Earthward Implications of Cosmic Migration
Brad Fregger

Before I many of you know the person you're sitting next to? You need to know each other; you have a common interest and, hopefully, a common goal, to see, and to be a part of, the beginning of humanity's journey to the stars. Take a moment to introduce yourself and shake hands.

I'm here today to talk about the power of the vision (or image of the future) to shape the future, and to transform the present as well. The power that the vision has to move us toward a future that not only includes the exploration and settlement of outer space, but the preservation of our civilization, the Earth and its ecology.

From other comments presented at this conference I have been affirmed in my belief that if we hope to convince others that we must accept the challenge of the "High Frontier," then we must share our vision of the future that includes humanity in space. The knowledge we have is important, it affirms our vision and tells us of our progress towards it. But, until others accept the vision, until their perception is changed, they will not accept the knowledge. Knowledge not consistent with a present belief system will be ignored.

As space "hobbyists" we delight in discussing the methods and the means for us to be able to live and work in space. If we are of a practical bent, we spend hours contemplating how we can make it happen, what resources we need at our disposal, what "leaps" in technology we need to make it practical, and when it may become feasible to have a working space station, or a self-sufficient moon base, a scientific "outpost" on Mars. If we are dreamers, we see huge space settlements at L5 points, settlements on Mars and exploration vessels to the outer planets, even the beginning of plans for our first trip to the stars. Our plans and dreams may differ in scope, but we agree on one thing, humanity is destined to explore and settle outer is only a matter of time.

Do you wonder when it will happen? How long will it take until we are in space? Will any of us have the chance to see the Earth through the window of a space ship? Will any of us even see the beginning of a serious effort to explore and settle space out to the orbit of our moon, let alone as far as Mars or the asteroid belt? What needs to happen to turn this dream of space into a reality, one that we will live to see realized?

If we are to succeed we will need the financial and emotional commitment of a significant percentage of society? People who are worried about paying the rent, or wondering if they can afford a new car, or concerned about a loved one ill with a disease or injury, others who are speaking out against oil drilling along the Florida coast or the cutting of ancient stands of redwoods in the forests of Northern California...these people are going to have to believe that the space effort is a first level priority, that their deepest concerns will be aided by our efforts in space, that the Earth will be a better place to live as humanity accepts the destiny we believe in and that as we turn toward the stars we will also find solutions to many of the problems that are multiplying on this Earth.

It is my belief that if we hope to convince others to accept and support the challenge of the "high frontier," then we must share our vision of a future that includes not only humanity in space, but a better life for the majority of people who will choose to remain on the Earth. It is not enough for us to share the facts and figures that support the space effort, or to remind those, who have other priorities, what the space effort has already provided in the area of scientific or technological advancement. The facts and figures that we have are important, they affirm our vision and tell us of our progress toward it. But, until others accept the vision, until their perception is changed, they will not hear and they will not understand. One of the truths of the human condition is that knowledge inconsistent with a present belief system is ignored, and all the proof in the world will not convince the person who isn't able, or doesn't want to, to believe.

I have chosen not to use any visual aids today because I want each of you to be free to create for yourself your own visions of the future, free from any conceptions or images I may have.

Now, let's take a moment to remember the future. I want you to remember, or create, within your own mind, your vision of the Apollo legacy. Let's start slowly by looking 20 years ahead. What you're looking for is your most optimistic, challenging vision. Think of specific goals you see accomplished because of the space effort. Because your vision needs to include a place for those whose priorities are focused on the Earth and its needs, consider developments that relate directly to the earth, cheap energy, an end to pollution, or food enough for all, and also developments in space, a working space station, a Martian landing, or mining the moon.

Turn to your new friend or friends around you and take a moment to share what you believe will be the most significant developments that will result from a serious space effort within the next 20 years. Use the index cards and pencils supplied, to list those you believe to be most important. We will collect them and share this collective vision with the decision makers in our society.

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