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Narcissists in Space - Jacobin
What they share is an origin story about private space exploration -- both say their interest stems from a desire to save humanity from planetary collapse. Bezos has been intrigued by the idea of colonizing space since his youth; as a high-school valedictorian he gave a speech about the need for humans to live in space. "Earth had limited resources and so his idea was to get humanity off its surface, into space so as to protect the planet." Musk's story is similar. From a young age, he thought seriously about what he called "an eventual extinction event." "The solution: Find another planet to live on," writes Davenport. Musk's idea was to "make humans a multiplanet species, and create a backup hard drive for the human race there, just in case Earth crashes like a faulty computer."

It is impossible for any reader living through the ravages of global warming to scan these sentiments without skepticism. If someone is going to invest enormous amounts of wealth and time in an engineering project, gathering together some of the smartest scientists on the planet to develop and test creative solutions to an intractable problem, in the interest of saving the future of humanity, how could you choose any focus but climate change?

by Bernard (bernard) on Mon Jul 12th, 2021 at 08:09:28 PM EST
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