[NetBehaviour] Asteroid Mining For UBI

Rob Myers rob at robmyers.org
Thu Apr 28 06:51:49 CEST 2016


On 27/04/16 01:27 PM, John Hopkins wrote:
> On 27/Apr/16 12:14, Rob Myers wrote:
> 
>> The initial environmental cost of shipping robots offworld to move the
>> mining and refining there would very quickly become a net environmental
>> and political gain. Strip mining, resource wars, refining within the
>> Earth's atmosphere would all be reduced.
> 
> *Emphatically NO*
> 
> Examine the total infrastructure demands of the existing 'space'
> industry (and the military-industrial system that drives it.
>
> Cost one of the Mars rovers, and it will begin to give you a sense of
> infrastructure scope that a *single* device can involve. And the 'other'
> hidden costs from the whole mining infrastructure (you gotta build the
> damn robots *here*, and the oil that drives all of that...

Absolutely, and then add on the entire infrastructure demands of rare
earth mining and refining and distribution for, say, twenty years.

*but*

Then ramp it down as it's moved offworld, to the point where it's less
than when we started.

> There is *NO* way that off-planet *anything* is cost effective in *any*
> way. Nor will it ever be environmentally sensible!

You're not alone in arguing that:

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-25716103

But:

http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/save-environment-mining-asteroids.html

> Do a quick calculation how to get materials back to earth -- just the
> deceleration and landing infrastructure costs *per gram* are out of this
> world...

Just solar sail the refined minerals back to Earth's gravity well then
aero-brake them (using ablative shields made from refining by-products)
into the ocean for pickup.

Wheeeeee!

(I have a dystopian short story where the target is the tundra...)

> (I just heard a 1955 Sci-Fi bubble make a HUGE 'pop'!)

Yes it's a bit Lensman. :-)




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