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John Carter McKnight has a new Spacefaring Web out, one that’s basically a call to arms for space advocacy (unfortunately it isn’t posted at his website yet, so I can’t link to it).

It’s quite a bit different from his usual essays, in that it is much more emotionally charged. I think he makes a lot of good points, chief among them the need for organization as opposed to parochial activism. It’s shocking sometimes to realize that, despite having a powerful industry at our disposal, space advocates have little success in influencing the debate about what that industry should be doing. Perhaps organization is the answer.

Of course, it’s one thing to recognize a problem and quite another to do something about it. McKnight is accurate in his criticism, but doesn’t offer much beyond a suggestion — “organize!” — for fixing the problems he’s drawing attention to. How do we go about changing the situation? How do we organize space advocacy efforts for maximum effect?

This is a debate we should have been having long before the Columbia disaster.

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