Voyager: Peak civilisation?

As I listened to the news on Voyager, it occurred to me that this was the end of an era in space transport. I can still remember when Voyager was first launched: it was heralded as the beginning of a new era of space exploration. But now, much like lunar landings, it has had its day and is due for some museum.

Likewise, Concorde. Once heralded as the beginning of new era of super sonic passenger aircraft, now both the machine and the hope have been shelved.

At the weekend, I heard a very sobering statistic. Apparently, if you calculate peak oil/person in the world, that peak was passed in the 1970s. Are all these connected? Obviously Concorde was a massive consumer of aviation fuel energy. Likewise the reusable shuttle saved a bit of manufacturing cost of the vehicle for a massive increase in cost of fuel to send that “green” (recyclable) but heavier vehicle into space.

Now there is talk in Scotland of “enforcing” speed restrictions, which no doubt (like cigarettes) will see a continuing campaign of harassment until the PC politicians demonstrate their inability to let anyone lead their own lives.

So, is this “peak speed”? Will the next generation see their average travel speeds steadily reducing until they are like the M80 (40mph restrictions with Nazi like enforcement everywhere)

All in all it seems that we are already on the downward slope regarding any civilising aspects of modern society which consume energy.

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7 Responses to Voyager: Peak civilisation?

  1. Dizzy Ringo says:

    In the early 70s I seem to remember a greenie declaring that we would have to have more rules in order to to limit our standard of living and save the environment. I was young and optimistic and more engaged with getting established in my caeer so |I dismissed it as mere rhetoric.

    Sadly, that was my first mistake! Now, like you, I am fighting to restore sanity in my colleagues!

  2. Pascvaks says:

    The German Greens (Gazi’s) are taking over there. Look out World! Here we go again. WWIII without CO2? They must be going nuclear. Well, maybe just a little CO2 until the all “Deniers” are liquidated. They are very flexable when it comes to the rules about saving the planet, for themselves. What is it with Germany? Something in their beer?

    Life’s a Beach! There’s always going to be some fool who wants to flex his abs, kick sand in your face, and start a fight. Why can’t they leave us WIMPS alone? (SarcOff)

  3. I think we may have passed peak denial as well . . .

    • Welcome! We may be ostensibly on different sides of the fence, but I’m as keen to hear your views on the global warming debate as to hear my own voice. So if you would like to add to the debate please feel free to send me any comment for posting.

      None of us have a monopoly on wisdom and I would urge you to participate, because only by listening and discussing with others can we produce the most robust conclusions.

  4. Thanks for the welcome.

    I will try to make any contributions relevant, interesting and civilised!

    • Between you and me, given the way the “oddity” of recent news stories on global warming I was half expecting something odd to happen today – perhaps this is it?

      What I mean, is that it’s like the newsmedia were on a hair trigger just waiting for some new angle on global warming. I think we can agree, that there’s been next to no real decent stories for a while, but the media still know a good global warming story will sell. So the big question is when they’ve done to death every angle on the warming – what will they do next? Will they suddenly change tack and go with the sceptic view? Will they really just wait hoping they get another extreme weather event? Or … and it is possible … will someone finally come up with something that looks like real evidence to support GW alarmism.

      All I know, is that the longer you and me have to wait, the more dramatic will be the media hype when they finally get some story to bite into.

      So perhaps you have something up your sleave? Or perhaps we do!

  5. Neil Craig says:

    Voyager may well be the peak of NASA and of western government space development but SpaceX will shortly be able to launch the equivalent of a 737 into orbit. China & India are also clearly intent on the same path. The true space age is about to dawn. Nations ruled by Luddites, big governments and ecofascists may have dropped out of the march of history but it will continue. http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/2011/05/innovation-trumping-lower-labour-costs.html

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