The Insightful Troll

Rants and ruminations.

Going to Space Is Tone Deaf

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Shannon Stirone in writing for The Atlantic:

Could there be a worse time for two über-rich rocket owners to take a quick jaunt toward the dark? Especially in the United States, the climate crisis is now actually starting to feel like a crisis. The western U.S. is in the thick of fire season, experiencing record-breaking drought and temperatures. Last week, Bezos’s hometown of Seattle hit 108 degrees. Hurricane season is starting early, and a once-in-200-years flood just ravaged northern Mississippi. Oh yeah, then there’s the pandemic that is very much still not over. Anyone would want a break from this planet, but the billionaires are virtually the only ones who are able to leave.

Leaving Earth right now isn’t just bad optics; it’s almost a scene out of a twisted B-list thriller: The world is drowning and scorching, and two of the wealthiest men decide to … race in their private rocket ships to see who can get to space a few days before the other. If this were a movie, these men would be Gordon Gekko and Hal 9000—both venerated and hated. Maybe, I don’t know, delay the missions a bit until people around the world are no longer desperately waiting for vaccines to save them from a deadly virus.