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Saturday, July 18, 2009


Ripped off from the site of the same name:

"There are three reasons why, quite apart from scientific considerations, mankind needs to travel in space. The first reason is garbage disposal; we need to transfer industrial processes into space so that the earth may remain a green and pleasant place for our grandchildren to live in. The second reason is to escape material impoverishment: the resources of this planet are finite, and we shall not forego forever the abundance of solar energy and minerals and living space that are spread out all around us. The third reason is our spiritual need for an open frontier."
Freeman Dyson, Disturbing the Universe, 1979

"As long as there is the safety valve of unexplored frontiers, the aggressive and exploitive urges of human beings can be channeled into long-term possibilities and benefits... I don't happen to think the frontier is closed. It's just opening up in space... The human race is going out and throughout, wherever space will permit us to go. It's only a question of when, and who, and what kind of leadership will take us there."
Governor Jerry Brown, remarks at a symposium, 1977

"The crossing of space ... may do much to turn men's minds outwards and away from their present tribal squabbles. In this sense, the rocket, far from being one of the destroyers of civilisation, may provide the safety-value that is needed to preserve it."
Arthur C. Clarke, The Exploration of Space, 1951

"Men go into space .. to see whether it is the kind of place where other men, and their families and their children, can eventually follow them. A disturbingly high proportion of the intelligent young are discontented because they find the life before them intolerably confining. The moon offers a new frontier. It is as simple and splendid as that."
Editorial on the moon landing, The Economist, 1969

"Perhaps it won't matter, in the end, which country is the sower of the seed of exploration. The importance will be in the growth of the new plant of progress and in the fruits it will bear. These fruits will be a new breed of the human species, a human with new views, new vigor, new resiliency, and a new view of the human purpose. The plant: the tree of human destiny."
Neil Armstrong, "Out of This World,"
Saturday Review, 1974

"Once the threshold is crossed when there is a self-sustaining level of life in space, then life's long-range future will be secure irrespective of any of the risks on Earth... Will this happen before our technological civilization disintegrates"
Martin Rees, Britain's Astronomer Royal,
Our Final Hour, 2003

"Until now in world's history, whenever we've had a dark age, it's been temporary and local. And other parts of the world have been doing fine. And eventually, they help you get out of the dark age. We are now facing a possible dark age which is going to be world-wide and permanent! That's not fun. That's a different thing. But once we have established many worlds, we can do whatever we want as long as we do it one world at a time."
Isaac Asimov, speech at Newark College of Engineering,

"When it is realized that man's future, his greatest fulfillment, may lie in the cosmos and not on the surface of the earth at all, then it is strongly suggested that mankind has not reached maturity but only completed gestation."
Hamilton B. Webb, "Speculations on Space and
Human Destiny," 1961

"The earth is the cradle of humankind, but one cannot live in the cradle forever."
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, 1895

"Given ships or sails adapted to the breezes of heaven, there will be those who will not shrink from even that vast expanse."
Johannes Kepler, letter to Galileo, 1610

"Don't tell me that man doesn't belong out there. Man belongs wherever he wants to go--and he'll do plenty well when he gets there."
Wernher von Braun, Time magazine, 1958

"Life, for ever dying to be born afresh, for ever young and eager, will presently stand upon this earth as upon a footstool, and stretch out its realm amidst the stars."
H. G. Wells, The Outline of History, 1920

"I don't think the human race will survive the next thousand years, unless we spread into space. There are too many accidents that can befall life on a single planet. But I'm an optimist. We will reach out to the stars."
Stephen Hawking, interview with Daily Telegraph, 2001

"Space travel leading to skylife is vital to human survival, because the question is not whether we will be hit by an asteroid, but when. A planetary culture that does not develop spacefaring is courting suicide. All our history, all our social progress and growing insight will be for nothing if we perish. No risk of this kind, however small it might be argued to be, is worth taking, and no cost to prevent it is too great. No level of risk is acceptable when it comes to all or nothing survival."
Gregory Benford and George Zebrowski, Skylife, 2000

"Remember this: once the human race is established on more than one planet and especially, in more than one solar system, there is no way now imaginable to kill off the human race."
Robert Heinlein, speech at World Science Fiction
Convention, 1961

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Jerry Brown was partly wrong about the frontier being closed here in America. The central part of the lower 48 can easily become an irrigated paradise, or at least it can become Mesa.

One of the big problems for the US government and the city of New Orleans has too much water running by it in the Mississippi. On of the main feeders of the Miss is the Missouri which runs across part of the Great Plains, which themselves often lack water. The entire volume of the Missouri could be diverted south to the Plains to water farms and soon cities at a greater rate than they are now receiving. The origin of the Missouri can dammed as well for local use too. The goal is to prevent any of the water from reaching St. Louis and entering the Miss.

I was reading H2oreuse and J noted that in California in order to prevent salination of the fileds one-third of the water that flows into the fields is drained off them after irrigation to remove the salt dissolved in the water. The runoff from the irrigated GP can be diverted into the useless Nevada desert to be evaporated by the sun, leaving behind the salt, without having o release it into the ocean.

The Economist wrote...

Men go into space .. to see whether it is the kind of place where other men, and their families and their children, can eventually follow them.

I've mentioned this before, but if a society does not have children then what is the motivation to expand?

One of the things that would revive Britain's (and America's) flagging spirits would be to recriminalize abortion. This would create a flow of new blood that might at least challenge the current elite, and would give many men reason to get off their asses to create a better order for their children.
While that would certainly allow the US to support a bigger population & would greatly improve the environment (hence being opposed by "environmentalists") it is engineering & I don't think could produce the psychological effects of a frontier. The thing about a frontier is that it is unexplored & out beyond government bureaucracy. Apart from space seasteding might count as frontier & undersea living would also produce the risk of the unknown.
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