The Great Space Myth

John Naish

Resurgence & Ecologist   September/October 2012  Issue 274

Comments on this article made by Sky McCain



While looking through this issue, the following highlight caught my eye and interest.  “We must learn to nurture the only place that we are ever likely to inhabit”


John Naish, a prolific writer that has written largely on health issues presents a well-researched and clearly presented case for why we can’t even dream of visiting even other nearby solar systems let alone roam the galaxy unless we do the preposterous:  [my take on the situation] Take Earth’s global magnetic field along with us.   I’ve checked out the four or five reasons John cites for why we won’t be doing space travel anytime soon – maybe never. They are valid and most well researched


The major point in the article that attracted me was the obvious.  Why continue the slash and burn as if we could just hitch the buggy up to Ol’ Nell and find another lovely place to ruin.  Sorry, but this is it.  John mentions the “Kleenix Model of Colonialism” which appears to have been coined by the late writer, Audre Lorde.  It must surely mean the absurdly unequal trade situation where the conquerors remove the precious resources and leave the vanquished with Coca Cola and bandaids.  I’m not sure how that applies to Homo Sapiens Sapiens and the idea that we don’t have to take care of the planet because we can just get Scotty to beam us up and find another one to ravish.


Stephen Hawking enters left stage toward the end of act 3 having set his brilliance on how to save us all from wearing our soiled jeans.  In a recent article in CNET News, Hawking repeats his suggestion that we only have around 1,000 years of plunder time left to us so we had better find another planet ASAP.  No mention of alternatives.  No looking at options such as a reduction in world population or axing world trade etc.  No, just a pronouncement.  If I was to write a paper as part of a graduate school curriculum turned in with no supporting arguments, I’d find myself looking for a job waiting tables in the Union Building just before withdrawing from the course. The article states: “In 2011, he said, ‘Our only chance of long-term survival is not to remain lurking on planet Earth, but to spread out into space.’”

Although I respect Dr. Hawking’s brilliant career achievements in science, can it really be our “only chance”?  Seldom in science do you find such certainty.  Obviously this certainty isn’t the result of experiment and hypothesis – the scientific method.


Further evidence:




Rover radiation data poses manned Mars mission dilemma

30 May 2013

Jonathan Amos

“For most of its 253-day, 560-million-km journey in 2011/2012, the robot had its Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) instrument switched on inside the cruise vessel, which gave a degree of protection.

RAD counts the numbers of energetic particles – mostly protons – hitting its sensors.

The particles of concern fall into two categories – those that are accelerated away from our dynamic Sun; and those that arrive at high velocity from outside of the Solar System.

This latter category originates from exploded stars and the environs of black holes.

These galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) impart a lot of energy when they strike the human body and will damage DNA in cells. They are also the most difficult to shield against.

Earth’s thick atmosphere, its magnetic field and its huge rock bulk provide protection to people living on its surface, but for astronauts in deep space even an aluminium hull 30cm thick is not going to change their exposure to GCRs very much.

The RAD data revealed an average GCR dose equivalent rate of 1.84 milliSieverts (mSv) per day during the rover’s cruise to Mars. (The Sievert is a standard measure of the biological impacts of radiation.) This dose rate is about the same as having a full-body CT scan in a hospital every five days or so.”


Forget about colonisation, love and protect what we have.