It’s happened, We’ve Outgrown the Earth

Most of us know we have used up many of the natural resources of the earth and need to cut back and take sustainability into the equation.  One of the ways I do this is to purchase used when I need to replace something. That isn’t always possible but I give it my best effort.  When we purchase new products it’s not just the packaging and materials we bring home with us that used our precious resources.  it is reported that 2/3 of the total resources used in a product are used in the manufacturing process, these resources are released back into the waste stream through the air, water and ultimately into the landfills.

Where am I going with this?

Well, it’s finally happened, we’ve finally outgrown the earth.  NASA is currently accepting applications from private companies to begin mining the moon for rare resources such as helium 3 and rare earth metals.  Just take a look at the land we’ve mined here on earth, we’ve destroyed it. Now we are about to destroy our own moon to continue to live the lifestyle we have become accustomed to having.

moon-at-night_w725_h544

Why do we need Helium 3?  Helium 3 is a gas which comes from the sun and is blown by solar winds through the solar system.  While our atmosphere shields us from it the same isn’t true for the moon.  If we bring enough back and separate it from Helium 4 we could provide clean fuel to run a fusion reactor.  The moon is believed to have 1 million tons of Helium 3 on the surface and by using only 40 metric tons of this per year we could provide energy for the US for one year.

Rare earth metals are used in many products we use every day.   Currently China has the largest quantity of these as they are the by-products of other mining.   The uses include magnets for wind turbines, LCD screens, cathode tubes, fiber optic cable, a component of fuel cells.  In addition the following products contain rare earth metals: Rare earth metals and alloys that contain them are used in many devices that people use every day such as computer memory, DVDs, rechargeable batteries, cell phones, catalytic converters, magnets, fluorescent lighting, armored vehicle plating and much more.

Now that you know a bit about what helium 3 and rare earth metals are used for, is it okay to mine the moon?

46 thoughts on “It’s happened, We’ve Outgrown the Earth

  1. Pingback: I’ve created a Petition to prevent Mining the Moon | A Random Harvest

  2. Lois, I started a petition on Change.org. It’s on my Facebook page, Twitter and here:

    http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/the-president-of-the-united-states-don-t-allow-mining-on-the-moon?share_id=hJkMUvjIuq&utm_campaign=share_button_action_box&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition

    If this link doesn’t work for you, let me know and I’ll fix it. Anyone reading this, please feel free to share the petition on your own blog or email the site to your friends. Thanks a lot. ~ Linne

    (Linne is my preferred nickname; on the petition you will see my family name: Linda M. Oakes)

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  3. I’m feeling that it’s like living in a kindergarten and the children are in charge; not only that, they are ARMED! They think whatever passes through their tiny minds will be great fun, with no idea of what will come after, how it will affect the rest of us or whether we can recover from it all. I wish they would all go play in the traffic . . .

    I was so shocked and saddened to read this; to me these decisions are made by sociopaths,, even psychopaths. Who else would be willing to destroy the earth and then other places, and for what, exactly?

    I have been anxious for years about the predicted changes and now I see them happening and I can’t help but feel, “bring them on!”, no matter the cost to me or others in the short term. This sort of thing needs stopping and I doubt anything short of major cataclysms will do the job. Voices of reason will not be heard.

    I am so appalled! And I am thinking things that would land me in jail if I were to act on them . . . probably a good thing I’m not able to do that just now.

    Compare this to those people growing food in their front yards who have had their gardens destroyed by the city councils or whatever, because a neighbour ‘didn’t like the look’ or ‘thought it would reduce their own property values’.

    I am so angry . . . it’s hard to go on promoting positive action in the face of these idiots, but realistically, we must . . . or we become what we are fighting. We need a Gandhi for these times . . . or to become a Gandhi in our own communities.

    I’m wondering if petitions would help? My understanding is that the U.S. government has to act on a petition if it gets over 100,000 signatures. I’m going to see if any have been started yet.

    Hugs to all of you. Keep growing and making this a better world in all your creative ways. We must win this conflict! ~ Linne

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    • “it’s hard to go on promoting positive action in the face of these idiots, but realistically, we must . . . or we become what we are fighting” You found the words I couldn’t to express how I’ve been feeling since reading this story of mining the moon.

      When the local businesses cut back to part-time workers to save on insurance as a result of the Obamacare plan I felt badly for all those who were going to suddenly have to adjust to lower incomes but thought this might finally be the tipping point to wake people up and have them decide to live within their means and start looking at needs vs wants. In a way I welcomed the changes, even knowing it would be rough for a while.

      But now, please bring it on and end this craziness. Let everything collapse so no one can afford to go to the moon. Like I said I am willing to give up anything, except minimal heat in the winter, to save the moon and the earth. Heck I already downsized to a studio, have no fridge or stove, share a laundry room, grow as much of my own food as possible without chemicals. gave up my car and all electronics with the exception of my laptop and my phone so it would be nothing to give up something else. I’d adjust.

      The only thing I’d argue with you on is that Kindergarteners have more common sense than these idiots. Children are empathic, loving and so caring. They feel pain and when exposed to nature have the utmost respect for it. These people are psychopaths just as you said.

      Let me know if you find or start a petition. I’ll sign it and help get the word out.

      Please don’t land yourself in jail!..

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  4. Mine the moon, seriously!!!!??? It’s THE MOON!! The moon has been there, had supported our life here since the beginning of time, we have no right to mine the moon. I just about burst into tears at this one, this is the absolute outer orbit of stupidity. Yeah, why not find another planet to trash!? This has to stop, truly has to stop. :(

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    • Wendy, I have yet to get my emotions in check with this. We have no idea what messing with the moon could do to our way of life. What if we mess with the gravitational pull between it and us? What if we bring something back to earth that gets loose and is infectious or kills off certain life forms? I have all these questions running through my head. We can’t even safely handle what is naturally occurring here on earth.

      After those questions I am left looking around and wondering what I would give up to protect the moon from man. I would give it all up. My smart phone and computer are the only two I can think of around my house that need these items we plan to mine for but if there were more I would live without them before letting others mine the moon.

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      • I totally, totally agree with everything you are thinking. All those comments are what I feel is wrong with this. We are already experiencing changing weather patterns. And with no citizens or watchdogs to observe how far they are going, what they are actually doing how can we safely guarantee the moon from being plundered as rich companies have done here? No, we know there are other ways to live in harmony with what our planet provides. Greed and sheer ignorance has ruined any chance of that in our past but it’s our only way forward. Computers are nice but at the end of the day we don’t need them, they are luxuries.

        They do not have the right to do this, money is irrelevant. How can one government and NASA make this sort of decision? We need to leave other planets alone, if a day comes we need to inhabit one then it hopefully it will be way off in the future and man has evolved to have regard for the nature that allows to to be here.

        Oh, I could rant for hours on this one….!

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        • Wendy, I could rant right along with you. We share so many of the same views on this issue. We want to establish a colony on Mars soon (I think the plan is 2020) but we haven’t learned to care for earth. Will we destroy that planet too?

          Climate change and the resulting food shortages and lack of water, unstable economic conditions have all kept me worried about my family in the future years. But now to know we want to tinker with the moon adds a whole new fear for them.

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          • :( Yes, I also worry about the future for my children and grandchildren.

            It’s the moon. Every man, every creature that ever walked on Earth would have stared at the moon with wonder at different times in their life. It’s like an old friend… I spent years as a little kid trying to see if I could see the man in the moon. To think of anyone even carving a tiny piece out of it just fills me with a whole lot of sadness, even without the realities of all of it, of which there are many.

            I really feel I’m not prepared to stand by and see some billionaire mine the moon.

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          • Wendy, I too used to stare at the moon trying to see the man in the moon. As I got a bit older I would try to pick out the individual craters on the face of it. I’ve wondered if I am ready to live in a time of such destruction. Don’t get me wrong I love my personal life but am having a hard time with what I am seeing done and the lack of common sense to protect our basic needs such as clean water.

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          • Yes, I feel the same way Lois and it’s exactly that, the lack of common sense that gets me. The need for power and sheer greed, how it corrupts! How I wish that women ran the world, we wouldn’t see this need for domination that is so predominant nowadays.

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  5. My thought on this is that we have some big ‘events’ (climate change, earthquakes, etc.) coming toward us and some are happening already; if we do not grow up and begin behaving responsibly (in large numbers), I can only hope the rest arrive before this stupidity is begun. Once done, things like mining the moon are not reversible.

    We need to start looking at political candidates differently, too; we don’t need any more sociopathic money-worshippers. We need mature people who have empathy for the whole planet, the animals, plants, people, etc. Collectively, we are asking for big trouble, but I still do what I can because I believe that together we can create meaningful change.

    Thanks for the information; I hate to know this sort of thing, though.

    I’m re-blogging this, thanks. ~ Linne

    As for the chemicals in fabric and children’s clothing; I have read that fire-retardant stuff actually causes serious problems:

    http://e360.yale.edu/feature/pbdes_are_flame_retardants_safe_growing_evidence_says_no/2446/

    http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=5&ved=0CGMQFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonpost.com%2Fnational%2Fhealth-science%2Fflame-retardants-in-consumer-products-are-linked-to-health-and-cognitive-problems%2F2013%2F04%2F15%2Ff5c7b2aa-8b34-11e2-9838-d62f083ba93f_story.html&ei=oZj5Us-9LMfwyAGliID4BA&usg=AFQjCNEviLDqft_HOkstTFKlqz1SMuYXvA&sig2=bVnLlt6W7wthq6BJw9Bwkw&bvm=bv.61190604,d.aWc

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    • Linne, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the article on mining the moon. I began searching and found more information on it than I cared to find. I don’t know if there is enough time to stop this. Mid-March is when the company who is accepted will be announced. We should be fixing the damage here instead of causing damage on the moon. If we can’t live with the resources available then it’s time to change how we live instead.

      I don’t know if we will ever be able to elect politicians who have their head and heart in the right place. It seems to me they are chosen without the people and we simply vote on the best choice we see from those preselected for us.

      Those were very good articles on the flame retardants. We wouldn’t have to worry about items igniting if we didn’t make them with flammable materials. I had a couch with a broken frame. I salvaged what I could from it then a friend offered to burn it. I couldn’t find a better solution and thought I had gotten rid of all the materials that would off gas in burning. I didn’t and she reported back to me that the speed which that couch caught fire badly scared her and she since looks at what comes in her house differently for her and her daughter.

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  6. re buying used… we also do a fair bit of “buying used”.

    a big/huge advantage of this (especially for me who is seemingly allergic to all chemicals), is buying used clothing, it does not come with the chemicals all new cloth/clothing does.

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    • Lynn, I have a friend who is very allergic to so many things that when she decided to replace her waterbed she couldn’t find a mattress locally that didn’t cause a reaction.They tossed an old futon mattress in the waterbed frame and slept on that until they could order a specially made mattress. I feel for you with allergies.

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      • besides allergies, there are the “general” health concerns. many of these chemicals which new fabrics/new products are treated with are serious poisons/carcinogenics…– anti bugs/anti fire etc.. I think I have read that all new cloth/clothing/cloth products – pillows/bedding/couches etc, must by law be treated with many chemicals, fire retardents/insecticides/etc.

        of course, they also have effects on humans.

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    • Lynn, you bring up a good question. Apparently there is an agreement that no country will lay claim to the moon. NASA states they will not pay the company that is selected to do the mining, which I guess is their way of supposedly not violating that agreement.

      I agree, No it is no okay to mine the moon.

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