Why I Am Here


Hello folks, this is my first real foray into this type of blogging.  I am here for two reasons.  The first is that everyone is talking and talking past each other, but it seems that not enough people doing anything to help build a positive new world.  There is the idea, that to me is a throwback to the 1970′s, that we are doomed and we are just going to have to get used to the idea of being less free, less prosperous, and less willing to look forward brightly to the future.  I reject this idea, which is at the core of reason 1.  Reason 2 is to talk about what we can do to bring into being a prosperous 21st century.

At the core of the issue today that confronts the whole world is energy.  Increased sources of higher quality of energy, starting with wood, then coal, now oil, along with industrialization has allowed mankind, starting with the English industrial revolution almost 300 years ago to increase lifespans from approximately 40 years to today’s 78+ years for advanced countries.  Today these advances are under threat.  From the specter of climate change forced by the burning of hydrocarbon energy, to the energy and resource demands of the rapidly developing nations that are already surpassing demand in the west,  our civilization is under pressure.  What to do about that pressure will decisively shape the outcome of the 21st century.

There are those, among them a great number of our political elite (in the west), who believe that the only solution is to step back from the future, to reduce our demands on the resources of the planet as a means to convince China, India, and other rising nations to themselves constrain their own growth.  The underlying premise is that our energy and material resources are fundamentally limited by the physical limits of planet Earth and must be conserved for their to be any hope in the future.  They furthermore discount the ability of technology to provide the answers to take us beyond today and to solve the basically technical problems to get beyond today’s limits to growth.

The idea of limits to growth has been around since the 1960′s and is embedded deeply into today’s environmental movement and many of the political class, but is it a fact, an axiom that technology indeed does not have the answers to these problems?  This is what I want to focus on, solving the technical problems. This is what I want to talk about here as I am 100% certain, as a technologist, that technology does have the solutions to our problems today.  The doubters say that of course a technologist would say that, it is a question of self interest.  They are right, however, we also have an interest in the rest of our fellow citizens and people in the rest of the world as well and we know that there are solutions, global and local level solutions that will shatter the limits to growth that are far more perception than reality.

That is something worth talking about and it is our duty as technologists to bring the solutions to the attention of our fellow citizens so that a debate can be had.  This debate is already in progress and 99.5% dominated by the limits to growth position.  It is time for that to change.  That is where I will start next time.

_________________________________________________

I don’t want to talk about the paternity of Sara Palin’s child Trig, or whether or not president Obama is a socialist.  There are 5000 places to do that on the Internet.  Solving the technical problems does have a political aspect to it an in that context I will discuss it.  However, wasting time on political spitball fights is a recipe for paralysis and I don’t want it here.

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About denniswingo

I am here now on wordpress to further discuss the ways and means for the economic development of the solar system, to the benefit of the Earth.
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48 Responses to Why I Am Here

  1. Mr WordPress says:

    Hi, this is a comment.
    To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts’ comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.

  2. Mike Joyce says:

    Great to see you posting here Dennis! I agree with your premise, humanity has a limited window of opportunity to expand beyond this gravity well. That window is cracked open, will we embrace the risks and venture out or squander our limited resources to the point where that window closes? I’m optimistic!

  3. Kevin Greene says:

    Dennis:
    this looks to be a fine blog, and I like your ground rules. Yes, we have other places to discuss the weirdness of partisan politics.
    I’ll also toss out a starting point. The GRIN revolutions are rolling forward relentlessly and every one of them is allowing us to ‘do more with less’. Even better, the four revolutions are pushing each other, synergy is alive and well.
    For example, the combination of genetic decoding and nanotech show real promise of allowing Moore’s Law in info-tech to continue to operate – if not accelerate!
    All four revolutions are progressing in exponential ways at the moment.
    One more comment: the organized “futurists” are very poor at discussing or dealing with these revolutions. And they tend to utterly dismiss the game-changing potential of space development, in fact very few of them ever mention it. A few years ago the World Futures Conference came to the Bay Area, and I looked over the program. Not one mention of any space development was on that program. So I laughed at their pretensions at discussing the future.
    The potential of space to open up our options and thinking, to reorient us away from zero-sum games, is just staggering.
    So if they are overly focussed on Peak Oil, or if they see only wealth-limiting options to control climate change, it’s understandable.

  4. Mikey says:

    Hey Dennis,

    Thought I’d help you test things by being the first commenter.

    I look forward to your discussions. Bring it on!

  5. denniswingo says:

    Thanks folks. This being the Thanksgiving holiday I have not paid the attention to this that I should. I will try and be at least somewhat responsive.

    Kevin, it is indeed odd that this be so. This goes to the heart of the problem that space advocates have, why do not more people see what we see? It is just as much our fault for improperly communicating the value of space as it is anyone’s inability to see the obvious superiority of our ideas!
    :)

    Maybe that is part of the problem as well. Whatever our problem is in the private or public world in communicating the long term value of space to the public, we better solve it.

  6. ken anthony says:

    I have not paid the attention to this that I should.

    Not to worry Dennis, this is normal on a new blog. Yours will be one of quality and will grow to have many followers. Best wishes.

  7. Ralph Buttigieg says:

    G’day,

    Good to see you blogging. As to the energy problem, Nuke the World I say.

    ta

    Ralph

  8. denniswingo says:

    Ralph

    Nuclear power is indeed one of the keys to the future. Energy is wealth, and in the United States we have the second largest reserves of Thorium in the world, time to use that resource. Couple that with fuel cell cars and superconducting power distribution and our future will be much brighter.

  9. Ed Minchau says:

    In order to internalize information, people have to be able to relate it to something they already know. Most people never even look skyward. Occasionally I have shown people the ISS orbiting overhead whenever the viewing conditions are right, and it’s like they knew in an abstract sense it was up there, but actually seeing it made it real – there’s actually people in that bright point of light!

    Hell, most people aren’t used to dealing with large numbers – what’s the difference between a billion dollars and a trillion dollars for the average person? So to tell them that 3354 Amun is worth x number of trillions of dollars if we can get to it and refine stuff and bring it back, or that dismantling Ceres and turning it into Island Ones would provide the habitable equivalent of 300 times the surface area of the earth, it just doesn’t relate to anything in their experience and gets dismissed.

    I think that part of the reason that so few people see the limitless potential of energy and raw materials available in space is that there hasn’t been a group of authors approaching the vision and popularity of Asimov, Heinlein, and Clarke in several decades.

  10. denniswingo says:

    Ed I don’t know how long you have been around but I remember back before the first space tourist flew that space tourism had as much giggle factor as mining the Moon. It took flying a space tourist, actually more than one, before people believed it and other people started looking at the business as a whole and thought that suborbital space tourism also might be viable.

    This begs the question then, are we going to have to start mining before people believe that we can mine? That is a difficult question but I think that it is one that is getting closer to being answered. We are beyond the vision stage, we have to produce. How to produce, what to produce, and how much will it cost, those are the questions today. The common refrain from the doubters is that if we brought back crack cocaine or gold, it would cost more to get it than we could get from selling it. Therefore the task before is is to prove this refrain false. How we do that is the question that confronts us today.

  11. denniswingo says:

    Thought that this was great, the world’s most traveled man wants to travel to the Moon!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-1333289/Worlds-travelled-man-clocks-15-millions-miles.html

    Interesting

  12. I hear about Thorium nuclear power a lot.. but I never hear about anyone actually starting a company to do it and raising the necessary capital. Is there government barriers to doing it privately, or just perceptions of them?

  13. denniswingo says:

    Kurt

    Very nice sources, I had seen McCarthy’s site before and it was a good review. I found it interesting that there was very little talk of the Thorium cycle, for which there is 3x the amount of Thorium than Uranium and the proliferation danger is far less.

    Trent here is an interesting missive on the state of Thorium today.

    http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf62.html

  14. Paul Spudis says:

    Dennis,

    Welcome to the blogosphere! I look forward to your future posts and thoughts on space and other topics.

  15. Paul Breed says:

    Dennis,
    I really like the concept of what you are trying to do, but the comments here are all from the within the choir. We need to spread this message. We need to make point that technological solutions are the only real green solutions!

    Recycling your plastic bottles, and saving the whales is not going to do it. Those sort of efforts make the rich westerner feel better and empower the green movement, but are an order of magnitude short of whats necessary to bring the entire population of the world up to an American/Western standard of living.

    I like to put it into a set of simple rules to share:
    We(The privlidged western/american consumers ) can do one of the following:

    1)Reduce our standard of living by a factor of 5 (IE 1 car for every three families rather than two cars per family, cold showers, smaller houses etc…)

    2)Use our resources to make the vast majority of the world 2nd or 3rd class humans permanently. I personally believe that the children of Africa have the right to aspire to have what we have.

    3)Use technology to create more resources.
    This means some form of nuclear power for energy, and off world resource extraction for everything else.

    I also like to point out that the last 100-150 years is the first time in human history that we did not really have a terrestrial frontier And historically the frontier was a place for the oppressed and down trodden to go for relief. If we stay in one place and fight over scraps then we will see declining freedom for all. We as humans need a frontier to explore, it is a relief valve for our adventures IE trouble makers ;-).

    We need to spread this message outside of our “choir” of space/technology fanatics, and we need to do it in simple terms that have relevance to other peoples sense of morals and their daily experience of life.

    • Tony Rusi says:

      Dennis,

      Thanks for starting a pro-space blog. We really need a pro-space political party. Carter, as a nuclear engineer, was our best shot at getting a solar Powersat program going. We could have had powersats put up with all liquid fueled fully reusable two stage space shuttles in 1980. Ralph Nansen tells the whole sordid story in his new book, “Energy Crises: Solution from Space”. But Carter not only killed the program, he made sure the technical reports were never released to the public. There are other alternatives to the energy problem besides turning to nuclear power, and it’s quarter of a million year long radioactive waste disposal problem. Roof top solar and wind are getting cheap enough for home owners to do themselves. Clarion Power of Seattle will be selling Sunfish PV window awnings, and Jellyfish vertical axis wind turbines in 2011 at Home Depot. They are plug and play units that require no contractors to install. They have a plug and play micro-inverter that synchs your Sunfish and/or your Jellyfish modules to the grid. Also up here in Seattle we are getting the Nissan Leaf EV next month. These technologies are a great start, but massive change will be needed to replace all fossil fueled power plants in ten years. We will need to build a rocket to LEO that can hit $120 a pound. One rocket that can do that is the Sea Dragon. Before Truax died, he made Bill Sprague promise him that he would finally get the Sea Dragon built. With a rocket 80 times cheaper than the space shuttle, Solarsats become a no brainer! Royce Jones showed me an analysis that demonstrated that Solarsats are the cheapest option if all energy subsidies are removed. Solarsats are the only clean renewable, that is virtually limitless. All other options chew up land. All fossil fuel powerplants can be converted into solarsat rectenna downlink stations, so the existing electrical grid can be reused. Solar power from space is one third more intense, and shines virtually 24/7, 365 days a year, ignoring equinoxes that periodically occur much less than 1% of the time. We can eliminate the use of OPEC fossil fuels in the US in less than a decade. We can retrofit every dinoburning plant to clean solar power from space, and switch to driving 100% EV’s. We can also build sustainable housing like Earthships. So people have zero bills, grow their own food, collect their own water, and drive EV’s, and contribute ZERO POLLUTION to the environment. I know, there are safer nuke options now, and transmutation may solve that long term nuke waste issue, but in the meantime, Japan and India are already moving out on space solar power. We should be too. The Solarsat was Invented in 1986 by Peter Glaser in America. We should benefit from our own ingenuity!

      • denniswingo says:

        Tony

        I am more interested in what we can do NOW, today, and start to move the ball forward rather than focus on the grand plan. These are all good ideas, but the best idea must be implementable. See my next post for my thoughts there.

  16. Hey Dennis, if you’re interested in thorium please check out my website. We should go to lunch together and talk some more about this. I’m over at Teledyne Brown now and lunch would be on me.

  17. Justin Kugler says:

    Now this sounds like my kind of blog. Thanks for getting it started, Dennis.

    As a technologist, are there any books or papers you would recommend on doing future trend analysis?

  18. kurt9 says:

    Dennis,

    McCarthy’s website is old. Most of it comes from around 1995 and has not been much updated. This is why there is no mention of Gen IV nuclear technologies such as Thorium power and IFR. An updated version of his website would be good. A comprehensive debunking of the whole limits to growth ideology would be a very good internet reference. However, it would take a considerable amount of literature search to make it. The benefit of all of this is the possibility of publishing a book. Think of it as an updated version of the Julian Simon “Resourceful Earth” books that were published in the 1980′s.

    I would also add considerable detail about how fossil fuels are not nearly as limited as most people thought. The recent commercialization of shale gas makes this abundantly clear. I am convinced that Thomas Gold was correct about the abiogenic origin of natural gas (although I think he was wrong about petroleum). I would also focus on the gas hydrates that the Japanese are working to develop.

    Then, there’s IEC polywell and Tri-Alpha energy, if they are successful.

  19. kurt9 says:

    An updated version of “The Resourceful Earth” should focus on:

    1) energy
    2) agriculture
    3) other natural resources (i.e. rare Earth metals, etc.)
    4) forestation and eco-diversity issues
    5) fresh water

    I think the book could be written mostly from literature search. However, you would want to interview experts in certain fields. For example, the guys developing Thorium materials as well as, say, the mining engineer who ran the only mine in the U.S. to produce Rare Earth Metals.

  20. is this a true free-speech blog, where everyone can post their (even disliked) opinions, or all the “disliked posts” will be removed?

    Editor: It depends on you.

  21. denniswingo says:

    Paul Spudis, thanks!

    Paul Breed, yea I know that this is an incestuous group from the perspective of the number of people viewing it, though I have ways to expand its reach, but I am not so sure that there is even a choir out there. The fundamental problem that we have is that the NASA world has a completely different perspective and has the science uber alles viewpoint concerning space exploration. Since to the wider world NASA = space, we have to get this changed. This is what I worked on with the National Defense University from 2005-2007 when the book on space power theory was being written. It irks me to no end that this book has not been published and I am going to excerpt a part of my chapter here soon.

    Energy is the key. If a barrel of oil cost $1 or if a kw/hr of electricity cost 0.01 cent, the resources that would have available to us would be considerably different than what we actually have.

    As for your list, the current government and the international community is vigorously pursuing 1. Recently one of the key members of the IPCC stated that wealth redistribution from the first world to the rest of the world was one of the key purposes of the IPCC and the various Carbon reduction activities. I am quite sure that the man on the street in the U.S. are not blithly in agreement with this course of action.

    Justin, I am not one so much for analyzing trends as you can only extrapolate from current trends and history shows that this is the most inaccurate form of long term forecasting. What you can analyze trendwise are things like energy usage, resource usage, and growth. Even that is amazingly inaccurate over time as new technologies come into being and as wealth increases, even population growth drops.

    To give you a couple of examples, in the book limits to growth they itemized 19 physical resources that were set for exhaustion by the year 2010. They were wrong on all 19. They also estimated the global population at 13 billion people by 2050. The latest U.N. forecast is now down to 9.1 billion. That is an enormous difference.

    Some things that we do know is that fossil hydrocarbon resources are finite, at least the ones that are low cost to access, process, and use. We also know that neither India or China, with at least 1/3rd of the global population, is interested in curtailing their growth to accomodate some possible problem with the atmosphere in 100 years. They are more than happy to watch the west slit its own throat in this matter however.

    Kurt, that is a good list, but just as an aside, 2-5 are fully dependent on the amount of energy that we have to use. something like well over 50% of the global population lives within 100 km of the oceans and if electricity was 0.01c kw/hr, or oil was $1 per barrel the oceans could supply all of the fresh water that we need, and the other resources would also be easy to access through means not unlike what we propose for ISRU on the Moon.

    At the end of the day it comes down to cost effectiveness. We do know that the amount of resources distributed through the solar system is many thousands of x that of what is available on the Earth. The question is, what is the infrastructure that we have to put into place in order to reach the crossover point to where extraterrestrial resources become less expensive than the fully loaded cost of doing it on the Earth.

    One thing that struck me is that the return of metals such as the PGM’s from the Moon in effect is a transfer of energy to the Earth in that any processing of metal that we do out there eliminates the need to use terrestrial processing and its attendant energy and environment costs as well. That is an interesting thought to pursue. I figured a few years ago that 1 kg of platinum refined on the Moon and returned to the earth would bring back more value in energy than building an SPS on the Moon and beaming the energy back.

    All in all good thoughts, and Kirk I am not in Huntsville anymore but I really do want to get back in touch!

  22. Pete says:

    There has been a bit of a lack of forums specifically discussing the technical and economic issues of developing space of late.

    On the energy front, the historical trend has been ever falling energy costs combined with ever increasing living standards, likely the two are connected which makes low cost energy all the more critical. Numerous alternative energy technologies are actually capable of getting lower in cost than coal, and due to such technology advances I expect energy costs to continue to fall. Solar is the big one, and largely a cost per area problem for which there are some interesting solutions just around the corner. Nor are these alternative energy resources significantly finite/bounded. A couple of points I would make from this; nuclear is nice but not necessary, solar power satellites for Earth power generation seem unlikely any time soon, and raw energy costs for getting stuff into LEO via rocket alone (already at ~$10/kg), will likely go down in the long term. I would definitely not make an assumption that the world is going to run out of energy. Some of the fusion work is also looking interesting, and I do wonder whether an early application for this might be rocket engines (potential game changer).

    I would say they maintaining economic growth is critical to the world’s sanity, and is something that we technologists need to assure at all costs, there is no going back (or even standing still) for humanity. For now the crisis is energy, it will get solved, but then it will be something else – we need space.

    • denniswingo says:

      Pete

      To date the only technology that is even anywhere close to the cost of coal is nuclear. Solar is 5 times the cost of coal or nuclear power. I don’t buy the hype that is in solar for many reasons. For home based solar you need a lot of clear sky, which most homes, even in the southwest, do not have. In the last year simple upgrades in equipment at the existing nuclear plants in the U.S. have resulted in more new power generation than all the solar panels installed, at a small fraction of the price.

      It is not that the world is going to run out of energy, it is that it is going to run out of low cost energy, there is a difference.

      I do agree that there is not a 100% coupling between energy and space except to note that without energy, we don’t get space. One of the problems that I have is that a lot of the current administration’s policies acts as if the decision has already been made and that we are retreating from the freedom that the automobile has given the 20th century. This is at the heart of a lot of these high speed rail grants from the federal government. That money would be much better spent on fusion and the development of the Thorium reactor and other energy technologies.

      I think that where space comes in ultimately is that it will be more cost effective to obtain massive quantities of valuable metals and even some finished products on the Moon, in free space, and the asteroids, than it will be to mine them on the Earth, that is if we are accounting the environmental costs as well.

      I do thank you for the thoughts on this though.

      • Pete says:

        I should perhaps confess that I spent a few years working on the kite power generation problem. Most of the fundamentals have now been demonstrated, though large scale long lived robust systems are still some years away. Kite power generation has much higher capacity factors and the numbers suggest it will be cost competitive with coal power. The power to weight ratio of a kite power system is around 25 times that of a wind turbine. I have good reason to think that similar low costs are now also possible with a number of other alternative energy technologies, including solar. Point being, we are not about to run out of cheap energy – quite the opposite. I expect energy to continue to get cheaper, even with transitioning from fossil fuels and global energy use far above current levels.

        Considering this I do not see solar power satellites for Earth energy use as a good prospect. However, large scale low cost solar power in space for use in space is I think highly desirable.

        • denniswingo says:

          Pete

          If you read things out in the world you will find that energy and resources are things that few think will be cheaper or more available in the future. This is one of the disconnects that the space community has with the rest of the world.

          Can you discuss why you think that you are right and they are wrong? (I think that you are but for different reasons)

  23. Wodun says:

    You always have great comments, looking forward to reading your blog.

  24. Bob-1 says:

    Not sure if this is apropos for your blog, but I thought the following was an interesting article on Greenland, especially if you think of it as an analog to the moon or other extraterrestrial targets for development. Interesting numbers on mining & energy production , which is increasing even as habitation is decreasing.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/depopulation-greenland

  25. Paul D. says:

    The reason you don’t hear a lot about thorium power is that neither uranium availability nor proliferation are the roadblocks to increased use of nuclear power. The major problem is that nuclear power plant capital cost is too high and too unpredictable. With those problems, a relatively unproven (yes, I know a few molten salt reactors have been built) reactor technology with an entirely new learning curve to go down is not going to receive a warm reception.

    • denniswingo says:

      Paul D

      I don’t buy your fundamental premise. What is the unpredictable part about nuclear plant capital costs? There are dozens of reactors being built around the world, the capital costs are well understood. What is unpredictable is the regulatory environment. I suggest that you read the nuclear competitiveness doc that I posted above.

      Proliferation is a big deal. Just think how the world might be different if we had nice thorium reactors that we could offer Iran. We could even swap their native uranium for our native thorium. Then we would find out whether or not the Iranians want nuclear power for good or evil reasons or not.

      We want thorium reactors for a multiplicity of reasons. One of those reasons is that the neutrons from the reactor have the property of having the right energy to transmute the really long lived byproducts from uranium reactors into short lived byproducts. The U.S. has the second largest reserves of Thorium in the world, which means that we could be energy independent once again. Not pissing away our wealth to nations around the world that do not like us is a good thing.

      Also, I don’t think that you have been paying attention to the work that has been done and is being done in India, who also has a lot of Thorium and thorium reactors have been built and are being built and are operating.

      Why is it you think that an entirely new technology with an entirely new learning curve (which is a gross exaggeration by the way) would not receive a warm reception if it meant that we do not have to give up our entire way of life? That attitude simply does not compute.

      • Paul D. says:

        For cost estimates and unpredictability, see

        http://www.neimagazine.com/story.asp?storyCode=2047917

        The numbers have a wide range, even from Moody’s. Also:

        For the time being though, at least for earlier than nth-of-a-kind projects, the nuclear industry remains hard pressed to point to projects where it got the costs right.

        Proliferation is indeed a big deal. It’s just that it’s not what drives the decision to build (or not build) nuclear powerplants.

        Transmutation disposal of nuclear waste has not yet made economic sense. It’s much cheaper just to seal spent fuel elements into armored casks and let them sit there for centuries. Perhaps our distant descendants will be able to build transmutation facilities more economically; if so, we will have done nothing to stop them from doing so. Or perhaps they will have very cheap and safe launch capabilities and be able to transport the stuff off earth for disposal.

        The hypothetical in your last paragraph (that we would have to give up our way of life without thorium reactors) is not true now, and unlikely to be true anytime soon. There are plenty of other ways to get ample amounts of useful energy, including from fission of uranium.

        I will add that molten salt thorium reactors have novel and complex elements that are not present in conventional reactors. To achieve the advertised neutron economy they must, for example, do online chemical processing of the radioactive molten salt. There is no experience with doing this in a commercial setting, so they’d indeed be at the start of a new learning curve. When nuclear plant costs are already too high and investment in them too risky, utilities don’t want to pile on new risks for marginal benefit.

        • denniswingo says:

          Paul

          I have interacted with you for over a decade and you are the consummate hole poker but you only do research to the level that allows you to poke holes.

          How about turning this around for once. Notice that I did not say that we would have to give up our way of life without thorium. What I did say is that if we transition our primary energy source to Thorium reactors (and the molten salt is only one variation of that theme), that this would provide a domestic source of energy and we would not continue to piss our national wealth away, which is why our way of life is dying.

          So, energy independence is the goal for keeping our way of life intact as it removes the greatest source of foreign account losses.

          As for transmutation, again you simply are talking about today. WHEN Thorium reactors are operating, and when we have reprocessing of uranium, THEN the system infrastructure will be in place to allow for the less costly construction of transmutation facilities. The point is that it is technically feasible to do so, and it may be politically necessary to do so.

  26. Roga says:

    I’ve followed your work for some time. While I think some of your conclusions rest too much on shaky assumptions about the ease of developing precursor infrastructure, by and large I share your vision, and look forward to seeing it fleshed out on these pages.

    • denniswingo says:

      Beginning now, with the infrastructure that we have currently today is the key and what my next post is all about. Talking about the grand plan is fine and well, but we have to figure out how to get there!

  27. Louise says:

    Welcome to the blog world!

    • denniswingo says:

      Louise

      I have had one in another venue not associated with space for almost four years now. It has been an attempt to not preach to the choir and why I Have not told the space people that I interact with about it. However, with the incredibly politicized world we are in now the value of that venue has declined to nil.

      One thing that is interesting is that the long time hole pokers that infest space sites don’t exist out there, at least not in the same form, and people are more willing to listen to and consider some of the concepts that I talk about in the space world. Some people are hole pokers simply for the monday morning quarterbacking joy it gives. Instead of hole pokers, I want to interact with hole fillers, those who see the problems but instead of just poking holes, want to do something to make things work.

  28. John Powell says:

    Hi Dennis!

    Great start. Let keep heading up!

  29. Thomas Matula says:

    Dennis,

    I like your ground rules. This looks like it will be a great blog about expanding the space economy.

    Tom

  30. Dennis,
    Glad to see you here. Your posts (which I usually see on SpaceRef) have always been right on. I’ve told a number of people (SpaceVidCast included) that I think “Moon Rush” *COULD* be one of the most important books of the early 21st century *IF* we act on it. I hope to get out to NASA Ames in the new year and buy you lunch :)

    Emory Stagmer
    LCROSS Project Flight Software Lead

  31. Mark M says:

    Dennis:

    Congratulations on starting your blog. I look forward to the next post. I found your book “Moonrush” along with “Mining the Skies” among the most compelling items I have ever read.

    I was struck by your linkage of energy prices as direct correlations to improvements in human liberty and prosperity. Particularly for the latter, it would be interesting to find some research that empirically measures or demonstrates the correlations.

    I find myself returning to that concept every time an environmental issue comes up. I like clean energy as much as the next guy, but I really, really love CHEAP energy.

    Reading your vision (and those similar) of the future and comparing it to that envisioned by the Club of Rome or the Steady State economists, there’s no question in my mind regarding in which of the two futures I would like to live.

    • denniswingo says:

      Thanks

      Again, my apologies for taking so long to get back to this activity. I agree with you and find it astonishing that people would seek to choose a way that leads to nothing but blood, toil, and the eventual end of our planetary civilization.

  32. Gary Church says:

    Hello Dennis,

    Here is my article on space flight, any help disseminating it would be appreciated.
    Thanks for your time and enjoy the read,
    Regards,
    Gary Church

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/7885046/water_and_bombs.html?cat=15

  33. Dennis et al, , what has happened to this great blog. As a Canadian who has worked for 40 years first with Nasa and then with ESA and a little bit of Canada, I find it incredible how fast the space dream has died this year. We need to focus on cheap energy. I am going to show that we can do it tomorrow with high altitude kites. Once we have that we can do the others (Solar Power, Thorium, Sea Water Desalination)

    Dennis, we worked together for years and I am very impressed on how clear you are focused now on the real problems. I would like to talk with Pete above who says he spent a few years working on the kite problem. I recently saw Al Gores new road show, we need to solve the global warming issue now not 50 years from now, we have run out of thinking time. With low cost kite power we can electrify the complete transportation system in a very few years. America needs jobs now, this stimulus is what the world needs. It would be good to hope that Obama has time to read and contribute to this blog but that is very unlikely. We have to do it anyway just like we did the space stuff over the last 50 years. Keep in touch.

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