Such is the state of advanced capitalism: we can't pay our bills, but China's on the moon. In fairness, the Chinese government is doing humanity a favour. The race to populate space has been staggeringly slow, and the idea that someone would finally think to scan below the moon's surface for precious minerals is rather moving. For so long, the moon had appeared to us as merely a dull, lifeless wodge of dust and space-shit. To think of it as being radiantly packed with precious minerals is actually quite romantic. One can imagine poems being written about it. It gets better. Apparently, the substance sought is helium-3, an isotope of the element that could potentially replace oil and gas as our energy generators. Not only is the moon redeemed, but the earth is saved. It takes a lot to make this cynic weep, but I'm seriously waxing lachrymose now. The question is, why haven't the moon's resources been thoroughly plundered by now? Why hasn't it provided us with the energy necessary to colonise the rest of space? I'll tell you why: it's because capitalism is weak and timid. Read more at theguardian.com.
The auction has been closed.