URGENT UPDATE:
A 16th Oct. 2001 WARNING by Cosmologist

PROF. STEPHEN HAWKING

"The human race is likely to be wiped out by a doomsday virus . . . unless we set up colonies in space. Although Sept. 11th was horrible, it didn't threaten the survival of the human race like nuclear weapons do," said the Cambridge University Scientist. "In the long term, I'm more worried about biology. Nuclear weapons need large facilities, but genetic engineering can be done in a small lab. The danger is that, either by accident or design, we create a virus that destroys us. I don't think the human race will survive . . unless we spread into space. There are too many accidents that can befall life on a single planet."

All of the above concerns were expressed a quarter century ago in the following dissertation by Mr Falconi.

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THE CASE FOR SPACE COLONIZATION - NOW!

- and why it should be our generation's #1 priority.

by Oscar Falconi

As the years pass, it has become more and more apparent that intelligent life on this earth has very little time remaining, and that we're about to experience a terrifying, unpreventable holocaust!

No, this conclusion isn't reached by religious Armageddon-type considerations. Not at all. All life on earth is threatened by political and environmental problems that are quickly coming to a climax: World War III, nuclear wastes, atmospheric pollution, and many more, each by itself able to put an end to man.

This book frankly examines these many causes of our destruction and gives incisive and logical arguments that will convince the reader that the colonization of space must be our generation's very first priority and must be undertaken immediately in order to save our fine civilization and to preserve our culture.

The fact that the colonization of space is the only way to save our civilization is an important concept. In this book it is shown that mankind is very possibly alone in the universe. We therefore have an enormous responsibility to prevent our destruction. This can only be done by colonizing space with self-sufficient backup civilizations, a task we are presently quite capable of accomplishing, both technically and financially, within the next 25 years.

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CONTENTS

3 Introduction 4 Causes of Man's Extinction 5 Epidemics and Genetic Manipulation 6 Vaccines 7 Runaway Pollution 8 Modern Living 10 Advanced Experiments 11 World War III 13 Partial List of Causes of Man's Extinction 14 Reasons for Space Colonization 15 If Life Abounds, Why Bother? 16 The Case Against a Universe Replete with Intelligent Life 18 More Benefits of Colonization 19 Partial List of Reasons for Colonization 20 The O'Neill Space Colonies 20 The Space Colony - Can We Do It? 21 A Few Questions 21 Wrap-Up 22 The Fatal Error

INTRODUCTION

"It's a glorious privilege to live, to behold, to know, to love. To
look up at the blue summer sky, to see the sun sink slowly beyond
the horizon, to watch the worlds come twinkling into view. And
you and I are here."
- Anon
" Mankind will be wiped out in two or three decades, not more."
March 4, 1975
Prof Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
Nobel Laureate

What expenditure should have first priority in American budgetary considerations? Defense? Pollution? Education? Inflation? Unemployment? Crime? Welfare? Integration? Bussing? Bureaucratic over-regulation?

What we present here is felt to be an extremely convincing argument for an adventure in space that a billion years from now might well be considered by far the best investment ever made at any time by any society.

The adventure is the colonization of space. The argument is that man may soon destroy himself on earth before he can set up a backup civilization elsewhere.

Now man may or may not be the only life in the universe capable of abstract thought, but we surely must agree that much would be lost if man's existence were to cease right now. Trillions of trillions of potentially happy and productive man-years would never come to pass. We are obligated to do all we can, now, to protect this future!

In the last generation or two, man has clearly reached some sort of milestone or turning point. The present is unprecedented, and so the future is completely unpredictable. For the first time in man's history, many things seem to be doubling every decade or two, such as population, research, energy usage, pollution, nuclear capability, total knowledge, and more.

In addition, man has achieved the ability to destroy himself and all his future generations. The probability of man's self-destruction is clearly increasing at a rate much greater than, for instance, population growth. An in-depth study could well uncover some alarming statistics here. It behooves us to immediately begin work toward getting a self-sufficient colony away from earth. We just may be the only life in the universe with the foresight to have "moved out" before it destroyed itself.

So, should America go all-out for space colonization? What follows can only touch the surface of this question. The points that are made, however, are felt to be convincing enough to warrant immediate and forceful action.

Many of the ideas in this book are very new and very important. Read them with a receptive mind and criticize them fairly and logically, remembering all the while the importance of what's at stake.

"What can happen, will happen." - Anon

CAUSES OF MAN'S EXTINCTION

Unfortunately, mankind reproduces itself in series. One generation begets the next. When one generation ceases to exist all future generations are lost. In the past, the human race was well dispersed, with little possibility for self-destruction. There was no reason to think that the existent generation might be the last. But times have changed. With weaponry and research advancing furiously, it could well be that our chance for self-destruction is doubling every year or two.

Carl Sagan, in a recent episode of his very fine TV series, "Cosmos", has reasoned that the chance of human life continuing to exist on earth is less than 1% per century. This is equivalent to less than a 50-50 chance of lasting the next 15 years! As it stands now, it appears that most Americans (half are less than 30) will die a violent death. When the odds against us are bad, and rapidly getting worse, it's time to search for a solution.

But it's impossible to solve the problem of preventing, with 100% certainty, our self-destruction here on earth. This problem is just too complicated, and asks too much of man - such as restraint, understanding, objectivity, intelligence, compromise, and common sense - characteristics which are necessary for future survival, but seldom met with in practice, particularly in politics. We are now left in the ludicrous position of hoping we'll survive through each year.

But the hope that no unforeseen catastrophe will destroy man is a flimsy basis on which to assume that our species will enjoy its maximum possible time in this universe. If you want insurance, you've got to pay the premium. And the premium is due now. The only known life in the universe exists on earth, and, for a surprisingly large number of reasons, could soon find itself destroyed.

Man is particularly susceptible to such a tragedy compared to the crustaceans, amphibians, insects, and the countless other hardy families. Only his superior brain has enabled him to successfully compete despite a relatively fragile constitution. Should we succeed in our self-destruction, it's doubtful that nature could once again turn the trick of creating another highly advanced being out of any primitive life remaining on earth.

By whatever philosophical standards one bases his thinking, one must conclude that life is better than no life at all. Man's first thought must be to preserve the human race at all costs. It must not be allowed to come to an end, and specifically, it mustn't be allowed to destroy itself.

In the far distant future, it appears that man will be doomed by the lack of available energy (the 2nd law). This may not come about for 100's of billions of years. Before that, a collapsing universe may put an end to all life. And before that, our sun will become a red giant, probably ending all life in our solar system. But even that won't come about for several billions of years. Whether these problems can be solved isn't known, but man has plenty of time to think about them.

More imminent, not in billions of years, but maybe in just a fraction of a decade, is the end of all life on earth that man himself has the capability to bring about!

Now, let's look at just some of the ways that man can destroy himself....

EPIDEMICS AND GENETIC MANIPULATION

About 30,000,000 persons died in the summer and fall of 1918 of "Spanish" influenza. This was about 2% of the world's population and far more than were killed in the 4 years of World War I. Between 1346 and 1368 the "Black Death", probably a bubonic plague, killed 25,000,000 persons just in Europe alone - about 1/4 of its population. In some parts of Europe over 3/4 of the population died.

We should interpret these historical facts as an ominous warning of man's vulnerability to forces beyond his comprehension and well beyond his control.

Less than a thousandth of an ounce of a certain bacterial toxin is enough to kill the entire human population. Bacteria, their toxins, and other substances that are even more deadly, very probably exist in many of the chemical, bacteriological, biological, and germ warfare laboratories of the world. Important questions are: Can these substances kill ALL human life? How secure are they from theft or leakage? Can they be controlled if used?

In 1974, at the now-famous Asilomar meeting, a group of 140 leading genetic researchers discussed the hazards of genetic manipulation, set guidelines, and pledged themselves to restrict certain aspects of their work in order to protect mankind from the potentially disastrous consequences of what modern science can create in a test tube. These scientists realized that they could produce a deadly virus or strain of bacteria against which there was no protection.

From France: "The threat of disseminating new infectious germs that have never existed in nature could provoke uncontrollable epidemics." And from the U.S. National Acadamy of Sciences: "Man has always been vulnerable to mass hazards, such as plagues and earthquakes, but he now has the capability of creating his own monumental disasters in a way never before possible."

But is a moratorium on experimentation in genetic manipulation the answer? Can one really believe that Russian, Israeli, or Chinese researchers will abide by such an agreement? Can you picture a German or Indian scientist, on the verge of a spectacular breakthrough, stopping his research? Of course not! He'll merely postpone publication. The final result of any such agreement is that the United States will have unilaterally disarmed itself in the field of genetic manipulation.

What's more, American scientists will no longer be in the position to lead an orderly, safe, development of the field. Advances will now be taking place clandestinely in backroom labs worldwide. Most scientists have the best intentions, but when God, country, or career enter the scene, nearsightedness can prevail.

In just the 4 years since the previous edition of this book, the progress made in genetic engineering and gene-splicing technology has been absolutely startling. The "miracle" of the creation, by man, of primitive life from mere inorganic chemicals is just around the corner. Also possible is the total destruction of intelligent life by some means that could never be predicted - and only understood in hindsight.

So we have ourselves a dilemma: On the one hand we must carry on genetic research, and on the other hand we must stop. How do we resolve this situation? The only answer seems to be that we allow genetic research to continue, as it would anyway, but that we take immediate steps to construct a backup colony away from earth in the event the genetic experiments get out of control.

VACCINES

From Britain's "Lancet": (18 Aug 1979): "There is a relationship between crib death and immunizations." (12 Jan 1980): "Persons who received the TB vaccine got more TB than those who didn't." (24 Nov 1979): "At last count there were 2525 cases of children reduced to vegetables by vaccine damage." (just in the UK alone!)

Another illustration, closer to home, of how disaster might strike an intelligent and well-meaning civilization: much has been made of how vaccines could permanently eliminate German measles, polio, mumps, and many other maladies. By merely vaccinating all our babies and children, the United States might be entirely free of these problems and several hundred young lives would be saved per year. Aside from the economics and wisdom of each year subjecting millions of children to many millions of injections, with consequent errors, side effects, and deaths, just to save several hundred of the more frail children, we must consider the possibility of inflicting the whole American and world population with massive, permanent, genetic damage. Remember that German measles is notorious for causing defective offspring. Likewise, the Salk polio vaccine has been suspected of causing chromosome damage. And mumps often troubles the reproductive organs of both sexes.

It's quite clear that any promising new vaccines should be tried on only a very limited number of humans, and for at least several generations, before subjecting our entire population to a genetically unproven vaccine. Measles, for instance, is peculiar to humans and therefore a measles vaccine cannot be exonerated by animal tests. Incidentally, thalidomide was animal tested - and passed!

Today, vaccines can be used in the prevention of 18 diseases. The vaccines used to prevent measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles) have been developed only in the past several years, and the polio vaccine just a few years earlier.

And yet the U.S. Public Health Department recommends that ALL children have their polio and rubella shots when they're just one year old. The mumps shot is recommended for children approaching puberty! Already over 80% of all Americans between 1 and 20 have had 3 or more polio shots. God help us if we've overlooked some effect. We should be finding out in a few years - BUT only if the effect is dominant.

It should be noted that thalidomide was caught quickly only because of its effect on the 1st generation. The mutation was dominant and HAD to appear in the 1st generation. If the mutation was recessive, the effects could not have been detected until the 2nd generation, by which time a tragic, and possibly fatal, blow may have been inflicted to our gene-pool.

If we continue to indiscriminately subject the whole population to every promising advance, be it vaccine, food additive, drug, etc., then the chances are not negligible that in some decade in the near future the U.S. or world population will be decimated or destroyed.

"Many voice the view that the Salk vaccine has been directly responsible for the major increase of leukemia in this country. The 'theory' that this vaccine had any value should be put to rest."

Dr Frederick R Klenner (1974) Acclaimed pioneer in medical research

After all, this is only the 20th century. In our supreme ignorance compared to the 21st, or the 31st century, we recklessly choose to play with fire. Hundreds of young lives a year, for instance, lost to polio, rubella, or whatever, isn't a high price to pay for protecting trillions of unborn Americans. A few generations of human testing for each new advance is probably all that's required to prevent a catastrophe.

But since it doesn't appear that the government, or the medical profession, or the drug industry, will ever be convinced of the above arguments, humanity's only protection is a space colony. There's an urgent need for an isolated backup civilization.

RUNAWAY POLLUTION

The study of the atmosphere of the planet Venus has pointed to a runaway greenhouse effect in order to explain the surprisingly high surface temperatures. The "runaway greenhouse" concept goes as follows: a temperature increase causes increased water evaporation which in turn causes greater infrared absorbtion, causing an even greater temperature increase, and so on until a new equilibrium is found at a very high temperature. That is the situation on Venus.

But earth's atmosphere is now being strongly modified by man and the risk of some runaway effect is not negligible. For the past half dozen years there has been a change in the global weather patterns. Tragically for us, they're changing in a highly unpredictable way. Is this the onset of a runaway situation? Our air now contains 15% more carbon dioxide than it did 100 years ago. There hasn't been that much CO2 in our atmosphere for about 800 million years. Dr WL Gates, Director of the Climatic Research Institute, states: "If atmospheric CO2 increases at its present rate, global warming may amount to a climatic catastrophe in the 21st Century."

Simple pollution will never kill off mankind. As the pollution level becomes lethal, the population decreases, and so does the pollution. A population-pollution equilibrium is thus established. However, we know very little about the complicated, non-linear interplay between the various pollutants and the environment. Increasing the concentration of some pollutant over and above an unknown threshold level might start a runaway reaction that quickly increases some lethal factor's level until all human life on earth is dead. We just don't know!

For instance, though he often tends toward abrasive exaggeration and incitement, Dr Paul Ehrlich may be right when he says that the SST (Supersonic Transport) may have ended all life on earth had the U.S. gone ahead with it. Exaggeration and incitement have been avoided in this discourse, but, in fairness to Dr Ehrlich, they might be justified in order to shock America and the world to the dangers around us.

We could well be in the midst of a different runaway situation where the ecological equilibrium of our oceans is flipping from one stable condition to another very different stable condition. The great concern is that the new equilibrium mode, of man's doing, may not include man. Senator Ernest F Hollings and Jacques Cousteau agree that mankind could perish merely from ocean pollution due to industrial wastes and human sewage. Cousteau feels that this could come about in 30 to 50 years. Margaret Meade gives man 25 years!

Of course, from time to time, for 1000's of years, persons have been predicting the end of man for one reason or another. But as mentioned before, the present is unprecedented. For the first time we can speak from a position of some intelligence, with convincing arguments. Cousteau has conveyed great "distress and concern at what is happening to our oceans, our planet, and ourselves." He pleads: "I beg you not to dismiss this as science fiction. The oceans can die, these horrors can happen. And there will be no place to hide.

"Civilization will end within 15 to 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems now facing mankind, especially pollution . . . "

Dr George Wald c. 1970 Nobel Laureate

MODERN LIVING

In attempting to improve his lifestyle, man has come up with a large number of ideas to increase his pleasures, conveniences, and efficiency. But some of these ideas can have subtle unpredictable dangers that only hindsight can sort out. For instance, a good case has been made for the theory that the fall of the Roman Empire was due to the bowls, made of lead, used by the intelligencia to boil a liquid down into a tasty syrup, the lead content of which killed off the flower of Roman youth. Recent analysis of the lead content of the exhumed remains of these young unfortunates confirms this! **

Of course we have no way of knowing the unpredictable dangers we're living with today, but here are some "improvements" that predictably might do us all in:

Aerosols - By the innocent but widespread use of aerosol sprays, we are introducing into the atmosphere fluorocarbon gases that find their way to the upper stratosphere and eventu- ally disrupt the production of ozone by the sun's rays. This ozone is vital in the protection of all life from deadly ultraviolet and X-rays. It's estimated that, if we continue to use these sprays, the amount of ozone will decrease by 30% by 1990, causing catastrophic changes in the balance of nature with the possible demise of man.

This is all speculation based on theory, but a recent report by a federal task force confirms the need for concern. In addition, balloon experiments have verified "to an astounding degree" the theoretical calculations.

That the billions of years of biological development, resulting in modern man, could all be for naught, merely because of a fluorocarbon aerosol spray, is a sobering thought.

Food Additives - There are hundreds of new, little-tested, additives in our American foods (France allows just 6). Chemicals such as preservatives, artificial colors and flavors, discoloration inhibitors, tenderizers, and sweeteners, can be potentially dangerous to the whole population. The average American is, with the FDA's blessing, eating over 5 pounds of additives every year. Long term genetic effects are of course unknown.

MSG (monosodium glutamate) might be considered safe after 5000 years of use in China, but even this chemical was questioned recently because of the vast use now made of this flavoring agent. And who's to say that no genetic damage can occur when a generation of children have been gulping down Kool-Aid, the powdered form of which contained 28% pure cyclamates, a suspected killer.

Fluoridation - Mass fluoridation of our water is much like mass vaccination of children. We don't know what the long term effects will be. One 20-year study discovered that cancer affecting the gastrointestinal, urinary, and female organs is 15% higher in fluoridated cities than in non-fluoridated ones, for a total of 500,000 additional deaths over the 20 year period. Over 90 million Americans now drink artificially fluoridated water, which seems risky considering what little we know, much of which is bad. If cancer is the only problem, we should consider ourselves very lucky.

Nuclear Reactors - The furious proliferation of nuclear power plants is of greatest concern to most people because of the thousands or millions of casualties resulting from a leak of radioactive material or from the reactor going past "critical". But just a million lives is of no importance to us here. We are concerned only with any effect that will exterminate all of mankind.

For instance, from Prof James D Watson, Nobel Laureate, we have: "Only the tiniest traces of plutonium are needed to induce cancer, and, if its use becomes widespread, accidental or deliberate catastrophies may cause wide regions of our earth to become uninhabitable for 1000's of generations." Here we are just a miscalculation, a misconception, or a misdeed away from finding our whole planet to be uninhabitable.

Another example: Krypton-85, a reactor by-product, is being produced and released into the atmosphere in such quantities that inadvertent weather changes are predicted within several decades.

"Our present understanding of atmospheric processes is insufficient to determine the extent of consequent weather changes . . . It is likely that Krypton-85 will accumulate in the atmosphere faster than our knowledge of related phenomena accumulates." W.L. Boeck, Prof of Physics Niagara University, N.Y.

Of equal concern is the problem of the nuclear waste. This also can be fatal to all human life, and is discussed later.

Television - Nearly every child and young adult in the world, especially in the U.S., spends a good part of his prechildbearing years in front of a television set absorbing "soft" X-rays emanating from the high voltage circuitry. The "recommendation" is that if one remains more than 6 feet from the set, then the chances of a mutation are "negligible". This is just another case where the whole population is simultaneously exposed to a new variable, capable of vast long term damage, whose effects have never been adequately tested considering what's at stake.

And just how many extremely subtle, innocent, activities are unknowingly and unpredictably leading us to a tragic premature end? We of course can never hope to predict, or even detect, every eventuality in time. A backup colony in near space appears to be the only solution.

". . . I'm glad I'm not a young man and I'm sorry for my grandchildren." David E Lilienthal - Jan 1976 First Chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission

** Worldwide lead pollution over the centuries is indicated by the concentration of lead in different levels of polar ice. Since industrialization began, about 200 years ago, the lead content of polar ice has increased by a factor of 400!! The World Health Organization warns that the average human lead intake is already 70% of the "provisional tolerable intake". Recent work has found, however, that WHO's safety level should have been set much lower, meaning we're ALL now absorbing intolerable amounts of lead. As Rome fell, so falls mankind?

ADVANCED EXPERIMENTS

It goes without saying that man's present state of knowledge and understanding is primitive. We have little idea of the fundamental relationships of time, space, action at a distance, life, and so on. There may be a "universal law" stating that research by an advanced civilization progresses in such a logical way that some test or experiment is normally performed that exceeds some limit and unexpectedly causes the civilization to be wiped out before it's had a chance to colonize outside its own planet or solar system. Science in the last few decades has progressed at a phenomenal pace. If there is a limit that we mustn't exceed, we're fast approaching it.

We are now performing experiments wherein the value of certain parameters are seldom surpassed in the entire universe. For example, by means of the laser, recent techniques have produced magnetic and electric fields, energy densities, and temperatures that are found only at the center of our sun. Within decades we'll greatly surpass nature itself in many domains. Are we absolutely sure that some obscure physical effect won't chain react the earth right out of existence?

A further example - the race for the biggest high-energy particle accelerator could easily be the mechanism by which all life on earth is ended. After all, even back during World War II, farsighted people in the Manhattan Project made a cursory examination into the possibility that the 1st atomic bomb at Alamagordo might set off a chain reaction in the atmosphere. Such studies probably aren't being made today. The rush to publish and the need to cut corners, time-wise and money-wise, are the reasons.

1000 Gev particles from the Batavia Accelerator, and laser powers to trillions of watts, could initiate some catastrophe that man could never have hoped to predict. And of course, larger and more powerful devices are being planned.

A form of bacteria has actually been found to live and reproduce in an operating swimming pool reactor. In addition, research has shown that several chemicals and vitamins increase the human body's ability to withstand the effects of nuclear radiation. Progress has been made in this field of radiation resistance and treatment on both sides of the Iron Curtain.

Now let's suppose the Russians make a great research breakthrough and discover how to enable their citizens to take 10 times the total radiation that the rest of the world's population can take. Would they precipitate a nuclear war? They would certainly consider it. What would they have done in 1945-7 if they had the atomic bomb and we didn't? And suppose they miscalculated and accidentally killed everybody off - or brought about some unpreclicted environmental runaway event that had the same effect? Not probable, but possible, and so another reason for a space colony.

" . . . science seems ready to confer upon us, as its final gift, the power to erase human life from this planet." Dwight D Eisenhower Inaugural Address - 1953

WORLD WAR III

"Mankind must put an end to war - or war will put an end to mankind." J F Kennedy - 1961

But unquestionably there will be wars, there will be nuclear wars. International Communism versus "Imperialistic" Capitalism has been the cause of an enormous buildup of increasingly sophisticated nuclear weapons in Russia and the United States. And now several other countries have joined the buildup for whatever reasons they've found to justify nuclear capability. So will there be war ?

Five panelists at a 1975 Harvard-MIT Arms Control Seminar said they believed nuclear war in some form will erupt before 1999, originating most probably with a small nation in the Near East, Middle East, or Africa.

The 3rd World nations, by the very fact they are backward, don't have the manpower, the finances, or the competence to properly care for their sophisticated nuclear weapons. Compared to the superpowers, 3rd World nuclear devices won't be as properly guarded, maintained, transported, or even deployed. Their leaders, from small, predominantly unqualified populations, chosen by so-so methods, advised by similarly deprived subordinates, and lacking such decision-aids as good communications and intelligence, may well drop nuclear devices on the basis of emotion, immaturity, or incorrect or badly translated information. And when one considers that there will be many more 3rd World nations joining the "club", each trying to outdo a neighbor, it becomes almost obvious that a nuclear war will be upon us well before 1999.

We are all well aware of the nuclear confrontation during the Cuban Missile crisis. If the two most advanced, and presumably most mature, of the world's countries can almost have a nuclear war, it's clear that several of the smaller countries will in time, probably soon, have their own nuclear war. We can only hope that the war will be a very limited one, and that it won't trigger some atmospheric or runaway event. But recent studies indicate that the nitrogen oxides released into the stratosphere by even a "limited" nuclear war can affect the ozone concentration to the extent that our earth's ecological balance would be so completely altered that all life could cease to exist.

The West is now facing a major dilemma: despite a highly developed technology and an advanced standard of living, it appears highly probable that much of our highly prized and hard-to-come-by financial and tangible assets will gravitate to Arab control in the next decade or two. The present thinking is that this cannot be allowed to take place, and we increasingly hear talk of a forceful takeover of Arab oil by Western countries. Ridiculous? Maybe so, and maybe not. The dreaded nuclear war could easily result from problems in the Near East, particularly as it's now conceded that Israel already has nuclear weapons in its arsenal. It would be hard to believe otherwise as the fathers of the atomic, hydrogen, and neutron bombs (Oppenheimer, Teller, and Cohen) are all Jewish, and a surprising percentage of highly-placed Jewish scientists have been involved with nuclear development, both in the West and in Russia. Even Fermi was half Jewish. And of course, Jewish nuclear spies are not unheard of. Israel is well known to have one of the world's best intelligence gathering networks.

Israel clearly has the technical know-how and the financial capability for possessing and delivering a nuclear device, and what's worse, the opportunity and desperation to use it. They'd use it if pressed. This is not to cast aspersions on the Jewish people. They're exceedingly intelligent. However, they're also extremely nationalistic and motivated, and in the exuberance of solving their own problems might take steps that are not entirely in the best interests of the human race.

But the first bomb to fall wouldn't necessarily be an Israeli one. It'd indeed be naive to assume that the Arabs aren't going all out to develop a nuclear capability with their gigantic monetary windfall. (just in 1976 alone, the Arabs purchased $8 billion worth of prime U.S. farm land, 4 times the cost to develop our nuclear capability from scratch in the 1940s.) With the help of the right German or the right Judas, the Arabs soon will join the nuclear club. When this happens, we can fully expect that they will attempt the fullfillment of their oft-announced intention of "returning" to Israel. This is no idle statement. The Arab's intense hatred of the Jews can only be felt by a first-hand extended visit. The Arab bomb would be used even if only a fair chance of success was predicted. And Israel would surely drop theirs first if their intelligence discovered that the Arabs were contemplating a first strike.

Almost certainly, if the Arabs and Israelis can have a nuclear war, they will. Clearly, if we invoke this "Semitic Murphy's Law", we have much to fear and should expect the worst. The next Arab-Israeli war could take the rest of the world with it into oblivion. Perhaps a Western takeover of the Arab countries would solve more than the oil problem.

The recent series of crises in the Near East is just one line on our long list of possible catastrophes, any one of which might bring on the end. True, any single event may be improbable, but so is a hole-in-one or a royal flush. However, if lots of people play games for long enough, the improbable will happen sooner or later.

So the Arabs don't drop bombs on Israel. Maybe the Indians will drop some on Pakistan. Or the Chinese will drop some on Russia. Or Russia on the States. If it CAN happen, WILL it?

". . . a nuclear war by the end of the century is a distinct possibility." U.S. News and World Report - Mar 3, 1975

But if the superpowers have a war, a last rite for mankind is in order. The quantity of weapons involved is staggering. Take for instance just one weapon - the Trident:

The United States Navy is presently working furiously on 10 Trident submarines. Each submarine will contain 24 missiles. Each missile will contain 17 independently targeted warheads. each warhead is capable of destroying a city, for a grand total of 4080 cities. 4080!!

What with the Communist threat, these subs can be a valuable weapon, and in fact could actually be a great deterrent. However it's clear that, in the light of what we've been discussing, they could, by themselves, spell the end of life on earth.

We have that same dilemma: We must provide for our defense, but in so doing we bring man closer to his extinction. And so, the same answer: The perceptive few must alert the slumbering many to the necessity of a self-sufficient colony in space.

"There is no defense in science against the weapons which can now destroy civilization." Albert Einstein - c. 1950

PARTIAL LIST OF CAUSES OF MAN'S EXTINCTION

1. Genetic Manipulation - A good possibility that peaceful research now taking place will evolve uncontrollable 100% lethal epidemics from man-made organisms.

2. Mass Vaccination - of populations with vaccines that were insufficiently researched and tested, or improperly prepared, either accidentally or deliberately. Mass sterility, death, or genetic destruction, now or later, could result.

3. Ecological "Flip" - The establishment of a very different, but stable, environmental equilibrium by man's exceeding an unknown pollution threshold level.

a. Atmospheric pollution, affecting earth's thermal balance, from auto, industry, or SST effluents.

b. Atmospheric pollution, affecting the ozone layer, from aerosol sprays, SST's, and nitrogen oxides from a limited nuclear war.

c. Ocean pollution, from industrial wastes and human sewage. The manner of man's demise, soon, by important authorities.

d. Weather (or climate) manipulation, but with no knowledge of short and long term effects, or threshold levels. The effect of reactor effluent Krypton-85.

4. World War III - Third World nuclear capability plus irresponsible, impulsive, actions of incompetents, or a great nuclear holocaust due to large quantities of superweapons: B-52's, B-l's, Minuteman III, Polaris, Trident, etc. , and their Russian counterparts, resulting in man's extinction due to excessive worldwide radiation level or by inducing an ecological flip.

5. Chemical, Bacteriological, Biological, or Germ Warfare, resulting in uncontrolled epidemics, long term genetic effects, or an ecological flip, eliminating human life.

6. Nuclear Reactors - The present controversy centers around major accidents, leakage, transport of fuel and waste, sabotage, release of extremely carcinogenic plutonium, waste disposal, theft of fuel or waste by individuals or terrorist groups.

7. Advanced Experimentation - Furious competition in all fields of research, possibly initiating some catastrophe which man had no reasonable possibility of predicting. Modern lasers, particle accelerators, etc., are creating effects unknown in the universe until now. Also, a research breakthrough could tempt a country to undertake world conquest, accidentally ending all human life.

8. Short or Long-Term Genetic Effects - due to:

a. Irresponsible mass vaccination or fluoridation.

b. Mass ingestion of vast quantities of large numbers of untested food additives.

c. Massive irradiation from television sets, medical X-rays, and industry.

d. Accidental or deliberate leakage from many nuclear reactors now extant or planned.

e. Deterioration, leakage, theft, or sabotage of underground or underwater radioactive waste disposal sites.

Above have been listed many different ways in which man can be wiped out. Further study should uncover many, many more. And surely no amount of study will be able to ferret out the vast number of very subtle, and thus very unpredictable ways of ending our fragile human existence. We should marvel at how the aerosol problem was predicted before there was any indication of a problem. Many thanks are due chemists Molina and Rowland, for they just may have given mankind a few more important years on Earth.

Examining the above list, both known and unknown, one must be impressed with its quantity, variety, and subtlety. Hopefully these deleterious effects will only add, and not multiply. We might allay our fears by applying some sort of "Environmental Superposition Theorem" and thus justify addition instead of multiplication, but again, we just don't know.

In our ignorance we should take urgent steps to protect man's future and proceed with the colonization of space immediately.

REASONS FOR SPACE COLONIZATION

If man can populate the universe to a density of just one person per cubic light year, then, over the next 100 billion years, we can enjoy some 10-to-the-40th-power man-years. This is very conservative. From energy considerations the universe may be able to support as many as 10-to-the-60th man-years. We have used up about a trillion so far, leaving us over 9.99 x 10-to-the-59th man-years of productivity and happiness.

So, that is what may be at stake. If it were possible to know, it's certain that every yet-unborn person would appeal to us that we must, at all costs, assure his existence by immediately taking steps to prevent our self-destruction.

Life on earth will certainly cease to exist some day, but can we predict how soon? Unfortunately, every science (except mathematics) is based upon laboratory and field observations of the world as it's handed to us. The experimentalists are usually far ahead of the theorists who spend the great majority of their time trying to explain what has been observed. It's clear, since we're almost always one step behind in our understanding of the facts, that no advance warning of our imminent demise can be expected from the theorists.

Since our scientists can't enlighten us, what about our politicians? Can they somehow control the geometrically increasing indicators (population, energy, etc.) and peacefully level them out to a stable plateau? Or will there be some sort of earthly "big bang"? One might only predict from the manner in which world leaders have solved their problems in the past, and by judging the caliber of our leadership in the world today.

It may be that the only way we can have of predicting the time by which we should set up our colony is to look at the curves that depict these geometrically increasing indicators of impending disaster. These rates of increase surely cannot be maintained for many years - and so we must get on with the construction of space colonies - Now!

For many present-day decision makers, the argument that immediate space colonization may save 10-to-the-60th man-years in the future may not be as persuasive as an argument that space colonization can solve problems of the moment and that taxpayers and constituents will be benefitted now or in the near future. Well, space colonization CAN solve other problems here on Earth, and can actually save a far greater amount of money than the amount required for this project.

For example, take the problem we have with radioactive waste disposal. For the next 50 years or so, until fusion reactors are phased in, man will be accumulating fearsome amounts of radioactive waste products. If by some engineering miscalculation, or by some premeditated sabotage, his method of storage were to fail, the accumulated radioactive waste of decades would be released, and man's continued existence on earth would be jeopardized. Agreed, the chance of this taking place is very small, but with no backup colonies away from earth, any chance at all is too much. (Note that many of the steel and cement canisters, designed to last decades, are already leaking.)

The point to be emphasized here is that to outlaw fission reactors, or to find another method of waste disposal that is 100.00% reliable, would ultimately cost the society more money and resources than it'd take to set up a colony. With backup colonies elsewhere, we can still use fission reactors and take chances with present (but still very highly reliable) methods of waste disposal.

The above discussion attempts to impart the notion that parallel civilizations can progress more efficiently and quickly and less expensively when it isn't necessary for each civilization to plan for a certain existence forever. Shortcuts can be taken by one colony for faster progress, secure in the knowledge that in the event of a catastrophic miscalculation or misdeed that other sister civilizations would carry on.

The radioactive waste disposal illustration of course also applies to the SST, genetic research, mass vaccinations, etc. The overriding concern is that mankind is presently in the unfavorable position of taking shortcuts, yet not having parallel backup civilizations to carry on, thus almost insuring the death of the human race in the next 10 or 100 years.

But even the above argument may not satisfy a politician's requirement for a clear saving of taxpayer dollars in the near future. In a few pages we'll discuss how "O'Neill Space Colonies" will not only pay for themselves, but also solve the energy problem. An exciting development, coming in the nick of time.

IF LIFE ABOUNDS, WHY BOTHER?

It is often repeated that the universe is probably thick with life. One theory has it that there are 10 billion life-bearing solar systems just in our galaxy alone. In order to reach this very large number, the assumption was made that 1 sun in 20 contained a life-bearing planet. This 1-in-20 figure was a seat-of-the-pants speculation based on a sample of one (earth). It could be off by many, many orders of magnitude. No one knows.

Another theory has it that the number of advanced civilizations in the universe (not just our galaxy) about equals the average life of an advanced civilization (in years) before self-destruction. Assuming we're average, and that we've been "advanced" for the last 1000 years, and that we'll destroy ourselves in the next few decades, we have that there are some 1000 civilizations in the universe capable of abstract thought. This, too, could be completely in error in either direction.

Since there are over 10-to-the-10th galaxies in the universe, the above 2 theories differ by over 17 orders of magnitude, presumably due to the definitions of "life" and "advanced civilization". So we have absolutely no idea whether the universe is host to just one civilization, or to trillions of civilizations having an intelligence enough to understand the question.

If the universe is populated with trillions of thinking, reasoning civilizations, then one might easily drift into the belief that an extra-terrestrial venture at this time would serve no purpose since our one single civilization, just one of many, is unimportant. On the other hand, the human being of planet earth is basically adventurous and should not settle for eternal oblivion when the future holds so much promise of achievement and happiness. Whether or not other life exists, we should not be satisfied with merely existing on earth - shackled to a small planet and a mediocre sun. We inhabitants of earth, especially we Americans, have the industrial and financial capability to free ourselves of this troubled and precarious existence.

Now that we have the motivation, all we need to do is to recognize the priority, roll up our sleeves, and get on with it. The earth, for the most part, consists of industrious people capable of enjoying their short lives. These people deserve, and should demand, a place in the universe far larger than the planet earth.

The point to be emphasized: Even if the universe abounds with life, we should still attempt to preserve our form of life and assert our rightful place. But most importantly, it must be done now, before it can't be done at all.

However, there's good reason to believe that few, if any, other intelligent civilizations exist in the universe (see next section) in which case it becomes even more imperative that we get on with the colonization of space.

THE CASE AGAINST A UNIVERSE REPLETE WITH INTELLIGENT LIFE

Every bit of life on earth, be it plant or animal, bacteria or whale, monosexual or bisexual, is identical in the deepest sense in that they all use nucleic acids for storage and transmission of hereditary information. All organisms use the same basic genetic code. All use proteins in their metabolic processes. The structure of human sperm cells is almost identical with paramecia. It's difficult to escape the conclusion that all life on earth evolved from one single instance of the origin of life.

Now about that single instance - that chance combination of chemicals - it almost certainly happened only once on the earth's surface in all those billions of years. It was clearly a very fortuitous event, possibly never duplicated in all the universe. In labs the world over, many are trying to duplicate it in very ideal conditions. Scientists are injecting into sealed containers all sorts of combinations of amino acids; ammonia; water; gases; heat; sparks; UV, gamma and particle radiation; - whatever they can conjure up. They've come up with interesting organics, some simple proteins, but certainly nothing even closely resembling the most primitive form of monosexual life.

Even when this monosexual life appeared on earth, another giant step had to be taken: bisexual life had to be created. A monosexual species, though it undergoes mutation, can improve its species only at a very slow rate. Mutations must take place serially, whereas with a bisexual species, mutations in different members can both be passed on into the offspring. Thus improvement by mutation and selection can take place in bisexual species at rates many orders of magnitude faster than in monosexual species. In order for advanced forms of life to appear on earth, a bisexual species had to appear. This is no mean task and must be considered another very fortuitous event in man's creation.

One could make a long list of very improbable mutations necessary for an intelligent species: hands that grasp, legs that transport, sight, hearing, speech, etc., plus that one lucky development in the brain that differentiates us from the apes. But for that one mutation we could have been spending the next ten billion years foraging, grooming, and swinging from trees.

Because of the long sequence of beneficial mutations required, intelligent life may not be as ubiquitous throughout the universe as most think. If life is so easily created, and so easily develops, spontaneously, all over the universe, then:

  • Why isn't there any indication that life on earth developed from anything but ONE very lucky beginning?

  • Why don't we see untypical lifeforms spontaneously developing in our world that's so overrun with organic matter ?

  • Why can't man manufacture life even under very artificially conducive conditions? Why do only the familiar carbon-based amino acids and simple proteins ever result from man's attempt to create life in a jar? Apparently these compounds are the ONLY building blocks that could ever result in life anywhere in the universe. That just one path is available for life to evolve is indeed a severe constraint. So instead of the Stanley Miller experiments proving how easy it is to create life, they have in fact added another limitation, another impediment, to the possibility of any other life in the universe, and have added one more argument to back up those of us who feel the probability of our uniqueness is quite good.

  • Why haven't we ever been contacted, visited, invaded, or colonized by all this other life that's supposed to exist?

  • Why have all attempts by Americans, Canadians, and Russians to detect radio signals from extraterrestrial beings been fruitless? ("Where are they?" asked Fermi.)

  • Why have our Viking I and Viking II missions completely failed in their search for life on Mars?

  • Why, out of more than 2,000,000 species of life on earth, has only one (man) succeeded in developing his brain and his culture to such an advanced degree?

    The answer to all these questions is that life just isn't all that easy to come by, particularly intelligent life. Too many extremely fortuitous events and conditions all must have taken place, the likes of which may never have been duplicated in all space and all time. The fact that there is a complete lack of any indication of any other intelligent life has led Trinity University's Dr Michael Hart, using a clever and logical line of reasoning, to conclude that we are unique - at least in our own galaxy. (Quart. Jour. Royal Astr. Soc., 1975) He has also shown that most classes of stars aren't capable of maintaining a luminosity constant enough, for a period of time long enough, to enable life to develop to an intelligent level. Even our own sun was barely able to qualify. If the earth were just 5% closer to the sun, or 1% farther away, mankind could not have evolved.

    "That man is not unique cannot be taken for granted." Dr Theodosius Dobzhansky - 1973 Genetics and Evolution Authority

    Back in 1966, Carl Sagan and I. S. Shklovskii, in their book, "Intelligent Life in the Universe" concluded that intelligent life is extremely common - to the tune of many millions of advanced civilizations just in our galaxy alone! In June 1976 Dr Sagan predicted that the July 1976 soft landing on Mars of Viking I would turn up signs of life. A headline went: "Sagan Expects Life to Loom Large on Mars" (New Scientist, June 17, 1976). Needless to say, no life was found - despite very sensitive life detection devices. In fact, since 1976, both authors have considerably modified their views: Dr Sagan, in one of his 1980 "Cosmos" TV episodes, set his lower limit to just several intelligent civilizations in the whole universe - quite a comedown. And Prof. Shklovskii has done a complete about-face in his 1976 article (in Russian) entitled: "Possible Uniqueness of Rational Life in the Universe".

    What about SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence? Since 1960, millions of dollars have been spent pointing antennas toward stars listening for meaningful signals. This may have been justified if only to satisfy our curiosity, especially in the 1960s when it wasn't so obvious that the chances of detecting intelligent signals were so infinitesimal. Despite a complete lack of success, there are those who still want to spend 10s of billions of dollars to probe more deeply into space to find life that, even if present, would take decades or centuries to converse with - a time far greater than mankind's life expectancy!

    Here are some reasons why SETI should be abandoned:

    1. For the reasons given in the last couple of pages, the possibility of intelligent life in the whole universe is small. The chance in the tiny volume in the vicinity of earth, just in our galaxy, is nil. Even among proponents of SETI the question once asked was "How many nearby civilizations are there?" - Now the question is, "Are we alone in the universe?"

    2. Any rational life would be ill-advised to divulge their presence and try to communicate with potentially warlike cultures such as ours. In fact, SETI was originally called CETI ("C" for Communication) until the logic of this reasoning came to NASA.

    3. The great contribution that SETI could make (or so they say) is that by detecting intelligence we'd know that a civilization can indeed survive. Not so! A culture could easily destroy itself, just as we probably will, after sending its signal.

    4. SETI's greatest contribution would be in concluding there was no smart life out there. But proving a negative in the case of SETI is just about impossible, especially with the billions of stars in each of the billions of galaxies, the extremely weak signals, and the millions of possible frequencies. SETI could go on for centuries. With the earth on the brink of destruction, the proposed billions for SETI would best be spent on space colonization and the preservation of our possibly unique life.

    "An extensive search for radio messages from other civilizations is probably a waste of time and money." Dr Hart, 1975, Prof. of Physics, Trinity Univ.

    Even if there will be several different life forms by the time the universe comes to an end, one of these forms must have been the first, and it's certain that many pseudo-smart individuals in that first civilization must have laughed, in their way, and said how obvious it was that life must exist all over the universe. Well, they were wrong, were they not? And maybe it's just possible that the first life form in the universe happens to be the life on earth. And what we submit is that this life on earth, particularly human life, might just possibly be the only life that will develop to our level of thinking, now or forever.

    So how think you now, dear reader? Is there intelligent life in the universe? In trying to decide, it would be prudent not to put too much weight on the arguments offered by those persons whose influence or income are derived from searching for extraterrestrial intelligence.

    The point of all this, of course, is that if man is, and will be, the only intelligent inhabitant of the universe, then it becomes of the utmost importance to set up a backup, self-sufficient colony as soon as possible so as to insure the existence of the incomprehensible number of fine persons that are yet to be born.

    MORE BENEFITS OF COLONIZATION

    Unfortunately, the U.S. is in the position of having to strike only after being struck first. A situation could arise where we'd be reluctant to retaliate because more radioactivity injected into the atmosphere by us, even over Russia, could end all human life on earth. By having a self-sufficient backup colony, capable of recolonizing the earth at a future time, we'd eliminate this reluctance. By knowing beyond doubt the U.S. is fully committed to a 2nd strike, come what may, the Russians would be less wont to initiate their first strike. It's tragic that we humans, capable of love and the appreciation of life and nature, must think in these terms. However, the Russian-American policy of Mutual-Assured-Destruction (MAD) requires it.

    Thus a space colony results in 2 more benefits:

    (1) the probability of an atomic war is decreased, and

    (2) if there is a war, the probability is greater that human life will survive.

    Yes, the Russians could try to destroy our colony, but the questionable rationale and complicated logistics of such a pointless act of war would need further study. The best solution to this dilemma might be to construct a double space colony, the two halves being dependent upon each other for mechanical balance and stability, one half built and populated by the west and the other half by the east. Such a configuration has in fact been designed: It consists of two parallel contra-rotating cylinders, connected side by side, each about 4 miles in diameter and 20 miles long. The destruction of one cylinder would soon mean the end of the other, along with its thousands of inhabitants. Such an arrangement just might spell peace and save our civilization.

    And finally, the U.S. is moving aimlessly - no national goal. Our moon landing was merely a victory that hasn't been followed up, a victory in name only. A commitment toward space colonization will put spirit back into America. People will once again be proud to be patriotic Americans. Any further benefits to our technology, our economy, unemployment, the energy shortage, etc., are bonuses of incalculable value, not to mention the preservation of the human race.

    PARTIAL LIST OF REASONS FOR COLONIZATION

  • The "universal law" that civilizations destroy themselves just before they achieve the capability of colonizing another world might generally be valid. But we are extremely lucky that earth has an unusually large satellite, nearby, allowing us to leave the earth several decades sooner than we otherwise could. These few decades could allow us to break this law.

  • We have shown that man may well be the only life in the universe ever to reach our level of reason and technology. We must protect this possibly unique life from self-destruction.

  • Even if we are not the only intelligent form of life, we must leave the earth so as to assume our rightful place in the universe, to contribute and to learn what we can, and to provide backup colonies to protect our form of life.

  • Colonization can provide a greater potential population and all of the advantages that that entails. Once self-sufficient, our daughter colony would be a vast asset, supplying energy to mother earth, providing valuable information, a platform for further space adventures, a superb observatory, a site for industry or research requiring a high vacuum or gravity-free environment, weather research, and so on, limited only by the imagination of the entrepreneur.

  • Studies indicate that Prof O'Neill's Satellite Solar Power System will have paid for itself and earning a good profit within a couple decades, and solving the energy problem, and possibly the population problem, at the same time.

  • If one believes that physical and mental prowess is hereditary, then our colony will provide a unique biological laboratory since only man's best mental and physical specimens should be sent. At $1 million per colonist, we should choose only the best stock from the large number of volunteers available.

  • By providing a backup colony, we, here on earth, wouldn't require 100.00% protection from such problems as radioactive waste disposal, aerosol sprays, pollution, and the host of other known and unknown effects that could put an end to mankind. Just 99.99% would be quite sufficient, resulting in a tremendous saving of money, resources, and man-lives.

  • Our bargaining position with Russia would be improved by insuring our commitment to a 2nd strike in the event of an attack on the U.S. In this way, our space colony will double as a deterrent of inestimable value.

  • An announcement of our intention to colonize space will put spirit back into America and give us a desperately needed national goal. Morale and patriotism will be given a needed shot in the arm.

  • Unemployment will decrease, welfare payments decrease, tax receipts increase, happiness increase. The economy will finally revive.

  • Technological fallout will be immense, making the U.S. the undisputed leader in the space and technology race, not to mention the propaganda race.

  • If we make a commitment to colonization, the chance of a nuclear holocaust is considerably lessened by forcing the Russians to divert their energies outward.

  • There's reason to believe that if we do not proceed with colonization in a few decades, that earth's resources will be so depleted that we then won't be able to support such a vast undertaking.

  • But history indicates that the most important reasons for colonizing space will be unexpected - reasons that we are today not wise enough to anticipate.

    THE O'NEILL SPACE COLONIES

    A method has emerged for the efficient colonization of space which can be implemented quickly, economically, and in addition be very tangibly beneficial to man. Gerard K O'Neill, a professor of physics at Princeton, has devoted years to perfecting a design for satellite colonies that would orbit the earth about every 2 or 4 weeks. Each of these early colonies, constructed from easily obtained lunar material, would orbit between 100,000 and a quarter million miles from earth, would initially support in fine style about 10,000 men, women and children, and would soon be self-sufficient. These 1000's of pioneers would be put to work constructing solar-collecting satellites, hundreds of them, that would be placed in earth orbit 22,290 miles above sea level at the equator. At that height, these satellites would orbit the earth exactly once a day and remain above the same point of the equator. These solar collecting satellites would gather vast amounts of the sun's energy, convert it into microwaves, and beam it down to stationary receivers on earth where it would be again converted into the form of electrical energy we can use in the home. All this is done with surprising efficiency, day and night, rain or shine. No breakthroughs are required - the technology is here - and both NASA and Congress are having a hard look at the benefits vs. costs of Prof. O'Neill's Satellite Solar Power System.** O'Neill has shown that the power obtained would, in just a couple decades, completely pay for all the development and construction of all the space colonies, solar-collecting satellites, and ground stations, including the interest on the capital investment.

    A number of different configurations have been proposed for the colony. Preliminary estimates indicate costs would only be several hundred billion dollars spread over two decades or so. Remember that this money would be spent here in the United States where we would benefit in the many ways previously listed. After such a venture, the U.S. would undoubtedly find itself in a powerful economic, technical, and political position, well worth the expenditure of just a small fraction of one year's GNP. And to achieve all this, there'll be no need to fight a war. In fact, a disastrous war may well be prevented and our civilization rescued.

    THE SPACE COLONY - CAN WE DO IT?

    The United States is in a good position to be the first to succeed in a colonization venture. Here are the reasons:

  • In space technology, the U.S. at present has a good edge.

  • We have immediately at hand numerous highly qualified people with considerable knowhow in the right fields.

  • Our phenomenal industrial depth can supply all sorts of sophisticated and reliable items on short notice.

  • The United States easily has the financial capacity to carry out such a great project without straining the economy.

  • America's unquestioned managerial leadership is a necessity to assure successful completion.

  • Our country has a proven capacity to succeed in programs to which the nation has committed itself.

  • America's Space Shuttle, already designed, built and tested, is a giant step toward the realization of a space colony.

    Yes, we Americans can construct a space colony - but will we, will anyone, do it in time ?

    ** For more information on space colonies, refer to:

    "The High Frontier" by Gerard K O'Neill, 1978, Bantam, ($2.95)

    "Colonies in Space" by T A Heppenheimer, 1977, Warner Books, ($2.50)

    "Space Settlements - A Design Study" - NASA, 1977, U. S. Gov't Printing Office ($5.00)

    A FEW QUESTIONS

    Redirecting our no-goal space program into a crash space colonization program will naturally introduce new questions to be pondered upon. These questions aren't concerned with technical matters such as the colony's configuration, construction details, sources of energy, oxygen, water, etc., since much of this has already been worked out (see references, above). What ought to be examined are those areas that will shed light on the basic premise of this book: that mankind's 1st priority is to undertake the colonization of space as the sole means of his survival. For instance:

  • Is there a great probability of intelligent life in the universe, and if so, is man's survival important?

  • Is colonization, merely for the purpose of guaranteeing man's survival, just a waste of time and money even if there's no other intelligent life elsewhere?

  • By examining as best we can all the known methods of man's destruction, is it possible to judge our chances of survival with time? Though the errors of estimation can be great, we may be able to determine to some extent the degree of extreme urgency with which the colony must be constructed.

  • By studying how a million species became extinct in the past, can we get some insight into man's present survival problem?

  • How can the colony most quickly reach self-sufficiency?

  • Will a crash space colonization program create additional costs? Though it is felt that money is no object in view of the cost of failure, it would be instructive to compare the total project cost with the tangible and intangible savings and advantages previously discussed.

  • Because of ridiculous government regulations, hot & cold Congressional appropriations, and the great profit potential in space colonies, could a corporation be created from private investment thus bypassing unnecessary government bureaucracy and intrusion? The sale of one-way trips, at say $10,000,000 each, would not only defray much of the cost, but would result in quality colonists. Later on, the sale of energy to earth would return fine profits to those investors who placed their confidence in the project. The cost to the taxpayer would be nothing! The benefits astronomical!

  • What characteristics are desirable in the colonizers? Should extra emphasis be placed on their genetic attributes?

  • At what rate should follow-on colonies be constructed?

  • Can and should the colonies be defended?

  • But the most important question is: "Will we do it in time?"

    WRAP-UP

    In the 1960s America was committed to a manned moon landing. This commitment will forever be remembered as resulting in man's greatest accomplishment through the 20th century. But since those glorious years we've lost something. The American space program presently doesn't seem to have any particular goal - and certainly isn't oriented toward space colonization. So it will be necessary to redirect our energies and talents toward the colonization of space, and this booklet is trying to do just that - by using arguments that demonstrate the urgency of commencing immediately. Just a few years ago man became capable of colonizing space. And a few years from now man will doubtlessly destroy himself on earth. The time between these two events will probably be well under 100 years - a tiny instant in all time, and the only time we'll ever have in which to construct a self-sufficient colony with our backup civilization.

    As mentioned in the introduction, billions of years from now space colonization could well be seen as the best investment in all history. This statement isn't made lightly. It's only necessary to take a far-sighted view of what's at stake - the choice may just be between, (1) an advanced civilization, happily residing throughout the universe for tens of billions of years, or, (2) no intelligent life, anywhere, anytime, starting in the 20th or 21st century! The choice for space colonization, then, is clear. What, after all, could possibly be more important than preventing the demise of possibly the universe's only intelligent life?

    "Of all the wonders of the universe, the greatest is man." Aristotle - c. 375 B.C.

    THE FATAL ERROR

    In the field of reliability, one or two backup systems is the key to long life - and this principle certainly applies to our one and only earth-bound civilization which is precariously close to extinction. A backup colony, in space, is urgently required and must be made our generation's lst priority.

    Remember the young lady who put all her eggs in one basket - and lost them all? Mankind must not make the same fatal error. At stake is an incomprehensible number of human lives, as yet unborn.

    THE AUTHOR

    Oscar Falconi received his BS degree in Physics from M.I.T. and over the years has been a physicist and consultant in the computer and electro-optical fields.

    He has published articles on the theoretical limits of optical devices (Jour. Optical Soc. America, Nov 1964, Aug 1967) and his book, "The Miracle of Vitamin C", has sold over 30,000 copies.

    For 3 years he traveled in more than 50 countries in an attempt to understand man, his mind, and his endeavors, and has discussed hundreds of topics with thousands of very different people.

    Despite this very active and diversified background, Mr. Falconi considers this dissertation on space colonization to be, by far, his most important contribution; and it is his greatest desire that it will play some small part in helping man survive.

    © 1975, 1977, 1981 Oscar Falconi
    Wholesale Nutrition, Saratoga CA 95070


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