[ExI] Solving the real problem, energy was cure for global warming

Tom Nowell nebathenemi at yahoo.co.uk
Thu Dec 30 22:48:35 UTC 2010

Samantha wrote "Assuming you can get it out of the gravity well (or mine and manufacture in near earth space) then there is a huge need for workers / devices of some kind to assemble and maintain all that lot in GEO or on the moon.  We don't have anywhere near that many astronauts and do not field them for space walks in GEO on an extended basis in any case (much harsher radiation danger than LEO).   So having humans do it is not going to cut it, not in the next decade or two at least."

Keith wrote "You train them up.  It's not that hard and you need around a thousand of them.  There is no need for the construction of the vast majority
of the things to be particularly complicated.  The really complicated
pieces come up from earth."
May I suggest a source for our would be space-constructors? The oil industry. The North Sea oil industry employs thousands of deep-sea divers who work under dangerous conditions of temperature and pressure and in a buoyancy environment far removed from everyday experience (a lot like astronauts), are used to long suiting up/ depressurising times, and work in the most dangerous job for which reliable statistics exist. (Yes, I know theoretically military test pilots and formula 1 drivers have riskier jobs, but there are so few people in them the statistical sample size is very small). There is a ready pool of people here willing to train hard at physical skills and work in conditions of great deprivation in exchange for cold, hard cash and lots of shore leave.

In fact, big oil shows us the way for a lot of things - the teleoperated vehicles on the seabed as seen with the deepwater oil spill off Texas show us what is cutting-edge for teleops; long lead times and huge financing costs are nothing new to them (look at the billions it costs to develop an oil field and the many years it takes, combined with the huge prospecting risk in the first place); getting tax breaks for extraction of valuable minerals and for R&D. The big energy companies show us how the mega-projects we can envision are just about handle-able with today's organisations and politics.



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