A Big Picture

I would like you to take a moment to think about something. Imagine that we’re actually the first. The first species to have the knowledge and power to provide real stewardship of our world. The first species out of the hundreds of billions of galaxies, stars, and planets, to break free of their world and, see it from the outside. The first too travel to other planets and leave their solar system.
Everything that our imaginations have and or could have ever possibly think of is nothing compared to what the future of humans may hold. Blinded by our own mortality, unable or unwilling to fully embrace and work for a future that we will never see. What are we doing with this gift? Endless wars over resources, territory, religious beliefs and skin color, allow massive inequality, injustice, and despair. As far fetched as it may seem, we may actually be alone in the Universe. If it’s even remotely true, don’t we owe it to future generations to do better?

Can Mike Pence Actually Help Save Humanity?

I read a couple of different articles this morning, via Google News. By the time I had finished them, I came away feeling like maybe, just maybe, Mike Pence may actually play a role in the saving of humanity.

Full disclosure, Vice President Mike Pence is one of my least favorite people. I find his policies to be regressive, out of touch and punitive. That and I believe that religion has no place in leading our country.

Back to the articles. The first is from Fox News discussing how the newly discovered, dying planet may shed some light on the fate of our own planet. When, in about 5–6 billion years from now, our Sun will eventually, and violently, go from a yellow dwarf star to a white dwarf star. The inner solar system will be wiped out in the process, including the Earth.

However, during the process, Mars will get pushed out further and will likely survive the transition. I may be more of a realist than an optimist but, I am hopeful that our civilization will continue to evolve, survive and thrive, long into the future. On to the next.

Destroyed ‘past Earth’ reveals our apocalyptic future, study says

A terrifying new study may have provided a window into Earth’s ultimate fate by looking at a newly discovered dying planet nearly 400 light years away. The study, published in Science, shows that the chunk of the unnamed dead planet (known as a “planetesimal”) has a metal core and is circling the white dwarf star, known as SDSS J122859.93+104032.9, once every two hours.

The second article comes from Ars Technica, in regards to a recent speech given by VP Mike Pence. Where he has charged NASA with ratcheting up our plans of returning to the Moon. Moving the goal post from 2028 to 2024. The news was received by the aerospace community with a healthy and understandable level of skepticism. Having previously been let down by Republican administrations in the past.

Regardless of Pence’s reasoning for charging NASA with halving the timeline, it’s a win in my book. Even if for some godforsaken reason, we are the only intelligent species in the Universe, doesn’t that make our mission of expansion and exploration even more important?

The sooner we get to the Moon and then Mars, the sooner that we’ll be one step closer to ensuring the long-term survival of our species. And, who knows, those four years could very well help to determine our success.

Here’s why NASA’s audacious return to the Moon just might work

Speaking in front of a high-fidelity model of the Apollo program’s Lunar Module spacecraft, Vice President Mike Pence charged NASA with accelerating its Moon plans last week. Instead of 2028, Pence wanted boots on the ground four years earlier, before the end of 2024.

An Open Question To NASA & Other Space Agencies

First, thank you for taking the time to read this. While reading the Business Insider article regarding India “decommissioning” one of their satellites, with a missile and the dangerous space debris associated with it.

Half way through I started to think about how this adds to an already present and increasing problem circling our planet. I had a thought. 

Can a satellite equipped with an electromagnet be put into orbit? Where the magnet can be activated and deactivated for short bursts, pulling in more and more debris, eventually resulting in a “snowball” effect, leaving a larger mass to manage.

Really interested what you think about this and whether or not it would be a viable idea. 

Thanks again,
Jeff Torres

@UNOOSA
United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs

@NASA

'A terrible, terrible thing': NASA said India's satellite destruction created so much space junk it now threatens the safety of the International Space Station https://t.co/vsrTGvc3gw

— Catherine Rampell (@crampell) April 3, 2019

Democratic Candidates Refuse to Vote On The GND

#WednesdayWisdom

Apparently, #WeThePeople have failed to make it clear to our representatives, our #thoughts regarding #ClimateChange. We take the threat of climate change seriously and it’s affects that will negatively impact all of our futures.

We’re counting on them to implement #ClimateActionNOW to mitigate those negative effects. @AOC’s #GreenNewDeal resolution is, thus far, the closest thing to a serious proposal offered up by any representative or candidate for office. 

It’s bad enough that we have to face off against oil and gas lobbyists but, now we find ourselves having to fight our representatives as well.

Please, contact your representatives and let them know that you want them to fight for us, our future and our children’s futures.

3,000 Americans died in Hurricane María. The Midwest is drowning as we speak. 100s of Flint families were pumped w/ poisoned water & our water infrastructure is imperiled across the country.

GOP thinks this is a joke.

They choose to laugh+delay.
We choose to lead.#GreenNewDeal https://t.co/FWO2bvx0wD

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 27, 2019

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

While reading about the recent standoff between India & Pakistan and I couldn’t help but too think, “This is why we need to get our shit together here at home in the US. We need to lead by example and unfortunately, we are. Our rhetoric is always peace and restraint but, when it comes down to our policies, it’s strike first and then again and again. 

As an American, my interpretation of what it is we are supposed to be is, that shining beacon on the hill, the melting pot of the world, the home of democracy. But, what we seem to do in practice is to hunt for resources & secure them at all costs. We are a nation up in arms over other governments interfering with the 2016 election and yet we’ve allowed our own government to impose extreme “interventions” for decades. Completely over-throwing governments, pulverizing cities, “building” democracies.

I’m of the opinion that we need to completely reshape our democracy into that of what we’ve been preaching we are. For the last two centuries, we’ve been “faking it, till we make it”, have let corruption to form deep roots and that shit’s just not going to cut it anymore. We’re at the precipice of where and how humans will proceed into the future. Will we create a civil society that actually cares for one another, having each other’s backs or, will continue with the philosophy of “he who dies with the most, wins”?

The Incrementalists Are Coming, The Incrementalists Are Coming

The Incrementalists Are Coming, The Incrementalists Are Coming

For all of those who encourage incrementalism, saying things like, “These things take time”, “That’s not how these things work” or “Sometimes you’ve got go sideways to find a new way forward”. Those things are prudent and sound it’s true but, then plans need to be made and actions implemented. 

How far sideways do we have to go before realizing we’re going the wrong way? We’ve known about the dangers of climate change for the last 50 years. Our healthcare prices have continued to soar higher & higher, becoming less & less attainable. We’ve seen that coming for what, three or so decades? Not too mention our crumbling infrastructure.

We’ve allowed our “Representatives” to kick the can, further and further down the road. Well, the end of the road is in sight and there’s a giant wall in the near distance. 

The time has passed, there are plans (GND, Medicare Fol All) that can start to be implemented and now is not the time for incrementalism. Politicians will stand up on their soap boxes preaching austerity and how sacrifices must be made when it comes policies that affect #WeThePeople. All the while giving tax cuts, breaks, incentives to huge businesses and their wealthy donors. #EnoughIsEnough #YearOfThePeople2020

The US has a choice: a just, livable, renewable energy future—or the road to climate catastrophe. The outcome depends on what social movements (read: all of us!) do in the next 2 years.

Read @NaomiAKlein's crucial piece on the #GreenNewDeal battle ahead: https://t.co/S2TXiAVxS2 pic.twitter.com/rdNY8yEeqn

— 350 dot org (@350) February 15, 2019

Retired astronaut Mark Kelly running for U.S. Senate as Democrat to take on McSally

Retired astronaut Mark Kelly running for U.S. Senate as a Democrat to take on McSally

As reported by the Arizona Republic, former Astronaut, who spent a year in orbit above the Earth, and Navy combat veteran Mark Kelly, the husband of former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, announced his newest mission to, run as a Democrat against Arizona Senator Martha McSally. Kelly plans on making stronger gun control a key issue in his campaign bid. But, first things first and he is currently focusing on fundraising. Within 24 hours of his announcement he’s raised more than 1.2 million, he seems to be off to a good start.

My next mission… #FullSpeedAhead #ForArizona pic.twitter.com/5E36z7aztH

— Mark Kelly (@ShuttleCDRKelly) February 12, 2019