Home > education, motherhood, philosophy, Politics, science, Stuff I read > Looking up from the bottom of a gravity well

Looking up from the bottom of a gravity well

I know that most Mom Blogs are concerned with diapers and potty training and gender-parity issues and playground politics and whatnot. And certainly that’s what I spend most of my brain energy on.

But I have enough left over that I worry about other things, bigger things outside of my small, toddler-cluttered world. I worry that $6/gal. gas is almost certain to happen in the next five years and that it’s going to break our badly constructed country. I worry about Monsanto’s drive to destroy all food systems. I contemplate whether capitalism, which is entirely based on a consumer culture, is a sustainable social structure given what we now understand about the environment. I worry about the new Sufi terrorist group the Naqshbandi, because there is nothing more terrifying than a peaceful mystical group deciding it’s time to do something.

And I worry about being at the bottom of a gravity well.

All the talk of the anniversary of the moon shot has made me really think about the fact that people like Buzz fucking Aldren say we don’t need to go to the moon, just go to Mars. I want to grab them and shake them and make them read Moon is a Harsh Mistress until they understand.

Any country that controls the moon controls the Earth.

I know that there’s a treaty about not militarizing space. I’m not sure I think that’s the best treaty for us to have signed, but I get why we did it. But the fact of the matter is that it doesn’t take a whole lotta tech to be able to chuck rocks (semi accurately) from the moon. And a rock thrown from the moon will hit with more force than you can imagine. Think nuclear bomb, without all the effort necessary to get uranium, build a reactor, build a rocket, etc. etc.

“But,” you say, “it’s hard to get to the moon! Harder than building a nuclear bomb.”

I’m not sure about that. There are good arguments that it could have been done with gaslight-era technology. (I’m not saying that I believe the arguments, but smarter people than I give them credence.) If you’ve seen the lunar lander at the Smithsonian, you’ll know it looks like a kludge built in your dad’s workshop. And it was built with technology from the 1960s.

So when the Obama administration starts talking about “re-examining” NASA’s upcoming missions, I get nervous. When I hear that the shuttles are being retired and there won’t be a US vehicle to get humans into space for about five years, I get nervous. When I hear people like Buzz fucking Aldrin (I am so angry at this, can you tell) say that getting to the moon was about proving we could go there, and now that we’ve done it we should just aim for Mars…. I get very very nervous.

There are lots and lots of other reasons to go to the moon. We need to do more exploration, more scientific discovery. There are lots of other security threats in space — the satellite thing makes me wake up at night in a cold sweat. But let’s not abandon the moon folks.

If only because we don’t want people throwing rocks at us.

  1. July 20, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    I hear you loud and clear.

  2. July 21, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    So glad you posted today! I’ve been reading through your blog and just love it!

    And Monsanto is evil.

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