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Opinion: Professor Gunter Pauli on the Commercial Exploitation of Space

Professor Gunter Pauli created the Zero emissions research program at the United Nations in 1994. In 1996 this program was converted to the ZERI Foundation (Zero emissions research and initiatives).

Prof Pauli also teaches systems design at Politecnico di Torino at the Faculty of Architecture and the School of Design. Campaigning for a “Blue Economy”, Prof Pauli is advancing the aim of creating 100 million jobs through 100 green innovations.

Here, Professor Pauli gives his opinion on the prospect of the cheap space travel and the exploitation of off-Earth resources, which has been raised by recent innovations in single-stage space travel.

Jules Vernes presented to us the vision of traveling through space.

While so much money and energy from many wise and wealthy people is focused on this proven track I wonder why we neglect the obvious on earth?

Did you know that we can distinguish only 5% of the males from the female mushrooms? And since mushrooms can generate per hectare per year about 500x more protein for human consumption than the most advanced genetically modified crop, I wonder why don’t we simply figure out what we know of plants and animals on Earth?

While this is only one example, it gives an example of how human desire avoids tackling the real challenges.

While there will be enough candidates to fly in outer space at the right price, there are billions of candidates who would prefer to offer food security to their families.

So while I wish everyone a great first flight – I prefer to stay on the ground, pioneering in fields of food security and poverty reduction. 

I share the advice of my great Japanese mentor who said:

“Some people dream to escape reality (on Earth), others dream to change reality (on Earth) forever.”

I am all about changing reality on Earth forever.

About Professor Gunter Pauli

Professor Gunter Pauli
Professor Gunter Pauli created the Zero emissions research program at the United Nations in 1994. In 1996 this program was converted to the ZERI Foundation (Zero emissions research and initiatives). Prof Pauli also teaches systems design at Politecnico di Torino at the Faculty of Architecture and the School of Design. Campaigning for a “Blue Economy”, Prof Pauli is advancing the aim of creating 100 million jobs through 100 green innovations.

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