OK, I apologize in advance to people who only read my blog for mountain biking content. This post is related to mountain biking, but it's really about something that makes me hopping mad that our stoopid gubment does:
We insist on using one of our publicly funded (and richly funded) research institutions, NASA, to continue pursuing manned space travel. As an activity, manned space travel is kind of sexy, and we all have heard about the great technology that came out of the space race in the 60's and 70's. But you know what? We can't really afford to do any more of that crap. Here's why:
We really really need to be throwing our research science resources at problems right here on our planet. Global warming. The complete reliance on burning fossil fuels. Drug-resistant diseases. Sustainable agriculture. Getting us past the two-party democracy that is keeping America from actually working.
Colonizing space will benefit a tiny fraction of the earth's population. And you know what? Space sounds incredibly boring to me. There are no environments that we know of out there that we can live in. So we'll be inside all the time. Probably in cramped places. Eating synthetic food. Crapping into bags and jettisoning them into the vacuum that is space. Gee whiz, sounds like a blast.
Earth by comparison is way fun. We have sunsets. We have rivers. We have singletrack. We have air! Will we always? Will our children (not that I have any)? Not if we don't get off our fat asses and start fixing the problems that we aren't really fixing. Playing around sending people into space at HUGE cost doesn't do much of anything to fix our best resource--our planet!
OK, I'm done ranting for now.