First off: Glad to have found this forum and I hope to return with some regularity(?) Secondly; I'm sure the idea below has been thought of and bounced out many times before, but I still think it needs proliferation no matter who else has cast it out there. Usually people are shocked and denounce it as wild and abhorent as if the surface of the moon was some kind of pastoral scene painted by Vangough. I say bah humbug! Trash the moon because the alternative is to continue poisioning ourselves by trashing ourselves.
It's reasonable to expect that one day we'll be up to our necks in garbage and desperate to put our waste somewhere else. Naturally we’ll want that somewhere to be “not in my backyard,” and that category will one day soon cover the entire planet. We’ll want the somewhere to be where our waste will never harm any living thing, as it has many living things on Earth over these many years of dumping within Earth. We may want to remove the waste we have already dumped and add it to the export. It is inevitable; burying what’s left of our garbage after recycling will no longer be an option sooner than we might think. On average each American [ http://www.solidwastedistrict.com/infor ... waste.html
] uses 4.5 pounds of waste per day. Our nation buries 229 MILLION pounds of garbage per year (each of these rates only increase – where recycling has only slowed the rate, the problem sill grows). This is only the “municipal waste,” a.k.a. the stuff you put in a can at your curbside, which only represents about %20 of the entire flow all waste materials in the U.S. per year. [ http://www.zerowasteamerica.org/1998StateOfNation.htm
] p. 3. Exporting and importing waste has become practically a trading commodity by governors and state waste commissioners. New York toped the list recently with 4.5 million tons shipped out, on trains, and on barges.
The raw human energy and the carbon monoxide smog, and the fossil fuel involved in disposal of all of the waste in our country is immeasurable, but be assured, this would be a huge and troubling number. Another immeasurable consideration is the workers who are faced with the ill health effects of spending forty hours per week breathing in everything from carcinogens released from industrial and household containers, to large amounts of methane, and petrol carbons from the vehicles they work on or near.
What do we humans do? We are literally piling-up our problem with bull-dozers and sweeping them under the carpet of the Earth. Do we all start wearing artificial lungs on our backs? Do we convert our largest landfills into ski slopes, fall-out shelters, hang gliding launches? Sure, in the interim, that’ll be fun. But a long term solution is needed:
There it is above us. The Moon, or “our moon.” Staring us in the face. That gray and lifeless chunk of rock that may have broken off from our planet a billion years ago. Radioactive. Without atmosphere. Too hot in the sun. Way too cold on the dark side. Any dessert landscape on Earth is more attractive to look at , than this moonscape of shades of grayness. If we were one day to establish a moon colony, complete with residential homes (or survival bubbles?), the families residing there would go nuts and kill each other or leave within months, having realized their big mistake. It might be a good place for a giant Death Ray to protect us from Socialists and alien invaders from the planet Mexico (formerly Mars). The point is that the moon is not worth much in a non science fiction context.
Let us send our waste there. All of our waste there. Perhaps we could use the waste up there to form a hydrogen atmosphere, largely of methane, and unbreathable matter, but in the future the possibility exists that this atmosphere could be altered and repaired, and sustain life. The project will initiate scientific advancement which will yield numerous helpful discoveries and technologies. The project will new astronauts all over the world. New jobs by the tens of thousands will be needed.
We would build and design an efficient launch to get our waste into space. Perhaps a tether and elevator system between the ground a large low orbit space station to reach shuttles that would be docked and waiting hook-up to waste containers arriving from the ground. A single burst of fuel can send a shuttle with a train of waste containers on its way to moon orbit within three days. The dumping shuttle would be remote controlled by a waste manager’s station on the surface, for precise dumping at various moon altitudes.
The garbage would be dumped strategically to form an artistic pattern to display back towards Earth. A resident artist will reside at the moon manager’s station to direct the art-work. Several artists will win a chance to reside and to contribute their vision over the course of more than two generations. This artistic creation will have been one of the large selling points to the people of Earth who will have paid for the project in a long funding transitional phase for waste removal services.
The finished canvas of color by design will face the people of Earth for nearly eternity. Perhaps the illustration could depict human history? Perhaps a replica of the surface of Earth from the moon’s perspective, like a huge mirror? Whatever is shaped and illustrated it will be a reminder of this first generation, to thousands of generations to come, of those who first chose to dump their garbage on the moon and recreate its surface into something magnificent, efficient, more healthful for our bodies and our planet, and beautiful to look at.
Interested? Other ideas and opinions at http://masonsays.blogspot.com