SPACE AND GLOBAL SECURITY OF MANKIND
The First International Symposium on the theme “Space and the Global Security of Mankind”, organized by the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), the Russian Academy of Astronautics named after K.E. Tsiolkovsky and the International Association “Znanie”, was held in Limassol, Cyprus, in November last year. was held in Limassol, Cyprus, in November last year by the Russian Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and the International Znanie Association. The forum was attended by representatives from 34 countries, including scientists, astronauts, engineers, specialists, heads of national space agencies, leading space enterprises and organizations, ministers, representatives of governments, parliaments and business circles, mayors of cities. The Organizing Committee received over 20 greetings to the participants and guests of the Forum. The Symposium goals and objectives were outlined in the welcome address by the President of the International Association “Znanie”, full member of the International Academy of Astronautics and the Russian Academy of Astronautics named after K.E. Tsiolkovsky at the opening of the Forum. Prof. Efim MALITIKOV, the President of International Association “Knowledge”, full member of International Academy of Astronautics and Russian Academy of Cosmonautics K.E. Tsiolkovsky, excerpts from which we publish.
Facing the challenges of Nature
“There are representatives of 34 countries present in the hall.
We have just watched on the screen a film-impression, which sounded like a requiem, like a demonstration of challenges to humanity, announced by Nature itself. Nature is like people. It feels, sees, hears and reacts. It reacts appropriately and powerfully. With its tragic list of catastrophes, it reminds us of man’s wasteful and irrational activities and his helplessness before its wrath, its belated post factum response to the consequences.
The world needs new Knowledge about the Earth and the Universe, a new vision, an international division of labor, approaches and tools held in its arms by the Earth and the Cosmos, and their combined ecosystems. This is what representatives of so many nations are here for.
It is necessary to bring together and put into action the tools humanity already has, to disseminate knowledge, and then to elevate this algorithm, all possibilities and efforts to the rank of public policy of any country and to the rank of the most important United Nations Program. This is a task of global scale.
Talking about economy, ecology, social sphere, writing them in political declarations and communiqués, we only shake the air. National interests and political ambitions prevail here, which always mentally lag behind the scale of threats.
The nature of the earth does not perceive humanity according to national and boundary pillars, economic or military power. It pays us with man-made and natural cataclysms, exchanging its vulnerability for human sacrifice and loss.
Human civilization, reacting sharply to every fact of violent loss of life, is forced to put up with the outbursts of Nature, like birds, people hide their heads under their wings before the little-predictable threats of the bowels of the Earth and the universe. Because she cannot be opposed, she cannot be judged or punished. She is the Almighty’s judge!
The human heart can hardly bear the death of one person, much less a loved one. However, as the number of deaths increases, a human being, his heart, and all mankind as a whole, automatically turn on the fuses laid down in us by Nature and the instinct of self-preservation. People react to the deaths of hundreds and thousands of people as impassive observers of statistics in an energy-saving nervous and mental mode.
Statistics of losses and expenses of mankind from natural phenomena is as follows: over 30 thousand people perish annually in the world only from earthquakes; economic damage from seismic cataclysms alone amounts to hundreds of billions dollars, which for small countries can reach half of their national wealth.
Subsequently, these countries bear the burden of rebuilding their economies and living standards for decades, lagging behind human civilization in development. Well, all natural and man-made disasters taken together cost mankind an average of more than $1 trillion a year.
In 2008 there were 137 natural and 174 technological disasters in the world, which took the lives of over 240 thousand people. For the last thirty years – more than 2 million. In the coming years, according to experts, the damage from natural and man-made disasters in the world will be commensurate with the growth of the total gross product of the planet.
Forecasting negative phenomena and mitigating their consequences and, most importantly, preserving human lives will depend on taking timely, rather than post factum, action. This requires a consolidated position of the states and governments of the world, the integration of their joint political, scientific and technical efforts. This is not only urgent and archival, but requires an urgent solution.
However, the process of mental change is the most complex and lengthy process in our lives. But despite the tendencies and aspirations of people to erect and redraw borders, humanity remains a single organism of the planet in the face of the challenges of Nature…
The venue of the symposium was not chosen by chance. Hospitable Cyprus is not a space power and therefore, according to the idea of the organizers, the discussion of space and global security problems will be free, unbiased and unprejudiced.
The aim of this symposium is to consider in the broadest possible format the problems of seismic, ecological and geophysical safety, prevention of emergency situations, parrying other global risks and threats of the XXI century. In the light of the prospects of creating the International Global Monitoring Aerospace System (IGMASS), predicting natural and man-made disasters and catastrophes, the concepts of distance education and disaster medicine are being implemented.
Work in the main part of the symposium will be conducted within the framework of 5 main directions: space exploration and global problems of mankind; the predicted form of IGMASS; methods and means of global aerospace monitoring of natural phenomena, emergencies, man-made accidents and disasters; advanced technologies for collection, processing and distribution of monitoring data; the use of IGMASS information resources in addressing global humanitarian problems…
The implementation of the IGMASS project will mark the beginning of a new unified strategy for space exploration.
Our Symposium is actively supported by the UN, national space agencies, the leadership of the Republic of Cyprus. The Organizing Committee has received over two dozen greetings, including those from the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon spoke to me and warmly supported the initiative of the IGMASS project. The UN Global Alliance and the UN Committee on Space joined it.
It is important to note that the cost of implementing the IGMASS project is 100 times lower than the planetary annual damage from all sorts of natural challenges and disasters. The main goal of the project is to save human lives and minimize damage. And that during the last year the project was examined by international astronautical conferences in Korolev, Shanghai, Tunis, Glasgow and Paris. Members of the International Academy of Astronautics from China, Germany, India, Italy, Nigeria, the United States and Tunisia have spoken in favor of the project.”
“Nature feels, sees, hears and reacts,” says E. Malitikov. These words are confirmed by the recent tragedies in Chile, Haiti and Iceland. According to preliminary information, as a result of a volcanic eruption, the total damage only from the air crisis could be several billion euros. According to ITAR-TASS, more than a million British airline passengers have been affected by the flight ban. Ferry boats and high-speed trains “Euro-star” are jammed. A crisis situation is being created in the U.K. food market, which could escalate into panic buying of food by the population. A Lufthansa spokesman admits: “Nothing like this has ever happened before,” but refused to say what the airline’s losses were due to the disaster.
We have unwittingly witnessed yet another natural disaster, which shows the entire world community that there are no limits to nature’s challenges.