Fossil Fuel Critic Changes Tune When Offered Spot on First Private Flight to the Moon

Mankind might soon head back to the moon. Last week, eight artists and creatives were announced as the crew members for a private flight around the moon, according to Silicon Republic. Irish photographer Rhiannon Adam was among those selected for the fuel-intensive dearMoon mission, whether or not her opposition to fossil fuels would dictate otherwise. The mission is being bankrolled by Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, also known as MZ. In 2018, Maezawa purchased all the seats aboard a SpaceX rocket for the circumlunar flight, according to the dearMoon website. In 2021, he announced that he would be choosing a few crew members from across the world to join him on the dearMoon mission, the first civilian trip to the moon. The flight had been planned for next year, but it remains to be seen when it will take place, according to SpaceNews. Including a pair of alternates, 10 people were chosen for the mission. Adam beat out a million applicants to get this historic chance, Silicon Republic reported. “I spend a lot of my life working with very remote communities, and it felt like a natural thing to do to apply to go to space and explore the most remote community ever, which would be us in space,” she said, according to NPR. Adam, a photographic artist, works between the United Kingdom and the United States and focuses on “research-based, long-form social documentary projects,” according to Silicon Republic.
Those projects include a collection of photos called “The Rift” focused on fracking in the U.K. According to the U.K.’s Daily Mail, Adam told the British Journal of Photography in 2018, “Right now I am sitting in London during one of the hottest summers on record: if there has ever been a time when climate change seems more apparent, it is now.” However, the concept of strapping into the type of ship that can burn fuel at 2 million times the rate of an average family car, according to NASA, didn’t strike her as a problem. Nor, apparently, did the environmental toll of such missions. The BBC reported in July that according to researchers, “black carbon emissions will more than double after just an additional three years of space tourism launches, and that particles emitted by rockets are almost 500 times more efficient at holding heat in the atmosphere than all other sources of soot combined, resulting in an enhanced warming climate effect.” When asked about her choice to go on this trip, especially in terms of environmental impact, Adam told The Telegraph that the mission would help her “reflect on some of these issues in a deeper way.” “Naturally, I’ve thought about these things,” Adam said, “but I think we also have to remember that space has a long legacy of actually founding research with climate change.” [firefly_poll] “It is this completely out-of-this-world experience, no pun intended, and actually being able to create work in space allows us to reflect on some of these issues in a deeper way, by being able to gaze back at the Earth and see it in its entirety,” she said. Adam went on to say: “I’ve thought about it, but I actually think the positives outweigh the negatives on this.” While that is certainly an interesting take on things. The chance to look at Earth and “see it in its entirety” might not outweigh the staggering amount of fuel expenditure required to gain that perspective for a very limited number of people. It’s alright to seize the opportunity of a lifetime sitting in front of you. It’s not alright to fail to acknowledge the incredible dichotomy between what you say and what you do. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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