The Great Debt, Mars Settlement, and Space Exploration

In the next two decades, humanity will come to a crossroads.  Either we take Buzz Aldren’s advise and “Get our Asses To Mars” and end our contributions to Climate Change.  Or we perish on Earth, according to the IPCC Assessment.

But in the excitement for Mars settlement and space exploration in general we cannot forget the what I call, “The Great Debt.”  Others just call it, ‘Whitey On The Moon’

Some debts are visible, written traditionally in RED INK . These can easily be counted in dollars and cents.

Some debts are not so visible, but still important.  In some ways, more important than the visible debt.   If every attempt is not made to pay them our future plans for both climate change and space exploration may not happen.

  • The debts I am talking about are those exposed partially in the spoken word and songs of Gil Scott-Heron, who died at the age of 62 in May, 2011.

Since it is spoken word, the best way to understand this particular debt isn to read it, but to hear it…

  • The debts I am talking about are those exposed partially in the novels and stories about human computers and the film, “Hidden Figures.”


  • The debts I am talking about are those we owe to ourselves, as humans

The only resolution is for the greatest democracies who must lead us to space, now must also lead us in being human. No easy task.

Let me end here. Perhaps you recognize these debts?

I want to thank the Coast Salish Peoples and Musqueam First Nation for the fine summer/winter apartment I have on unceded Endowment Lands at the UBC.

I want to thank the generations of African-Americans whose debt is yet to be paid for those years that our country excelled in space exploration and reaching for the stars, but landed only half way there, on the Moon.

I want to thank those generations of women who labored in silences and not-so-silently.  As human computers during World War II (like my Mum), and as human computers with NASA.



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