China’s Pragmatism v. US Pursuit of World LeadershipPosted: September 29, 2014
Human race’s progress is a history of pursuit and then application of knowledge. Pursuit aims at application to bring about prosperity and wealth.
The undesirable byproduct is the application of knowledge in developing weapons to kill one another and even exterminate the human race.
During the Cold War, the US and Soviet Union vied with each other to spend as much as they can in their space programs mainly for the number-one position in space competition instead of application of the knowledge learnt from space to benefit their peoples.
The heavy financial burdens of space competition and arms race are one of the major causes for the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The US is the first and only country that has sent people to the moon, but that was aimed at obtaining the number one position in the world instead of bringing some benefit from the moon. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US has greatly reduced its space program. Why? It has to use its resourced to maintain its world leadership while lunar exploration has nothing to do with that.
Due to pragmatism, China’s lunar program aims at going to the moon to exploit the resources there. The knowledge the human race has obtained through its lunar program must be applied to bring benefit to the human race.
There is lots of ice and solar energy on the moon that can be exploited in building Chinese colony on the moon. Water can be electrolyzed to generate oxygen to be used in farms to grow food and maintain biological balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the colony. Using the abundant solar energy on the moon, China can exploit the rich mineral resources on the moon.
The helium-3 is especially useful for China as it alone will resolve China’s energy problem forever.
Helium-3 is an isotope of helium, very light in weight. Nuclear fusion of helium-3 is very efficient in generating lots of electricity free of waste. The radiation from the fusion is negligible. Unfortunately, there is almost no helium-3 on earth.
However, there is quite a lot of helium-3 on the moon. It has come from the sun for billions of years in solar wind. As a result the dust on the surface of the moon is filled with helium-3. There must be about 1.1 million tons of helium-3 deposit from the surface to the depth of a few meters on the moon. The electricity generated by 40 tons of helium-3 is equal to the annual consumption of electricity in the United States. Nuclear fusion of helium-3 will greatly reduce world consumption of fossil fuels and greatly enhance human productivity.
In addition, China can establish factories on the moon to produce quite a few things that are very expensive to produce on earth. It will make China’s lunar program a very profitable enterprise.
The United States is interested first of all in sending people to Mars. That will make it the number one in space competition. The US has to incur lots of spending for that but get no economic return at all from it.
In order to be the first to send people to Mars, the US plans to build and test a huge rocket that can carry a load of 77 tons, which may cost $18 billion.
China is also interested in sending people to Mars, but due to its pragmatism, it has first to make its lunar program bring beneficial returns. It will first build factories on the moon to repair and then build spacecrafts. Using the abundant solar energy on the moon, China can electrolyze water to get abundant oxygen and hydrogen as fuel for its space ships. The low temperature on the moon will enable China to liquidize the fuel very easily.
As there is much smaller gravity and no air resistance, the fuel required in sending a space ship to Mars from the moon will be much less than sending a spacecraft to Mars from the earth so that the space ship can be much smaller.
Yesterday, I reblogged China Daily Mail’s article “India and China’s pragmatism to challenge U.S. superpower status” that first published by Foreign Policy.
The article regards China and India as the countries that regard pragmatism as their guiding philosophy and the US as that regards liberalism as the guiding philosophy. In fact, in early 20th century, pragmatism was the dominant philosophy in the US and enabled it to become a superpower. I do not think that the US has given up pragmatism. However, perhaps when there is conflict between pragmatism and liberalism, liberalism prevails so that the contending parties cannot compromise pragmatically in the interest of the country and people.
The most serious problem in failing to be pragmatic is US blind pursuit of the number one position in the world. The above-mentioned plan to send people to Mars is one example.
Another example is US development of too many too advanced aircraft carriers. Its existing ones are already too good in the world for any other countries to build any rival to them. What is the purpose to develop even more advanced ones that are even more expensive to build and maintain? Since the US is facing drastic cuts in its military budget, it shall divert the funds allocated to the carriers to the development of weapons it has urgent need for maintaining its military superiority.
China is also spending a lot in developing its navy, but it is pragmatic in that the navy is developed for defending its interests first of all in the South China Sea; therefore, it has to make great efforts to obtain returns to its investment in navy from the fishery, fish farming, tourism and oil and gas exploitation there.
China has drawn up and been implementing its plan on that. It has built at lease six artificial islands for that and has designed to build a 200,000 fishing and fish farming industrial ship to be stationed at Mischief Reef. If the ship proves successful, China will build quite a few such ships. The fishery and fish farming in the South China Sea with deep clean water and good tropical climate will enable China to produce lots of fish for its huge population.
Source: huanqiu.com “US research and development of a rocket with thrust bigger than 4,000 tons to carry people to Mars” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese”
Source: China Daily Mail “India and China’s pragmatism to challenge U.S. superpower status”
- India and China’s pragmatism to challenge U.S. superpower status dated yesterday
- US World Leadership More Important than Improving Economy? dated July 11, 2014
- China to Get Energy Hegemony by Taking Nuclear Fusion Material from the Moon dated June 19, 2014