Let’s fix the Earth before we explore space – Trinitonian

It is no secret that the earth is dying. The massive amounts of carbon emissions humans have released into the air through industrialization, transportation, and deforestation have had devastating effects on Earth that scientists say are increasing every year. Unfortunately, because the earth is dying, so are people. The most recent example is Pakistan floodswhich has killed more than 1,300 people and left a third of the country under water, according to United nations.

At this point, the human race must do everything in its power to mitigate rising temperatures and combat the horrific effects of climate change. It may seem radical to suggest that this should be our only focus, but as young people, we will have to live with the consequences of the current generation’s decisions on climate. This is why it is frustrating to see the NASA Artemis program well executed while utilizing precious monetary, intellectual, and material resources for the precarious state of the world.

The Artemis program is a NASA-led project with the goal of returning people to the Moon. Astronauts will explore more of the lunar surface than ever before, and this will be the first time both women and people of color have traveled to the moon. The goal is to establish a long-term human presence on the Moon, which will eventually help get people to Mars, according to NASA.

according to TV program, NASA’s Inspector General estimates that the entire Artemis program will cost $93 billion over 13 years. Let that sink in – $93 billion. This is an unfathomable amount of money that can be used to fund sustainable energy sources and implement what researchers say will help the Earth better. So how does NASA justify its use of these resources?

“We will return to the Moon for scientific discoveries, economic benefits, and inspiration for a new generation of explorers: the Artemis generation,” according to NASA website.

NASA highlights its primary goals for economic growth and scientific discovery. While scientific research on the Moon can be used to aid climate change action, I believe there are more immediate uses for the $93 billion budget to research climate change solutions on Earth. Instead, the very existence of this program points to climate inaction. No reliable source quantifies Artemis’ seemingly huge carbon footprint, considering the program’s industrial needs besides missile launches, which emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

In a more positive light, the Artemis program will create the economic growth that comes with creating the jobs needed for such a massive business, as NASA noted above. However, this rhetorical line can be eliminated, because investing in renewable energy will also create jobs. Industries will be implemented and expanded to produce sustainable energy sources, such as nuclear fission projects.

Basically, the point is moot. Yes, Artemis created and will create more jobs, but the human race is at a crossroads where we must choose between our lives and the scientific discovery of extraterrestrial bodies. The sheer intellectual power at work in Artemis is insane. To me, it is a shame that they are not using their assets more efficiently to search for alternative energy sources, resources and ways to reduce the effects of climate change in a direct way.

I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that NASA is doing important work in its science and research on climate change and its effects. Given the unique ability to observe Earth from the International Space Station and satellites, NASA’s work on climate change is invaluable in finding a solution. However, the specific project of Artemis does not seem to fit the explicit goal of research into climate change, which is a serious quandary for the project.

As a kid who dreamed of becoming an astronaut and astronomer, I loved the moon and outer space. I’m fascinated by the unknowns of the universe and galaxies, and wonder what drives NASA’s programs, especially Artemis. However, I feel like we’re doing it all backwards. Let’s fix the planet and then go explore the universe. We may only have time to do one of these things if we don’t come together here on Earth.