A letter has been submitted to the Times calling attention to our national arrogance and the increasing need to preserve the Wild Wilderness up there, nearby in the sky.
And why not?
Oh, WE got there FIRST. . .It’s OUR Moon!
Or. . .
Time for the Moon Wilderness Park.
How fun! Change the surface of the
American Moon with another Big Crash!
And make it a GAME too!
What will the brilliant minds at NASA dream up next?
Here’s an idea: Declare the Moon our 51st State!
The “Man in the Moon” looks more and more like a happy billionaire eager to advertise Made in America!
(Time for the Moon Wilderness Park yet?)
Two U.S. representatives have submitted a bill called the “Apollo Lunar Legacy Act.”
“Just this month, two members of the U.S. House of Representatives — Donna Edwards (D, Md.) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D, Tex) — took steps to do that, introducing H.R. 2617, the Apollo Lunar Landing Legacy Act, which would extend the protections afforded to officially designated historical parks to all six Apollo landing sites, preserving the artifacts and regulating access to prevent their destruction. The act would also seek World Heritage Site status from the United Nations for the Apollo 11 landing area particularly. All of this would be overseen by the Administrator of NASA and the Secretary of the Interior.”
Science.Time thinks it’s a great idea.
So does Space.com
Daily Kos, not so much
As I said in one comment, this may be a “giant step” in the right direction, but is also misdirected and flawed in many ways. Note the “World Heritage Site” for American landing sites (and debris) all overseen by the American Government. Notice any problems with that? Here’s how upside down and backwards this is:
“Not later than 1 year after the establishment of the Historical Park, the Secretary, in consultation with the Administrator, shall submit the Apollo 11 lunar landing site to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for designation as a World Heritage Site.”
If I lived in Nairobi or Beijing or London or Buenos Aires I might wonder, Will we one day look up at The Moon, Our Moon, and find it has become Their Moon, the American Moon? I might reflect on the history of exploration, discovery and colonization and wonder, Is this happening again? America claiming territory for its own. . .and this time, a beautiful wilderness circling over all nations, all people, all the Earth?
We need leaders in Science and Politics who understand how critical these questions are for all of us. Sure, protect those toxic sites we have already littered around the moon, but don’t make the mess in the Wilderness any worse, or claim any land for One Nation, One Company, One Agency, over any other. The Moon belongs to All of Us. . .and None of Us!
NASA just blasted another Toxic Toy to the Park. The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, LADEE (oh boy, another Scot names a vessel), launched from Virginia (what!) to crash another quarter-of-a-billion-dollar test car onto the wilderness of the moon (“the size of a small car”–can’t Consumer Reports do the same thing in Detroit?). Quite an expensive red, white and blue dust rag.
“The $280 million moon-orbiting mission will last six months and end with a suicide plunge into the moon for LADEE.” (SF Chronicle, Sept 8, 2013)
Now, folks, once again let me be clear: I think exploration is fantastic. I firmly support Science. AND, I think Good Science preserves wild areas, respects untouched lands and treads lightly into areas of mystery we might learn from. That’s Good Science. Bad Science blasts, batters and bumbles into an unexplored region without thought for the longterm consequences. In other words, Bad Science (and this always means Bad Scientists) is by its very nature not to concerned to be self-reflective or to intelligently consider Nature much at all. Read the History. . .read the stories of “exploration” and the impact on Native populations, on species, on the land, on the future of one place or another. We have a fairly lousy track record here. Something to learn from. Yet. . .we don’t.
With the Moon Wilderness the challenge is, once again, to ask the right questions: WHO is this for? WHAT will the result be? IS IT WISE to crash more TOXIC TOYS into the Yosemite of Space, the Orbiting International Park that orbits Earth? I’m intrigued by investigating “laser communication” but LADEE will learn and then, “end with a suicide plunge.” Let’s choose not to end Good Science the same way. Or Good Conservation.
“Given the history so far, it would be unwise to imagine that this is the last we will hear of water on the Moon. But it would be unwiser still to start planning to build a colony up there.”
For all Moon Park Rangers, this is very good news!
Just as well plan for a colony in the middle of Yosemite. . .
Not really, but that’s about the size of these two probes, cutely named EBB and FLOW, being smashed into a mountain on the moon.
Well, I guess that’s ONE WAY of finding WATER on the MOON!
We’ve read it before, time and again. This time, the Times is telling us what our “Exploration” Really Is and
How We Really View the Moon Wilderness. . .
“The Moon has been affronted this way many times before, especially during the space race of the 1960′s, but NASA is now trying to dispose of its litter more carefully.”
“The exercise will not be for the advance of science, but rather something of a garbage-disposal operation. . .”
NASA is bringing them down
“to make sure the probes. . .do not come to rest in a historically significant place, like on Neil Armstrong’s footprints.”
Now wouldn’t THAT be a wake up call!
SPACE JUNK DESTROYS FOOTPRINTS OF FIRST HUMAN ON MOON!
No, can’t have THAT. So they’ll crash the ebbing and flowing crafts and their toxic materials into the Dark Side. Now isn’t THAT another enlightening bit of information (and so American. . .just pollute where we won’t have to SEE it).
I ask again, what if the headline was:
Air Force to Drop Bombs on Rocky Mountain National Park
Navy to Dump Tons of Waste on Protected Florida Reef
Or, here’s one more
Walmart fires microwave ovens at the Lincoln Memorial (but they’re on sale!)
Over and over again, NASA is giving us Reason after Reason to Protect the Moon from this desecration NOW.
Time to do some Mental Laundry. . .
Whoops, almost forgot to mention. . . Don’t try to find an Ebb and Flow at your local Sears. The mission cost NASA, that is, the United States, that is, Americans, $500,000,000.
Sorry, one more trivia tidbit. . . NASA named that obliterated lunar mountainside “Sally Ride” in honor of (sic) the late astronaut. What a thoughtful honor, don’t you think?