How the Quest for Space Endangers Earth
From the New Books Network's Book of the Day Podcast
In the first book to critically assess the major consequences of space activities from their origins in the 1940s to the present and beyond, Daniel Deudney argues in Dark Skies (Oxford University Press, 2020) that the major result of the Space Age has been to increase the likelihood of global nuclear war, a fact conveniently obscured by the failure to recognize that nuclear-armed ballistic missiles are inherently space weapons. The most important practical finding of Space Age science, also rarely emphasized, is that we live on a tiny and fragile planet, teeming with astounding life but surrounded by an utterly inhospitable wilderness stretching at least many trillions of miles in all directions. As Deudney stresses, our focus must be on Earth and nowhere else.
Daniel Deudney is a professor of political science and international relations at Johns Hopkins University. He has written extensively on international theory, political theory and global issues: nuclear, space, environment, and energy. His book Bounding Power: Republican Security from the Polis to the Global Village received the ‘Book of the Decade’ award from the International Studies Association.
John W. Traphagan is a professor in Department of Religious Studies and Program in Human Dimensions of Organizations at the University of Texas at Austin.