Space Tourism

genevieve

drinky typo pbp, closet hugger (she/her)
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I'm not sure why space flight is much more extravagant than other extravagant things - I find this much more interesting than owning an American Football team - a thing which also doesn't really do anything "useful". You might as well say all the money spend on NFL could be used to solve the homeless crises.

It's not a zero-sum game - both can be awful

(although one shout out to sports team owners - the ownership of the Seattle Storm WNBA team - and really the WBNA players - was phenomenal in 2020 in advocating for racial equity and especially in using their platform to aducate and get out the vote in Georgia).

Private space flight is offensive because:

1. environmental impact
2. not pushing forward technology for the good of mankind, but specifically to create even more opportunities available only to the unbelievably wealthy
3. space tourism will lead to humans destroying other planets in addition to our own.

It is selfish, elitist, stupid macho posturing.
I think, tbh, the anger is misdirected. The issue is the fact that they are even ABLE to amass this kind of money, not what they spend it on. Even if they someone spend it on philanthropy, I still think it's wrong; a single person should not have such a big say on how to solve any crisis.
I agree that no single person should have so much say - but also think one can be angry at both the mechanisms that create such unbelievable wealth AND how they spend it. I mean, the marketing involved in these private space projects is significant, because these men want - need - accolades. Totally appropriate to give them backlash instead.
 
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Artistic Skaters

Drawing Figures
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7,978
I do not plan to make any assessments of who is hypocritical and who isn’t. I don’t know and don’t care how much each individual on this forum spends on items that could be considered luxurious, but I do know that the same way as we look at some billionaire spending money for things that are financially out of reach for the average person, the same way someone struggling on the poverty line is looking at the middle class spending money for things that are out of reach for that person. That includes holidays abroad, flying across the pond to go to Europeans/worlds etc.
I guess I missed your point because your post intro said people were being hypocritical for criticizing him. However, the real problem to me has little to do with whether or not people have funds to spend on luxury items. It has to do with owning actions to conserve the environmental resources we all have share, and accepting responsibility for the continuing decline of our planet due to thoughtless choices. There always seems to be this push by people who don't address the enormity of this problem or care to do their fair share. But the "gotcha" moments are anything but when they equalize the exorbitant amount of natural resources needed for a private commercial space excursion to someone's trip home for the holidays, as if the resources needed for these trips are in any way comparable.

People have to do things all the time like choose to take cases of bottled water to kids' soccer games at the park or bring water in reusable coolers and tell kids to pack their own cups or reusable water bottles with their equipment. Why wouldn't we want to emphasize the decisions that support our natural world when a disastrous alternative awaits if we don't? Maybe I'm more extreme than average when it comes to environmental views, but at least I try to analyze responsible choices and consider how to improve on them everyday. I certainly don't understand why we ought to exempt billionaires like Branson from criticism in this area while he shorts us on his fair share of taxes (lessening public choices when it comes to decisions about our shared universe) as he wastes an appalling amount of natural resources for his own corporate greed. I don't think we have the "luxury" to keep quiet about it.
 

hanca

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I guess I missed your point because your post intro said people were being hypocritical for criticizing him. However, the real problem to me has little to do with whether or not people have funds to spend on luxury items. It has to do with owning actions to conserve the environmental resources we all have share, and accepting responsibility for the continuing decline of our planet due to thoughtless choices. There always seems to be this push by people who don't address the enormity of this problem or care to do their fair share. But the "gotcha" moments are anything but when they equalize the exorbitant amount of natural resources needed for a private commercial space excursion to someone's trip home for the holidays, as if the resources needed for these trips are in any way comparable.

People have to do things all the time like choose to take cases of bottled water to kids' soccer games at the park or bring water in reusable coolers and tell kids to pack their own cups or reusable water bottles with their equipment. Why wouldn't we want to emphasize the decisions that support our natural world when a disastrous alternative awaits if we don't? Maybe I'm more extreme than average when it comes to environmental views, but at least I try to analyze responsible choices and consider how to improve on them everyday. I certainly don't understand why we ought to exempt billionaires like Branson from criticism in this area while he shorts us on his fair share of taxes (lessening public choices when it comes to decisions about our shared universe) as he wastes an appalling amount of natural resources for his own corporate greed. I don't think we have the "luxury" to keep quiet about it.
But I still insist it is a bit hypocrisy. If you look at this forum, the majority of people here are quite comfortable and therefore do go on holidays (including flying to Europe from across the pond). So I do find it a bit selective to be moaning about the impact on environment of one journey to space, while quite good part of the forum is flying long distances by plane and going at least yearly on holidays.
 

clairecloutier

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11,864
But I still insist it is a bit hypocrisy. If you look at this forum, the majority of people here are quite comfortable and therefore do go on holidays (including flying to Europe from across the pond). So I do find it a bit selective to be moaning about the impact on environment of one journey to space, while quite good part of the forum is flying long distances by plane and going at least yearly on holidays.


This is a fair point overall. Although I’m not sure that those complaining about the billionaire space jockeys are all part of the holiday-every-year group. ETA: and, in any case, the resources needed for individual space flight are surely far greater than to be one of 200+ people on a commercial flight.
 
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MacMadame

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But I still insist it is a bit hypocrisy. If you look at this forum, the majority of people here are quite comfortable and therefore do go on holidays (including flying to Europe from across the pond). So I do find it a bit selective to be moaning about the impact on environment of one journey to space, while quite good part of the forum is flying long distances by plane and going at least yearly on holidays.
You are conflating things that aren't equal. Even if every single person complaining here took a yearly holiday that involved a plane (which is not true), that's still a small impact compared to one space flight.

This is a big issue with the environment. We have been sold a story by interested actors that individuals should be doing this and that as if we can save our planet by everyone refusing to use straws. This is nonsense if you look at the big picture. Sure, individuals can and should do what they can but the majority of pollution is being done by a handful of companies. We need government action to set standards and hold those companies to them. Nothing else is enough to stop the destruction of our planet.

If those standards say no more space flights for a while, so be it. Or maybe we decide certain types of flights are worth the cost to the environment. But right now, people are just doing whatever suits them and the planet is dying. That is not sustainable.
 

Artistic Skaters

Drawing Figures
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7,978
But I still insist it is a bit hypocrisy. If you look at this forum, the majority of people here are quite comfortable and therefore do go on holidays (including flying to Europe from across the pond). So I do find it a bit selective to be moaning about the impact on environment of one journey to space, while quite good part of the forum is flying long distances by plane and going at least yearly on holidays.
Except it's not one journey to space. His corporate goal is to start a shuttle service offering regular flights for a few people at a time. In the meantime cities are scrambling to come up with mass transit solutions to conserve not waste resources. Besides that he's selling it to the public like a carnival barker. It's fine to be a terrible corporate citizen and waste tons of irreplaceable natural resources as long as he brings along a plant study of his choice and an underprivileged person here or there. So many corporations have been placing profits over environmental responsibility for so long, it's not surprising they've reached a reckoning point. It's taken wildfires, floods, early hurricanes, collapsing buildings, record breaking heatwaves and dried up reservoirs for a lot of people to finally take notice about the dwindling resources and bad corporations, but better late than never.

Have you considered the reason comments have been selective is because the actual topic is Branson's corporate plans for his space program and not the carbon footprints of FSU individuals? I'm sure someone on the forum has recently eaten a Lean Cuisine and thrown away the plastic container too, but I don't see it as a legitimate excuse to overlook the corporate damage from the continued marketing of plastic instead of other alternatives.

I support acting individually, demanding collectively, and seeking and sharing information to assess and address things like corporate environmental breakdowns and conservation. One person's moaning is another person's quest for more responsible choices and a cleaner world.
 
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Frau Muller

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MacMadame

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overedge

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True, but he could have also kept the money and not donate anything…
And....? The timing of this makes it look like he's doing it to counteract the criticism of his space trip, not because he genuinely cares about supporting these causes.
 

hanca

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And....? The timing of this makes it look like he's doing it to counteract the criticism of his space trip, not because he genuinely cares about supporting these causes.
Who cares why he is doing it? His money still will do some good, no matter what his motivation for donating was.
 

overedge

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Who cares why he is doing it? His money still will do some good, no matter what his motivation for donating was.

So it's OK with you that he made that money through worldwide exploitation of workers and running small independent businesses into the ground, not to mention his company paying little or no taxes while taking millions of $$$ in government subsidies? I certainly care why he's doing it, when he got that money through being unethical and immoral.
 
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hanca

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So it's OK with you that he made that money through worldwide exploitation of workers and running small independent businesses into the ground, not to mention his company paying little or no taxes while taking millions of $$$ in government subsidies? I certainly care why he's doing it when he got that money through unethical and immoral actions.
What you wrote sounds so naive. How many very-very rich people you know gained their wealth by any honest way? For someone to have this kind of money, they didn’t earn it by having a ‘normal’ nine to five job. Most of them would do something that is unethical or immoral (or both). They would need to have a thick skin and a strong stomach. But that doesn’t change anything on the fact that if they are willing to hand some money out for good causes, it should be appreciated regardless of what the motivation behind that was. Because he still shared at least tiny bit of the money and he didn’t have to.
 

jenny12

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7,225
After the trip, Bezos donated $100 million each to Van Jones and Jose Andres


I’d be more impressed if he paid his fair share of taxes.

If it is naive to expect the ultra rich to have gained their wealth in an honest way, then maybe the ultra rich shouldn’t exist.
 

Artistic Skaters

Drawing Figures
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Praise be (!) He also shared at least a tiny bit of the money that he didn't have to when he donated $200 million to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. Tainted funds. ("I've got to run away ...'' :lol: ) I'm also disgusted he's ruining The Washington Post for many of us who have been lifetime readers, but that's a discussion for another day.

It was interesting that the news reports thought it was important to note in order to be eligible for the flight people have to avoid #1 and #2 bathroom functions during the flight. I hope this will not become SOP on the ground considering his Amazon employees already have to urinate in bottles because they don't have time for breaks. Thanks to all the Amazon employees for making his trip to space possible though! :rolleyes:
 

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