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KimPeart

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Maintenance Manual for Starship Earth

Our Earth sails as a starship through the Universe on an endless voyage
 
We must care for our vessel, or risk it becoming a hulk adrift on the space ways.
 
We are all crew on this starship and we need to understand how best to care for the ship and its precious cargo of life.
 
Creating A Solar Civilization
 
My document ~ Creating A Solar Civilization ~ serves as a start to the discussion and preparation of the manual ~
 
This document raises the question of evolution and how humans have emerged from Nature through evolution.
 
Understanding the primal forces of Nature and how Nature works through human communities, will lead us to action that will help to assure our survival, see our expansion beyond Earth and be empowered to work for a safe planet.
 
Released from Earth, humans will find their real potential in the cosmos.
 
A Sad Tale of Total Failure
 
Sadly, humankind has totally failed to keep a safe Earth.
 
This failure rests with all politicians, all academics and all conservationists.
 
In my article ~ A Deeper Level of Denial ~ I explore how we could have kept a safe Earth, if we had acted on serious space development in the 1970s ~ 
 
Now we must get back to the future and catch up with where we need to be.
 
Fixing the Carbon Balance
 
The key action we missed was failing to build solar power stations in space.
 
As a consequence, we have burnt too much fossil fuel, releasing too much carbon into the biosphere as carbon dioxide (CO2) and this has destabilised our planet's carbon balance.
 
We now need to extract excess carbon from the biosphere.
 
This can be done, but it takes a heap of energy ~
 
By building solar power stations in space, we will gain direct access to the virtually unlimited energy-well of our star.
 
The Sun has so much fuel in reserve, it will burn fiercely over the next 5 billion years, until expanding to the orbit of the Earth as a red giant.
 
So much power.
 
We wouldn't want to be living on Earth then.
 
Carbon Consequences
 
Burning carbon fuel creates CO2, which is a gas that serves to warm the Earth.
 
In the last ice age CO2 was around 180 parts per million (ppm).
 
Over the past few millennia CO2 has been at around 280 ppm.
 
Now CO2 is passing 400 ppm and there is no end in sight to how high it will go.
 
The more carbon there is in the air, the more the planet warms.
 
The warmth in the air is absorbed by the oceans, where warmer sea water melts ice and changes ocean ecologies.
 
Melting ice leads to higher sea levels, which will flood coastal regions around the Earth.
 
CO2 in the air is also absorbed by the sea, where it changes ocean chemistry, making the sea more acidic.
 
A more acidic ocean is not a friendly place for life, where shell dissolves or cannot form.
 
A warmer planet leads to fiercer storms, harsher droughts and heavier rains.
 
Higher levels of CO2 in the air also makes some food crops less nutritious.
 
We run the risk of the Earth becoming a very hostile place for human life, where billions of people could die.
 
Radical Earth changes could happen swiftly.
 
We need to build in space, if we wish to live on Earth.
 
The Asteroid Threat
 
Last year an asteroid exploded above a Russian city, causing many injuries ~
 
If the asteroid had been a little lower when it exploded, Chelyabinsk could have been flattened, along with many deaths.
 
It was only 12,800 years ago that an asteroid fire-storm wiped out all human communities across North America ~
65 million years ago a monster asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs.
 
We need to establish an industrial presence in space, so that we can build this planet's defences against asteroids.
 
Orbital Space Settlements
 
With all our eggs in one earthly nest, the human species remains at risk of any extinction level event that may strike this planet.
 
With an industrial presence in space, we will be in a position to begin building orbital space settlements that generate an Earth gravity via rotation.
 
Orbital space settlements could be located anywhere across the Solar System and in time could be the basis of the first stellar migration.
 
The Threat from Space Junk
 
There is a trillion dollars worth of satellites orbiting Earth and they are all at risk from space junk. ~
 
There is a huge amount of space junk in Earth orbit and should dead satellites begin crashing into each other and breaking up, a cascade of space junk could begin that destroys all satellites and fills near Earth space with so much junk, we would be unable to send anything into space for hundreds of years.
 
We need to clean up space and fast.
 
Conclusion
 
Every year hundreds of thousands of students march out into the world at their graduation ceremonies.
 
How many are trained to care for our starship Earth?
 
We need a future where all graduates are trained to be crew of this starship.
 
If all graduates had this training, the Earth would be a much healthier place.






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