“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?