Great crime

Sun.Star Baguio - - OPINION -

“For ev­ery great for­tune there is a great crime.” -Honore de Balzac O say that some­thing is wrong with our world is a gross un­der­state­ment. Re­al­ity ac­tu­ally paints some­thing very wrong in the world of hu­mans.

So­cially con­scious peo­ple have long pointed to the bil­lions of dol­lars spent by rich and pow­er­ful na­tions for state-of-the art weaponry and killing ma­chines when mil­lions of hu­mans live in home­less, hun­gry, sick, and ig­no­rant mis­ery.

A re­cent de­vel­op­ment jarred my con­scious­ness back to this anom­aly. A start up com­pany, Orion Span, is work­ing “to put its lux­ury space ho­tel Aurora Sta­tion into or­bit in 2021, to be­gin re­ceiv­ing guests in 2022.” Com­pa­nies like Vir­gin Ga­lac­tic and Blue Ori­gin have long been de­vel­op­ing trans­ports for space tourists.

Orion Span fig­ures that tourists who ride th­ese trans­ports will need a place to stay while tour­ing other plan­ets in outer space. It is not dif­fi­cult to imag­ine that the cost alone of de­vel­op­ing

Ts­pace trans­ports and of build­ing lux­ury space ho­tels will be off the charts. But off or not, both will def­i­nitely stand in stark con­trast to the foot-or-an­i­mal-pow­ered trans­ports mil­lions of the world’s poor use to go to and from their tents, mud huts, shanties, and caves or holes in the ground. But here comes the shocker.

The cost of stay­ing in that ho­tel is a jaw-drop­ping $9.5 mil­lion per per­son for 12 days. And that does not in­clude the equally stag­ger­ing cost of rid­ing a lux­ury space shut­tle to and from the space ho­tel.

Space trans­ports and ho­tels can only be de­vel­oped and built by ex­ploit­ing and de­plet­ing the earth’s re­sources to the max­i­mum and at the ex­pense of other peo­ple’s needs.

It won’t sur­prise me ei­ther if those who can af­ford to tour the uni­verse and stay in lux­ury space ho­tels are peo­ple who make their bil­lions from man­u­fac­tur­ing and sell­ing weapons of mass de­struc­tion or from huge en­ter­prises that ex­ploit the re­sources of mother earth to the point of killing her.

Would this be the great crime be­hind their great for­tune that Balzac speaks of? We are a poor coun­try and not a party to this mad­ness. But we do have 30 mil­lion of the world’s home­less, hun­gry, sick and ig­no­rant poor and our min­eral re­sources have all but been de­pleted by de­struc­tive min­ing.

Our seas and rivers are suf­fo­cat­ing in plas­tics and pol­luted by un­con­trolled run-offs of un­treated waste to our seas, lakes and rivers. Our for­est cover is all but gone to the lux­ury homes and fur­ni­ture of the rich… and, of course but for­giv­ably so, to shanties and fire­wood of the poor.

Would this be the great crime be­hind the great for­tune of the few rich among us? And would our si­lence on their great crime be our own great crime be­hind our great mis­for­tune?

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