I watched a show on PBS the other night about new frontiers in space exploration. The issue that has me worried is property rights in space.
Who owns what? If you land there first do you “own” it? Should you? If you get there first and claim ownership, does this then automatically give you the right to do what ever you want with it?
Case in point: The Moon. Our Moon. The USA landed first. It now appears that there is a fantastic amount of a special helium that would be perfect for fusion… do we (the USA) own it? Does getting there first give us the right to strip mine it?
And who should decide who owns what?
This isn’t much of a rant so far as I’m posing more questions than ranting but what I am really afraid of is this; by the time my grandchildren get to the moon it will already be stripped and Pepsi ads will be everywhere. One day as an old, old woman I will look up to the full moon and see vast gaping wounds in the face of the Moon. Does corporate enterprise have the “right” to do this?
I am worried that we will continue to trash our Mother Earth and then just find other worlds to trash… rather than exerting control over ourselves we will just find other worlds in order to continue on with our massive over consumption.
Is humanity going to get a clue? Are we going to systematically trash the entire Milky Way? Perhaps I am silly, worried about an issue that probably will not be adequately explored in my lifetime; however, I would like to know if anyone else out there thinks about issues like this.
I think that we do need to have some kind of law in place BEFORE we go any further. I think as a world we need to decide. Personally, I would like us to balance use with preservation and explore conservation before exploitation.