Daniel Deudney is a professor of political science and international relations who wrote a book called Dark Sk

Daniel Deudney is a professor of political science and international relations who wrote a book called Dark Sk

Daniel Deudney is a professor of political science and international relations who wrote a book called Dark Skies where he makes the case that colonizing space will increase the risk of human extinction.
Al Globus writes a rebuttal to Daniel Deudney, where Al analyzes the various risks mentioned by Deudney with or without space colonization.
There are some serious general problems that play a role in generating Deudneys conclusions. These include:
1. For the six threats identified, Dark Skies does not compare a future with space settlement versus a future without space settlement. When this comparison is done it becomes clear that the no space settlement case is far more dangerous to humanitys long term survival than is the space settlement case.2. Deliberately-engineered asteroid attacks play an important role in four of the threats, but as weapons asteroids are far inferior to nuclear bombs, making weaponized asteroids somewhat superfluous.3. The difficulty of weaponizing asteroids is substantially understated.4. Nothing is quantified, ever. So much so that this author thought geopolitics might not quantify, but an examination of Introduction to Geopolitics by Colin Flint does reveal tables of numbers for various purposes.5. Geopolitical analysis has always been on a more or less constant sphere (Earth). However, the spatial relationships among free space settlements and between those and planetary settlements are not on a sphere, or even close. For example, the physical relationship between free space settlements constantly varies due to orbital mechanics. Note that France and Germany always share a common border, but the distance between Mars and Earth varies from 54.6 to 401 million kilometers. There is little or no data or experience regarding the geopolitical effects of these unique spatial relationships on a space settlement society and Dark Skies makes no attempt to show how geopolitical theory must be modified (or not) to take this fundamental change into account.
Nextbigfuture notes that Deudney’s analysis could have been applied to changes in risk from the historic colonization of the America’s.
1. War (Geopolitical Malefic): strong tendencies towards interworld and interspecies wars. Catastrophic.
Nextbigfuture notes that it is basically the same people in different locations. When we colonize space it is the people who would have been on Earth in a different location. This is the same as it was when people left Europe to colonize America. Yes, the American colonies fought to get free of England. However, those same people would have been in Europe and could have fought in Europe. Europe had many wars before, during and after colonization.
Only generations later do the demographics and culture of the people who leave diverge from people staying together.
2. Deliberate Asteroid Attack (Natural Threat Amplification): weaponizing asteroids. Catastrophic.
Going great distances to get a big rock takes a lot of effort. Using the same effort or less other weapons can be created. Nuclear enabled kinetic weapons are feasible.
3. Weakening of Treaty Obligations (Restraint Reversal): abandoning the Outer Space Treaty, constraints on nuclear weapons, and treaty-like constraints on other dangerous technologies. Serious.yo
Nextbigfuture notes that plenty of treaties fall apart that have nothing to do with colonization of anything.
4. Totalitarian World Government (Hierarchy Enablement): pressure on Earth towards totalitarianism due to security threats from cislunar space. Serious.
Europe, Asian, African and Latin American countries that adopted Totalitarian governments were not impacted by whether they or anyone else colonized. Achieving complete totalitarian domination was made more difficult for Hitler and Stalin when there was more humanity that had to be conquered. Europe was nearly completely conquered in WW2. Having more humanity that had to be conquered reduced the risks of complete humanity wide totalitarianism.
5. Ubermensch (Alien Generation): human speciation as humanity moves out further and further from Earth. Existential.
Nextbigfuture notes we have genetic engineering and will have whole genome reading for embryo selection. The evolutionary speciation process is far slower than gene technology. Therefore, this point is meaningless.
6. Unknown and Unknowable Threats (Monster Multiplication): unknowingly triggering unknown disasters. Existential.
Nextbigfuture notes that this is Deudney saying he fears Boogie Men and shadows. The Boogie Men will not only come from the shadows and kill one person, they will come and kill everyone.
Colonization is Good
Nextbigfuture believes that space colonization is good.
There is billions of times more energy and resources in our solar system. We can increase the size of the resource pie by billions of times.
Spreading out in the solar system and beyond makes it physically and technologically more difficult to exterminate humanity. If humanity was only on a Pacific island, then a moderate tsunami would kill everyone. There have been tsunami’s that have killed hundreds of thousands of people. Fortunately, we have billions of people and less than 50% are under any kind of tsunami threat.
There are known space-related natural disasters that could kill a planet. The sun could Nova and kill everyone in the solar system. If humanity had many nuclear fusion space ships that could each hold thousands then there is no space-related natural disaster that could kill such a technologically mature humanity.
If humanity develops Kardashev level 3 technological capability (use all solar energy with a dyson swarm) then any attacking force would need technology and an ability to mobilize resources sufficient to overwhelm an entire solar system. They would likely need the resources of 1000+ solar systems to successfully attack a Kardashev level 3 civilization.
SOURCES- The Space ReviewWritten By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

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