Kim Stanley Robinson, Green Mars
Interesting quotes from Green Mars:
"'I'm saving these people from their own ridiculous notion of economics, that's what I'm doing! A gift economy is all very well, but it isn't organized enough for our situation. There are critical items that everyone has to have, so people have to give, which is a contradiction, right? So I am trying to work out a rational system. Actually Vlad and Marina are working it out, and I am trying to implement it, which means I get all the grief.'
'And this system...'
'Well, it's a sort of two-track thing, where they can still give all they want, but the necessities are given values and distributed properly. And good god you wouldn't believe some of the arguments I get in. People can be such fools. I try to make sure it all adds up to a stable ecology, like one of Hiroko's systems, with every sanctuary filling its niche and providing its specialty, and what do I get for it? Abuse, that's what I get! Radical abuse. I try to stop potlatching and they call me a robber baron, I try to stop hoarding and they call me a fascist. The fools! What are they going to do, when none of them are self-sufficient, and half of them are crazy paranoid?'"
"We understand the world through paradigms. The change from empty-world economics to full-world economics is a major paradigm shift. Max Planck once said that a new paradigm takes over not when it convinces its opponents, but when its opponents eventually die."
"we're not here to, you know, reproduce Canada"
p234.7 (Sax, Desmond)
"It doesn't make sense. It doesn't take into account the long run."
"They are short-run thinkers."
"But they're going to live a long time! Presumably they'll still be in charge when these policies collapse on them!"
"They may not see it that way. They change jobs a lot up at the top. They try to establish a reputation by building a company very quickly, then get hired upward somewhere else, they try to do it again. It's musical chairs up there."
"It won't matter what chair they're in, it's the whole room that's going to come down!..."
"Some people like to tell others what to do. They like that more than freedom. Hierarchy, you know. And their place in the hierarchy. As long as it's high enough. Everyone bound into their places. It's safer than freedom. And a lot of people are cowards."
"I think it's simply an inability to understand the concept of diminishing returns. As if there can never be too much of a good thing. It's very unrealistic. I mean, there is no process in nature that is constant irrespective of quantity!"
p369.4 (Nadia on eco-economics)
"A lot of people are critiquing Vlad and Marina's original system, including the Swiss and the Bolognese, and they're basically coming around to the conclusion that the gift system that we first used in the underground is not sufficient by itself, because its...
p389.3 (Art pitches the first version of the Dorsa Brevia document)
"One. Martian society will be composed of many different cultures. It is better to think of it as a world rather than a nation. Freedom of religion and cultural practice must be guaranteed. No one culture or group of cultures should be able to dominate the rest."
"Two. Within this framework of diversity, it still must be guaranteed that all individuals on Mars have certain inalienable rights, including the material basics of existence, health care, education, and legal equality."
"Three. The land, air, and water of Mars are in the common stewardship of the human family, and cannot be owned by any individual or group."
"Four. The fruits of an individual's labour belong to the individual, and cannot be appropriated by another individual or group. At the same time, human labour on Mars is part of a communal enterprise, given to the common good. The Martian economic system must reflect both these facts, balancing self-interest with the interests of society at large."
"Five. The metanational order ruling Earth is currently incapable of incorporating the previous two principles, and cannot be applied here. In its place we must enact an economics based on ecological science. The goal of Martian economics is not 'sustainable development'' but a sustainable prosperity for its entire biosphere."
"Six. The Martian landscape itself has certain 'rights of place' which must be honoured. The goal of our environmental alterations should therefore be minimalist and ecopoetic, reflecting the values of the areophany. It is suggested that the goal of environmental alterations be to make only that portion of Mars lower than the five-kilometer contour human-viable. Higher elevations, constituting some thirty percent of the planet, would then remain in something resembling their primeval conditions, existing as natural wilderness zones."
"Seven. The habitation of Mars is a unique historical process, as it is the first inhabitation of another planet by humanity. As such it should be undertaken in the spirit of reverence for this planet and for the scarcity of life in the universe. What we do here will set precedents for further human habitation of the solar system, and will suggest models for the human relationship to Earth's environment as well. Thus Mars occupies a special place in history, and this should be remembered when we make the necessary decisions concerning life here."
1 m3 H202 (peroxide) = 1200 kW.h
(1.5 tons of H202)
Kim Stanley Robinson, Red Mars