Na encruzilhada de leituras surgem terrenos baldios onde ideias antigas e novas ganham espaço para se misturarem e criar algo inesperado.
Para aqueles habituados a trabalhar com os macroproblemas do mundo as soluções são agora difíceis de imaginar. Basta lembrar que nos dias de hoje existem, diariamente, 200 milhões de seres humanos em movimento por razões várias que vão desde cataclismos à falta de emprego, discordância política entre outros. Esta escala assustadora pode ser desmoralizante, mas a gravidade da mesma obriga-nos a imaginar novas soluções para escapar a um mundo onde nenhum de nós quer viver.
A capacidade de imaginar é inata ao nosso cérebro. Alison Gopnik no seu livro The philosophical baby explica que aos 18 meses de idade já temos a capacidade de construir counterfactual worlds ou “mundos imaginários” e de entender a relação causal entre as coisas. Esta capacidade, tão própria da espécie humana, tem sido um motor de mudança já que assim conseguimos antever e evitar cenários que não queremos, encontrar e investir noutros onde nos julgamos mais felizes.
É neste panorama que surgem ideias de exploração de novos espaços onde a economia possa crescer para nos aliviar da actual crise. O mar é um dos espaços sob a mira da exploração Humana*, mas também Marte, bem mais longe, parece ser um alvo sonhado.
Emmanuel G. Petrakakis, no seu artigo intitulado Space or Suicide, em forma de um discurso a Obama, sumariza 10 pontos relacionados com a exploração do espaço que funcionariam como um estímulo económico. Por outro lado Neil de Grasse, no artigo The Case for space do Foreign Affairs de Março 2012, lembra uma lista de avanços tecnológicos que o Programa Apollo trouxe, desde melhorias em diálise renal, implantação de pacemakers, impressão digital e outros. Mas Tyson refere-se, sobretudo, ao facto de que o programa de exploração do espaço, nos EUA, existiu durante muitos anos fora da arena política mas, desde que em 2004 a NASA perdeu a sua imunidade política, transformou-se em mais um campo de luta partidária. E lembra que é neste contexto que ressurge um novo interesse em explorar Marte num quadro de competição com a China.
É nesta encruzilhada que as ideias de Charles Eisenstein na sua apresentação do livro Sacred Economics me parecem frescas e esperançosas. Ainda não li o livro para entender os detalhes da sua proposta, mas a ideia de que o paradigma que valorizamos tem que mudar, parece óbvia. A noção de que para lá do dinheiro podemos valorizar o excedente e revertê-lo em bem de troca parece um bom counterfactual world onde investir o nosso imaginário. Só assim poderemos encontrar novas visões de onde possa surgir um novo paradigma com o qual a exploração do Mar ou de Marte valha a pena.
SPACE OR SUICIDE
This paper is about igniting the Pro Mars Human Exploration argument defending a serious commitment by the government to create the necessary challenges and incentives so as to gear up Human Space Exploration in ernst.
In my speech simulation, on behalf of the Mars Society, addressed to the US President with the aim of showing how Human Space exploration directly affects our day to day problems and it’s not just a scientific adventure with a touch of fantasy and seasoned with a little bit of romance, so to speak. Out of this urgent topic other linked, relevant areas can be also discussed i.e. space tourism and private space endeavor that could easily go down the wrong path.
This (Obama speech) as I call it, focuses on the arguments in areas of discussion that try to bring to us the urgency of starting up the program and how they are directly connected with our macro economic recovery. There, therefore are 3 basic Fundamentals we cannot run away from, that we have to handle positively:
i) Today`s high-tech society doesn’t just stand still. We either move forwards of we slide backwards;
ii) It is a society based on GAS (Greed, Aggression and Speed);
iii) Whatever the World Economic System you have to provide the society with a physical dimension in which it will expand into, otherwise it will contract.
Based on these points we see that the society is now evolving around these basic parameters and the process of backsliding or contraction has already begun as we are now witnessing worldwide.
This is the ultimate catalyst, the ultimate economic multiplier and the grandest driving force for this global village, engaging all our resources from one end to the other on planet earth.
In this way and through an open discussion, we analyze how we are presently sliding/ contracting. Through careful identification of today’s symptoms i.e. the economic meltdown, increase in crime worldwide and rampant poverty.
Let’s start the debate lets act now! It’s not “yes we can” it’s “yes we must” NOW!
(Speech simulation to president Obama)
We are a small group of concerned citizens that are extremely worried with our `Global Village` and the direction things are taking, into the future. Besides living through environmental `peril` we are now also experiencing the most serious economic malaise since the `Great Depression`.
This global economy is in serious problems, faltering from a titanic disease brought about by the infamous `credit crunch`. As a result, modern economics is made up of: hedge funds, junk bonds, stock derivatives and pyramid schemes are only but a few of our contemporary features of this `sick` socio/ economic mosaic, called the `global village`.
In short, all of this, in our view has originated from one word GAS (Greed, Aggression and Speed).
Is it now true that we have a society of narco economics, drugs, crime, gang culture, etc, only to mention but a few? This is leading us, world wide, to a new form of democratic model called, “cleptocracy, which in turn is giving birth to some of the many problems, as outlined next;
– There are over 600 million people worldwide living below the poverty line, this being below30 us dollars monthly,
– As of 2008, there were 2.6 million unemployed in the US and over 2 million in the UK and increasing,
– Corporate Fraud has gone rampant with billions of Dollars disappearing into thin air,
– Financial rescue plans don’t seem to have worked and some of these institutions (big corporations) have been nationalized. CEO’s in the mean time have walked away with millions.
– The Developing World is also suffering from this economic strife, crime is up, so is public discontent, drug proliferation, inabilities to handle drought and even the old religious differences are resurfacing. In some countries in South America, for example, their narco economies run in the billions of dollars as is in Mexico, where the government is engaged in a losing the battle against crime.
As it concerns the Environment, for over 40 years, we‘ve been talking more than acting. The media has shown repeatedly that despite the clean our energy rhetoric we still manage to produce amazing man made disasters. If any tangible progress was indeed made we should by now be powering our transport and homes entirely on Solar Energy.
In addition, Technology seems to have slowed down, only to mention a few examples herein, the shutting down of commercial supersonic flight, the shuttle, ISS eventually, stem cell research on slow mode, CERN after decades still experiencing problems, the shrinking of NASA and I am sure many other relevant projects, who’s progress would have enhanced our society into the next technological realm. To say the least, we are still running on WWII Technology.
All of this Mr. President is the result of a society in the process of implosion.
Our Global Economic Market System is in shambles and you cannot fix it on Credit alone or the recycling of it! We have to do it a bit more intelligently!
Lets maybe add Hydrogen and a bit of Oxygen to it!!
History teaches us that whenever societies have been provided with a new dimension to grow into, they have flourished, only this time lets not do it by invasion, but through intelligence!
So, Mr. President, you are sitting on the solution to reignite Global Economic Prosperity, lets restart with – HUMAN SPACE EXPLORATION- Switch on the Reset button please!
History has many examples of how new frontiers re energized economies to prosperity. What happened to Venice after Marco Polo, to ancient Greece after Alexander, to Spain after Colombo, to America after Lewis and Clark, even the Apollo program is said to have had a 7 to 1 multiplier effect on the American economy? Lets not just sit back and flog a dead horse because it is the easiest.
Imagine the impact of a 200 billion over 20 year program to Mars would have directly or indirectly industries? This would be a real booster, a guaranteed Global Economic stimulus.
We have therefore summarized the following 10 points related to human space exploration as a Global Economic stimulus:
i) Modern Society runs on GAS (Greed, Aggression and Speed);
ii) Societies through history never remain static, they either move Outwards or Inwards, Explode or Implode;
iii) Space Exploration does not run in contradiction or against Green Technology but rather enhances it. Terraforming is the greatest lesson environmentalists will ever have on making our planet, Greener;
iv) Society today is on an Implosive mode, the symptoms of which can be seen around: Pandemics, Drugs, Theocratic Warfare, Global Economic Meltdown, Cleptocracies, Piracy and many others;
v) Today no Economic system alone is enough to set a Global Economy on a positive direction. Credit Recycling is certainly not a serious sustainable economic stimulus;
vi) One needs to provide the society/economy with physical space to explode into, kick starting growth and prosperity by providing opportunity;
vii) Space Exploration will provide the next greatest Global Economic Stimulus, Impetus, Frontier and Realm for the society to expand and prosper into. It will trigger the next revolution, the Space Revolution;
viii) This Industry has the potential to employ all the Earth’s resources, more than doubling the Apollo multiplier effect.
ix) Only a Real Destination/Goal driven Space Exploration program can seriously kick off this next Endeavor and that destination is Mars;
x) Any real leadership must provide us with vision, a Vision to set us on a path to become an Intelligent Interplanetary Species. That is our ultimate destiny. We ought it to our youth.
Finally Mr. President “we are the change we want to be“ Gandhi once said “we owe it to our society, we owe it to many generations still to come, this Vision of the Cosmos and our belonging and propagation in it”.
Let’s dare to dream! Let’s dare to engage Humanity in real Enterprise again, real Prosperity!
Lets again ‘choose to go to Mars and do the other things not because they are easy but because they are hard’!
IT’S THE ULTIMATE ENDEAVOR…. it’s beyond YES WE CAN!!! It’s YES WE MUST!
Emmanuel G. Petrakakis
Member of Mars Society Africa, Mozambique, firstname.lastname@example.org