Today we are going to be looking at Josh as he leads his rag-tag protest movement on the Moon. You may think this a silly topic, but we are going to have to wrestle with how we deal with these new environments we are entering. And there are no easy answers.
The Fun Part
September 18, 2049
Tranquility Crater, Luna
What the hell were they thinking? Svetla thought as she looked out the window of Tranquillitatis Core (TC). “How the hell did those protesters managed to get here…and why signs…why do protesters always need signs?” she muttered to no one in particular. The protesters Svetla saw outside the primary European habitat on Luna appeared to be a rag tag group of environmentalists carrying signs calling for an end to development on the moon, and returning Luna to its pre-settlement pristine condition.
Josh was out there with those protesters. Well that wasn’t technically accurate. He was out there, leading those protesters. Josh had a long history of political agitation back on earth, and after quitting his federal government job back in 2023 he had done little other than drift from one protest movement to another.
It wasn’t that he was opposed to mining on the moon. Ironically enough, he was one of the protesters who probably most supported mining operations off Earth. But not like this. Definitely not like this. Nearly two decades of strip mining across vast swaths of both Lunar poles had sparked Josh’s current protest movement. You could even see some of the damage from Earth with little more than a pair of binoculars.
Tellus’ Legacy, that was what Josh had dubbed his ad hoc group of friends who had helped him organize protests at some of the company headquarters of the major mining companies. They had just wanted the companies to use some of the environmentally sound mining practices that had been developed at the end of the 1900s, and early 2000s.
Serendipity proved to be an ally when in early 2049 Josh ran into an old friend, Greg, who had made it big in the orbital whiskey craze of the 2030s. Greg offered to bankroll the group’s trip to the Moon to stage the publicity stunt that was happening now.
Maybe, thought Josh, that two million dollars won’t be badly spent if we are able to actually change something.
Or we will be just another story for a niche reporter to talk about…well we can hope can’t we…
THe Real Deal
So first off, it is a long held maxim in political science, that protesters are a natural outcropping of humans grouping together. Even in large families we have that one uncle, cousin, or sister who just ‘has’ to fight back against what everyone suggests. Thinking that our journey into space will change that is to deny our nature as fancy monkeys.
So then, if humans are going to keep being human, what can we expect to be some of the new frontiers in political agitation? Well, space environmentalism isn’t going anywhere. In fact it has been going on for years.
In 2013, the US House of Representatives proposed making the Apollo lunar landing sites a US National Park, and subsequently be submitted as a UNESCO as a world heritage site. While technically this would have violated multiple international treaties (if it had been passed into law), the attempt was symbolic.
What are we to do with the historic and pristine new worlds we are visiting? Do they exist only to support humanity? Do we pillage them as we have Earth, in the pursuit of making our birthplace more livable? Or do we keep them in pristine condition, consigning the billions of people living in poverty with the development inevitable with the trillions of dollars worth of resources?
Getting to the Moon
These aren’t easy questions, and shouldn’t be treated as such. But what is easy? Getting to the moon by 2049.
In 2008 it cost over $10,000 to put a kilogram in orbit. That year NASA set the goal of ‘hundreds of dollars’ to move a kilogram into low earth orbit by 2033, and ‘tens of dollars’ for that same kilogram in 2048. Right now, barely a decade after that goal, SpaceX can put a kilogram into orbit for about $1,500. There are multiple launch providers who are coming into the market over the coming years, including Relativity who will reduce the cost even further.
It is completely conceivable that NASA’s goal of hundreds of dollars per kg into low earth orbit, will end up being the cost to get to lunar orbit by 2033. When that happens it is just a matter of time before 70kg people like me start making regular trips there, even for things like a couple day protest.
Next time lets explore things a little closer to home. Until then, be sure to brush up on the world’s first pre-history of space by checking out some older posts. If you have a topic you want covered, feel free to hit us up and we will work it in.