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Lunar Ark
Alex Steffen, 18 Aug 07

A group called the Alliance to Rescue Civilization (ARC), has proposed building a lunar "ark" for use in recovering civilization in the wake of an asteroid strike or nuclear war. The idea is sort of like the Global Crop Diversity Trust's Doomsday Vault, mixed with the Internet Archive, but on the moon.

"In the event of a global catastrophe, the ARC facilities will be prepared to reintroduce lost technology, art, history, crops, livestock, and, if necessary, even human beings to the Earth," Shapiro said. ARC hopes to finance the planned moon outpost into a lunar ark of recovery in part through donations from billionaire philanthropists.

Of course, you read it here first: Jamais has been talking about creating a lunar backup for years:

This may seem like a tongue-in-cheek suggestion, but as the Norwegian seed vault demonstrates, there are steps that can be taken to prepare for extreme emergencies. It's well within our means to take the next step, to preserve our information

I'm divided as to whether a lunar back-up is worth the cost, in comparison to what that amount of money could do to prevent on-going problems here on Earth. After all, much is being lost even without a single meteor impact, from biodiversity to unique cultural expressions. It seems to me that taking on a massive lunar project before addressing the problems immediately in front of us would be like investing in long term bonds while holding high interest rate credit card debts -- a misplacing of priorities.

But that doesn't mean we shouldn't do it at all. Indeed, in some weird way if would be an enormous relief to look up at the moon on clear nights and know that in a cold, hard universe, we had a little safety net.

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Comments

I'm divided as to whether a lunar back-up is worth the cost, in comparison to what that amount of money could do to prevent on-going problems here on Earth.

There is an analogy here with IT - backups are never worth the cost: they're a money and effort sink.

Until disaster strikes. They're still a money sink but they can spell the diff between loosing the business and not.


Posted by: Brian on 18 Aug 07

Yes, but if you're computer is on fire, it might be wise to put the fire out before worrying about making a backup.


Posted by: Alex Steffen on 18 Aug 07

The other issue is how a civilisation that's been 'blasted back into the stone age' and is a little resource-poor manages to get to the moon to retrieve all this stuff.

When there's a self-sustaining lunar colony (which would be an ark in itself), then it's time to reconsider.


Posted by: Tony Fisk on 18 Aug 07

Yes, but if you're computer is on fire, it might be wise to put the fire out before worrying about making a backup.

When your computer is on fire is when you find yourself wondering if your backups are good ...

Any good analogy has a point where it can be pushed too far (grin).


Posted by: Brian on 18 Aug 07

Having something like a time capsule may be a good idea for historical reference in the future, but the idea that we can save ourselves and our society by this "Lunar Arc" implies that the future society (if there is one) wants to live as we do in their past.

Social structure is an ever changing thing. Its pretty pretentious to think that our future society would look back and want to live like we do now. Would you want to live like they did in medieval times?


Posted by: Freelyx on 19 Aug 07

The Nuclear war will signify complete lack of moral sustainability of human race, and in this case the civilization must be reset. So trying to back it up will cause more harm than andvantage...Allowing the Noah to preserve status quo was one of the greatest mistakes of the God, at it created problems right after the flood ended: the human evils- hatred, alcohol consumption etc. flourished again.


Posted by: bottom on 21 Aug 07



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