Moon Ownership: Buy Me to the Moon

If you can buy house in the metaverse, why not on the moon? The celestial body has hosted visitors, plays an important role in the geopolitics of the earth, and may be home to countless mineral treasures. Traffic jams, collisions and debris all indicate that outer space is facing some of the problems that planet earth is facing. High time, the Adam Smith Institute neo-liberal calculation, to consider privatization.

To put it mildly, this is a long shot. As everything stands, the moon – like other celestial bodies – cannot be usurped by any sovereign or militia; according to the Outer Space Treaty, it is the “province of all mankind”. Changing that will require international consensus and a sizable change of mind for a world that is grappling with earthly borders and reimagining globalization.

An informative image comparing the diameter, surface area, and distance of the Moon and Earth

Almost every country has ambitions for the moon but big forces come from the US, Russia and China, a nasty set of opponents at the best of times. Increasingly, space is in the sights of individuals amassing the world’s wealth: Elon Musk, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Virgin founder Richard Branson, among others. That suggests a shift in motives, from national pride to financial incentives. The global space economy was worth around £270 billion in 2019 and is expected to nearly double to £490 billion by the end of the decade.

Column chart showing the growing space economy by showing billions of dollars in global revenue from 2009 to 2020

There will also be losers, from an engraving district allotted with parcels to modern equivalents of 16th-century colonists. Imagine a sovereign nation controlling more than one line gas pipes but also the whole communication. England estimated Blocking access to global positioning satellite systems for just five days could cost the country £5.2 billion. It should also be considered that the leading trio have vastly different opinions on both property and human rights.

Rebecca Lowe, the author of the paper, proposes to solve this problem with temporary and conditional ownership of the plots. Owners, like long-term tenants, cannot pass on their parcels of land from generation to generation.

Since it is not possible to pay the rent for the man on the moon, a charity will take the money and redistribute it to areas of common interest such as conservation, such as scientific endeavors.

A lot of reviewers see this as moon blocks being sold locally fromagerie. But it is precisely because humanity has created such an earth-engraved hash function that this is a debate worth starting.

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