Jump to content
Airbrush

Generational craft (split from Terraforming the Solar System)

Recommended Posts

Sure, everyone wants to live in a 'comfortable' place.
But if it's a matter of survival, there are various degrees of 'comfort' we are willing to accept.
For a while, when populations were growing exponentially all over the world, there was even talk of enclosed undersea cities ( shallow seas and oceans ), where you would need a suit to go outside ( no different than enclosed cities on Mars ).
That has fallen by the wayside now that China is actually building landmasses ( islands ) in the South China Sea.
Terraforming the Earth, you might say.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Ken Fabian said:

I am not optimistic either way - because I think it wasn't planning and foresight that got us the civilisation we have here on Earth but for getting space colonies on a sustainable footing the minimum population and economy and infrastructure needs to be very large to be able to reach reliable self sufficiency; self sufficiency in space will be very hard to achieve without those natural ecosystems to do so much stuff we depend and thrive on for free.

 

I don't think space - even being more optimistic even than most optimists - will ever offer mass migration opportunities; mostly the idea seems to be a smallish number get to colonise space, to go on (we hope) to survive and thrive there and Earth's population gets to survive or not (we hope not) as the case may be. We are suppose to be vicariously comforted by this - enough to not resent paying for it. I remain unconvinced that this "some will survive" motivation can be sufficient to support the scales of construction and investment a viable space colonisation program needs. And we could (real possibility) see significant population decline here on Earth - whether we want it and plan it (still possible, over several generations), or not (possibly catastrophically).

I think the first step after government test-runs will be economic exploitation, should that ever become cost-effective. Only after that would any large-scale settlements work. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The economic exploitation would necessitate some scale of settlement.
Think about little towns that spring up when a mine opens up in Northern Canada; unless the exploitation is done remotely, people will need to be, and live, there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes. At first, I expect, it will be workers willing to undertake risk on some kind of extended deployment. Similar to deep-sea fishermen going off for weeks at a a time, or transcontinental shipping. But you'll hit a limit of how long they will do this without the kind of settlements you describe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/5/2020 at 1:55 AM, MigL said:

Think about little towns that spring up when a mine opens up in Northern Canada; unless the exploitation is done remotely, people will need to be, and live, there.

Such settlements in wilderness have no expectation of becoming self sufficient. They import almost everything (apart from air and water) from the greater Canadian and global economy and don't even directly use the minerals they mine. Were that greater economy to vanish or be out of reach they would be in serious trouble, even with foreknowledge and prepperation; an ability to survive, maybe, because there are natural, if limited, food resources and ancient experience to draw on. Sustaining advanced technology and a lifestyle dependent on it? A lot harder. Such outposts can be steps on the way to self sufficient colonisation but are insufficient in themselves. They need stuff to sell to that greater economy.

Motivations do matter and I don't think making a "Planet B" for backup is a viable one; they need broad ranging commercial viability or else such colonies will, like mining outposts in wilderness, run down when the saleable resource runs out. I think "Planet B" thinking might be a longer term contingency consideration for any greater Earth (meteor) Defense type projects, the way it enters the thinking of military forces with deep bunkers - tacked on to a broader motivation that has substance - but I cannot see it being a primary objective. Elsewise we are talking about living in space being easy because we have achieved such advanced tech and wealth that living in space is easy, like jumping in the campervan for a road trip because we can, with no requirement to pay our way - in which case I wouldn't want to be stuck to Mars or any other colony planet. Visit maybe. We are way, way, way short of that.

 

 

Edited by Ken Fabian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.