Climate change is shaping up to be a major campaign issue. Space has never been a real campaign issue in a Presidential election. That may change as the only solution to global warming is exposed to public view in the coming months. The 40 year anniversary of Gerard K. O’Neill’s book “The High Frontier” is approaching and contained in that work is one point rarely discussed: the cure for climate change.
The only possible way to end greenhouse gas production on planet Earth is beam down the energy required to run civilization from space. It is that or kill off most of the human race and go back to herding goats. Climate deniers are in for a rough hike if they do not climb on the Space Solar Power train. The concept stands alone by providing essentially limitless power and assured prosperity for the United States; Solving climate change is a freebee. Not only is it difficult to argue against as a means to energy independence, the Republicans mostly support the critical initial tool required to start the project: the NASA Space Launch System.
It is attractive to Hillary for a number of reasons, the first one being whoever the Koch brothers select as the Republican nominee by way of offering up a billion dollar war chest will have to argue away the influence of energy companies. It is a situation vaguely similar to the Obama/McCain contest which miraculously terminated F-22 fighter plane production as neither candidate could justify the incredible expense of this cold war toy. Both had to promise to do away with it. In the same manner the space agency can be redirected from the present dead end of LEO and Mars fantasy back to the Moon and the lunar resources required to construct a Space Solar Power infrastructure.
One step leads to another and the first step is abandoning the space station-to-nowhere and redirecting funding towards returning to the Moon to stay. The first project being to replace the deteriorating GEO satellite graveyard with space stations assembled in lunar orbit. Lunar ice is essential for providing cosmic ray water shielding and the reason there are no GEO space stations and instead a satellite junkyard. After the space stations come the true spaceships of a new military force capable of guaranteeing deterrence without the hair-trigger response time of the present deteriorating Earth-based strategic force. This new deterrent would also be capable of deflecting dinosaur-killer or city busting asteroids and comets. And lastly come the factories on the Moon manufacturing the millions of tons of solar arrays capable of completely powering civilization.