[ExI] Moon Bases Not Needed (Keith Hanson)

Kevin G Haskell kgh1kgh2 at gmail.com
Mon Aug 1 05:49:16 UTC 2011

On Thu, 28 Jul 2011 07:42:21 -0700, Keith Hanson wrote:

On Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 5:00 AM,  Kevin Haskell <kgh1kgh2 at gmail.com> wrote:

> (Why would we need moon bases if we hope to evolve, soon??)

>I presume this refers to the technological singularity, but the
>operative words you use are "hope to" and soon.  "Hope" and "soon" are
>vague.  If we run out of cheap energy before major technical advances,
>the carrying capacity of the earth on sustainable energy is 1-2
>billion people.  What happens to the rest of them?

While I used the terms "Hope" and "soon," and you are correct in saying they
are a bit vague, so are the words you used "If,"  "What happens...?", and
the assumption that the carrying capacity for people should we run out
fossil fuels will wither down to 1-2 billion people.

This latter one is a big assumption, but I do want to make it clear that I
am in no way in opposition to the development in use of alternative sources
of energy.  I encourage their use, in fact, just in case we run low on
fossil fuels at some future point.  But one thing keeps happening with
fossil fuels, and that is, every time the prediction is made that we are
going to run out, the opposite has been true as populations have increased.
Oil reserves are higher than ever, and more deposits and sources continue to
found in large quantities.

Secondly, if the world should suddenly begin to believe that they are in
fact peaking out with fossil-fuels, then long before then, as the price of
these fuel increase because of scarcity in the market, alternative sources
of energy should become much more competitive as they evolve in complexity,
and become competitive on a price per watt basis.  This doesn't even factor
in the fact that if necessary, nuclear power has long been producing a lot
of power globally, and could be used in place of fossil fuels should they
become scarce, or alternatives 'still' are not up for prime time.

> (Wasting money on moon bases would only divert trillions of dollars from
money that should be otherwise be directed at something productive for the
human race.)

>There are two ways to mine the moon without having a base there at
>all.  Do it with robots/teleoperated devices or a mining crawler in
>the end of a lunar elevator.  It is possible to imagine ways to spend
>trillions of dollars to set up moon base, but that's why it is
>extremely unlikely it will be done.

>On the other hand, a beamed energy propulsion project to reduce the
>cost of getting to GEO down to $100/kg is a reasonable way to solve
>the energy problem.

>  http://www.theoildrum.com/node/7898


I don't think the technology you are using is anywhere the time frame close
to where we are headed as compared to the Singularity.  I could be wrong,
but that technology seems awfully unrealistic anytime soon.  It certainly
can be a technology that we keep working on as one of the many alternative
possibilities, and I would never rule it out, but I am just saying that,
compared to the rate at which computers are evolving, the Singularity is
likely to occur sooner, or, at the very least, other sources of less
complicated forms of alternative energy.

Lastly, it also depends on another great "if" we are able to locate
sufficient materials that can be used for energy consumption on earth.
Materials on the moon may be very limited in scope as to what they produce.

Thank you for that link.  It appears to be a very good source of
information, and I've saved it for future reference.

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