Expand Or Die

“I think it’s important that humanity try to become a multiplanet species,” says SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk. “If we’re not steadily improving our access to space, making it more reliable at lower cost and at larger scale, that will never happen.”

Popular Mechanics, Nov 2011, pg 70

I honestly don’t know why this has to be said. People worry so much and get into each others’ faces so much about all these “environmental” concerns, shoving “zero waste” and “renewable” and “sustainable” whatevers into everyone’s lives – even the wording suggests that they think they can successfully fight the law of entropy. However, once the scale of space is discussed, everyone goes blank and repeats “pale blue dot” and “we’re nothing in the universe” and give up?  So we can fight the law of entropy, but not the speed of light?

To be true, my problem is not with the suggestion itself that we cannot fight the law of entropy – if something cannot be helped, then it cannot be helped.. It is not even the somewhat odd suggestion that law of entropy is not absolute, but the speed of light is – perhaps there are reasons for why we can do something about one but not the other. The problem is the blatant contradiction of the “we can’t do anything” attitude to the “this is important and i will make you believe what i believe is important” methodologies they have. And of course, there is the ever-present “be grateful for what you have, don’t be greedy” way they say things. I disliked the contradiction already, but those two things put together makes activists intensely displeasurable.

I agree with the Elon Musk’s sentiment… it is precisely why I chose to major in Aerospace Engineering. But I find it unfortunate that such a fundamental thing has to be stated explicitly. It indicates that more advanced and relevant concerns cannot be discussed.


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