective, but, it is not always the corrective emphasis, obviously your blog is reknowned for ranting and wooden truth, but, I think that some people need religious guidance and it sort of helps to have someone who could explain that.

But, that is the way of the world.

I'm certainly backing it.

Douglas Mallette said...

Norman - Well, considering I'm an Atheist and I don't buy into all that mystic mythology stuff, I'm not exactly going to tread that road regularly. :)

However, with that said, one of the goal of religion (which it has failed miserably at accomplishing by the way) is to make Earth a beautiful place with abundance and peace for all. Different faiths state this in different ways, but I'll use this statement as clarification: Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. Well, it's about time we actually start making Heaven on Earth.