Robert Zubrin gets it right…Obama thinks we live in a finite environment.

February 15, 2012

Before you get your metaphorical panties in a bunch, just hang onto your arguments about Our Blue Marble, know this: I don’t buy it. Earth is only a finite environment if we can’t get off this planet. If we can travel freely about the Solar System, and if we can exploit the resources found there, we will not have to worry about a finite environment for centuries to come – if ever.

Robert Zubrin has been working on ways to get us to Mars for decades. He has proposed a variety of logical programs, including Mars Direct. Dr. Zubrin has made the exploration of Mars his life’s mission. Still, his recent piece in National Review Online is not the statement of a zealot. It is, instead, a short analysis of the beliefs that guide the Obama Administration and that Administration’s effect on space exploration in general. I invite you to read the entire piece. There are a pasage near the end that is particularly interesting. In discussing Obama’s Science Advisor, John P. Holdren, who co-authored a book in 1971 with Population Bomb author Paul Erlich called Global Ecology, he writes:

Thus, in order to accept the constraints on human aspirations demanded by Holdren, Ehrlich, and like-minded thinkers (whether rationalized by alleged limits to available resources in the 1970s, or by the putative threat of global warming due to excessive use of natural resources today), people must be convinced that the future is closed. The issue is not that resources from space might disrupt the would-be regulator’s rationing schemes. Rather it is that the ideaof an open future with unlimited resources and possibilities undermines the walls of the mental prison that the would-be wardens of mankind seek to construct.

Ideas have consequences. If the idea is accepted that resources are limited, then human activities must be severely constrained, and someone must be empowered to enforce the constraining. But if it is understood that the possibilities for human existence are as open as unfettered human creativity can make them, then the protection of liberty, rather than its restriction, becomes the first responsibility of government.

Dr. Zubrin, you are absolutely correct. If the President and his advisors believe in a closed environment, there is no “hope and change” that can help us as the population increases. (There is evidence that the overall world population may actually level off; that’s a story for another article.) We are trapped here, fighting over increasingly smaller individual pieces of the pie. We are trapped by the small-minded politicians in Washington because of their misguided philosophies and obsession with control.


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