autoevolution

Space Exploration; the Cost, the Emissions, and the Hypocrisy of It All

I happened to come across a couple of articles recently that prompted me to do a bit more research on the carbon footprint being created by humans' insatiable appetite for space travel and exploration.
Blue Origin 6 photos
SpaceXSpaceXSpaceXSpaceXBlue Origin
What I learned was quite alarming but not totally surprising. While climate alarmists are sounding off on celebrities, politicians, and corporate executives utilizing emission-heavy private planes to get around, they do not seem to pay any attention to the carbon footprint created by space travel.

I'd bet there are even some of those nuts who have recently vandalized works of art (take a moment to think about the mentality of a person who even remotely thinks that may be effective) to bring attention to their cause who are space enthusiasts, just like those who rip the celebrities' use of private jets would go out and buy a jet for themselves if they had tens of millions of dollars burning a hole in their pockets.

What these folks do not understand is that celebrities are paid big bucks to work their trade for our entertainment benefit. Are they paid too much? Well, maybe, but that is the fault of their fans, who pay exorbitant amounts to watch them perform. If there are enough people out there not willing to pony up the money to see their favorite entertainer perform, then that entertainer could not afford a private plane. It's really that simple.

In addition, corporate executives like Elon Musk, for example, buzz around in his private jet as time management tools. He and his companies create jobs; lots of them, in fact.

Ironically, Musk  and company have single-handily changed automotive manufacturing more than any other industrialists in history, including Henry Ford, by pioneering the electric car movement in the name of climate change and are also into space tourism/travel before it gets out of hand. Putting the brakes on all space exploration would not be a bad idea either until this world can get its collective dung together.

If the powers that be want to seriously address climate change and reverse the current course of global warming, then they need to stop going into space.

I, for one, do not care if the U.S. put a man on the moon or if there is or once was water on Mars. What is the point? Is the mass of space nuts thinking that since we have so badly trashed planet Earth, we need to find another planet to trash?

According to the 2022 World Inequality Report, "An 11-minute flight emits no fewer than 75 tonnes of carbon per passenger... About one billion individuals emit less than one tonne per person per year. Over their lifetime, this group of one billion individuals does not emit more than 75 tonnes of carbon per person."

That number is sixteen times the amount of emissions the average gas-powered car emits in a full year!

The report did not single out any particular space flight; however, the flights of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin are approximately eleven minutes in length. For his part, Musk and his SpaceX company will launch up to 60 rockets into space carrying satellites and other gadgets this year alone. SpaceX space travels presumably have a much higher carbon footprint than the edge-of-space joyrides of Blue origin.

Another report published by JGR Atmospheres claimed that global atmospheric circulation would be disrupted by increased space tourism, thus, slowing the flow of air from the tropics to the poles in the upper atmosphere.

A study in The Findings focused on the emissions of black carbon emitted from the burning of rocket fuel in the stratosphere, finding that it is 500 times worse for the climate than it is here on Earth. The black carbon in the upper atmosphere absorbs heat from the sun and emits thermal energy, boosting climate warming.

In fact, the evidence presented by many experts confirms that space travel, whether it be for tourism or in the name of science, is simply detrimental to the environment.

The world needs to wake up and realize that any benefit from the exploration of space now is not going to outpace the degradation of our current residence. It will, however, do the exact opposite by accelerating this so-called climate change.

There is also the lack of a cost-benefit that anyone living right now will enjoy. The amount of money the U.S. government pours into NASA is simply insane. NASA was formed in 1958 with an annual budget of $89 million ($873,710,493 in today's dollars / 846,756,524 euro), today the agency's budget is $29.2 billion (28,307,502,000 euro).

 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories