Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Saturday, February 24, 2018 08:19:18 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Opinion

The long arm of the law

By
24th-May-2014       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Thomas L. Knapp :
 "The biggest challenge to getting functioning space hotels and moon colonies might not even be, you know, building them and subsisting in space," writes Jason Koebler ("The First Space Colonies Might Be Illegal," Mother Jones, May 15). "Instead, it might be navigating the tricky international legal framework governing off-world ownership."
Koebler's concerns, which he hangs on the hook of talks at last week's 33rd International Space Development Conference, have to do with the existing treaty framework between nation-states, prohibiting national territorial claims in space but not addressing the growing "private sector" space movement. In order for space settlements to proceed apace, Koebler posits, "[T]he [US] State Department or some other national body is going to have to strike a deal with other nations - and other nations that want to do this are going to have to strike a deal with us."
But Koebler's concerns are, in a word, irrelevant as regards both government and "private sector" space colonization plans.
The states most likely to lead the way into space on a permanent habitation basis - the US, Russia and China - are de facto superpowers who won't think twice about abrogating the 1967 Outer Space Treaty or other agreements the instant they see advantages in doing so. And the corporations planning "private sector" projects will almost certainly leverage the protection of the states from which they operate to proceed equally unfettered.
What I find more promising, though, are the likely outcomes once humans have established permanent habitations off of Earth. "[T]here is enough wiggle-room in the language of the treaty that spacefaring nations can sign memoranda of understanding with each other to allow specific commercial activities," writes Koebler. But there's a lot more wiggle room in space itself to get away from nation-state memoranda and corporate "human resource" policies.
It's likely that both Earthbound nation-states and corporations will encourage the populations of habitations far from Earth to become self-sufficient as quickly as possible. It's neither cheap nor trivial to ferry people and supplies back and forth between Earth and low orbit or the Moon, let alone Mars or the moons of Jupiter or Saturn.
And the instant those off-world habitations are self-sufficient - that is, once they are capable of providing their own shelter, air and air pressure, food and water without depending on the long and tenuous tether to Earth - odds are they will begin to feel limited (at MOST) obligations to their previous  nation-states or corporate bosses and will start doing … well, whatever they damn well please.
They won't be smack up against other societies contending with them for scarce resources, at least not for awhile. Nor will their old political and corporate bosses have the means to enforce any discipline upon them which they consider inimical to their own prosperity. They will feel free to innovate and to invent new modes of social organization, or to give second tries to old ones which failed on Earth the first time around.
The distance between Jolly Old England and its 13 American colonies in 1775, and George III's ultimate failure to impose his will upon those colonies, is instructive … and that distance pales next to the distances involved in space colonization and the means of transportation available. The long arm of Earth law will not be able to effectively reach them. And that means there will be no "space colonies" absent the ongoing consent of the colonists.

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Indian Army Chief`s allegation means complicity of government of Bangladesh


REMARKS by Indian Army Chief, Gen. Bipin Rawat on Thursday that a 'planned influx' of people from Bangladesh into India's north-east is underway as part of a proxy war by Pakistan with support from China, so to keep the area disturbed. Moreover, he also said migration from Bangladesh are happening ...

Sports »

Bronze medalist in the women`s Big Air snowboard Synnott Zoi Sadowski of New Zealand, poses during the medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Thursday.


.

Entertainment »

Priyanka Chopra terminates contract with Nirav Modi, not suing him yet


Priyanka Chopra has decided to cut ties with billionaire diamond trader Nirav Modi's brand following the news about the alleged banking fraud carried out by him. "In the light of recent allegations, Priyanka Chopra has chosen to terminate her contract with the Nirav Modi brand," a spokesperson of Priyanka, who ...

City »

BNP Standing Committee Member Barrister Moudud Ahmed speaking at a protest rally organised by Khaleda Zia Mukti Parishad at the Jatiya Press Club on Friday demanding release of BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia.


.

International »

Ex-Trump campaign associates face more charges


AP, Washington  :Dramatically escalating the pressure and stakes, special counsel Robert Mueller filed additional criminal charges Thursday against President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman and his business associate.The filing adds allegations of tax evasion and bank fraud and significantly increases the legal jeopardy facing Paul Manafort, who managed Trump's campaign ...

Front Page »

Amnesty accuses President Trump of HR violations


Human rights group Amnesty International has accused Donald Trump of "hateful" politics and of being a threat to human rights. "President Trump takes actions that violate human rights at home and abroad," the group said. Amnesty put Mr Trump in the same group as the leaders of Egypt, Russia, China, ...

Editorial »

Serving people not making money must be the motto


PHYSICIANS must provide treatment, President Abdul Hamid said to common people at affordable cost so that no one remained deprived of receiving treatment for lack of money. He made the call while addressing the third convocation of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University in the city on Monday. He has also ...

Sports »

Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic celebrates after she beats Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain during the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Wednesday.


Entertainment »

Alicia Vikander loves `big adventure films`


Oscar-winning actress Alicia Vikander said she loves "independent and arthouse" cinema, but is also attracted towards the big adventure films.The actress, who will be soon seen as Lara Croft in the forthcoming film 'Tomb Raider', also shared that she found training and muscle-building exercise for the role, empowering. "My mother, ...

International »

Merkel calls for Europe to step up to global challenges


Reuters, Berlin  :The European Union must develop a response to growing global political and economic pressures and this will be the spirit of an EU summit this week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday.Merkel pointed to the crisis in Syria and the growing importance of Asian economies as needing ...

City »

SNAPSHOTS ON AMAR EKUSHEY OBSERVANCE


Editorial »

Ekushey tells us to be free and fearless against injustice


THE Nation celebrates 'Amar Ekushey' today with due solemnity and colourful festivities to remember the Martyrs of the 1952 Language Movement. It is a landmark occasion and a day of awakening in the history of Bengali people that gave us the clear realization that we have our own language and ...

Cricket »

Captain of Bangladesh National Cricket (ODI) team Mashrafe Bin Mortaza handing over a crest of honour to Hafiz Yasin Arafat at the Bashundhara International Convention Centre in the city recently. Yasin Arafat became Hafiz-e-Quran in 86 days. He was a student of Tanjimul Ummah Hifz Madrasah of Cox's Bazar. Ahlul Huffaz Foundation Bangladesh arranged the reception programme.


Sports »

Medalists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating (from left) : Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, of France (silver), Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada (gold) and Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the United States (bronze) pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Tuesday.


International »

Trump backs improved background checks on gun buys


US President Donald Trump signaled support Monday for improving background gun checks amid mounting pressure for reform in the wake of the Florida school shooting, as the accused gunman appeared in court.Nikolas Cruz, charged with killing 17 people, sat silently with his head bowed during a procedural hearing in Fort ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news