Amazon's Bezos says his rockets will save humanity from extinction


How can a person be so smart in one thing and so dumb in another? I ask this question in relation to Amazon.com's founder Jeff Bezos, who brilliantly created Amazon.com but is now investing in rockets that he claims will save humanity from impending extinction. Really.

Like Mr. Musk, Mr. Bezos talks about Blue Origin less as a business than as part of a glorious future for humanity, with millions of people living and working off the planet. It is also a path, he asserted, that humanity must pursue if it is to continue to prosper.

His argument was simple: Energy consumption has been rising at 2 or 3 percent a year. Even at that modest rate, within a few centuries, the energy usage would be equal to the energy produced by high-efficiency solar cells covering the entire surface of the planet. “We’ll be using all of the solar energy that impacts the Earth,” he said. “That’s an actual limit.”

What a real dummy. Are his warehouses powered by solar energy? I'll bet they aren't. No, oil, coal, and gas burning plants are still much more efficient and don't require the "entire surface of the planet". And then there is nuclear. Within a 100 years we will master nuclear fusion, and power will become limitless. So for Bezos to say that we will suddenly switch to bulky, inefficient solar power to meet our needs, and that need will cover the entire planet with solar panels, and that will force us to leave the Earth, and that's why we need his little rocket ships, is ridiculous.

Bezos is making his little effort seem so self-important. And I say little because his "rocketships" are only a minor step up from airplanes. They will go into low Earth orbit briefly, for several minutes of zero gravity for tourists, before coming back to Earth. They don't actually go anywhere like the moon or Mars. They go up for a few minutes and come back. Bezos's plan is to fleece celebrities of a few hundred thousand dollars so they can say they were "in space" because they were in zero g for a few oments.

What a revolutionary invention that will change the world!
Or not.



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