Space advocates are often accused of that they are not concerned with the future of our own planet or that they have no solution for terrestrial problems. Of course it is not true that space advocates have no concerns or solution for Earth, only different space advocates have different ideas on dealing with these issues. Save from the direct benefits of space colonization for Earth, the space movement has no single coherent vision for solving terrestrial problems. However, this does not prevent space advocates from developing and discussing ideas in this area.
On Republic of Lagrangia we have posted several posts on several terrestrial issues. I will give here an overview.
On energy policy:
Solar Islands and Seasteading
Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion for Japan?
Acrology: an alternative for space colonization?
Several Arguments against seasteading
The Colonization of Antarctica
Some time ago we wrote about the feasibility of Space based Solar power (SBSP) for terrestrial use, in that post we argued that SBSP is an unlikely candidate for meeting terrestrial energy needs both because of expected negative reactions from the public and the presence of suitable alternatives. One of those alternatives we mentioned were so-called solar islands.
A few years ago we wrote a sceptical article about seasteading. One of our arguments against seasteading was about their economic suitability. We argued that seasteads had poor economic prospects, with the consequence of a lack of interest from potential investors. However, solar islands might change this.
As we have argued in an earlier post, the ocean might be a good place for producing synthetic fuels. According to this site seawater contains 15.1% CO2 against 0.03% in air, thus CO2 can easily be extracted from seawater. Energy provided either by solar islands or ocean thermal conversion, can be used to produce hydrogen gas. From CO2 we can produce CO, and from CO and hydrogen we can make synthetic fuels. These fuels can be exported to other places.
The off-shore production of synthetic fuels might be a raison d’être of seasteads. However, it’s doubtful whether the political ideals associated with seasteading can be realised if seasteaders would specialize them in synthetic fuel production. It will depend on who is providing the funding for these projects, if corporations or governments are the primary investors in seasteads then the pursuit of liberty might be jeopardized.
Soon we will discuss the colonization of Antarctica.