The “Claim The Moon” White House Petition

Why I did it.”

It’s a dumb reason. He provides reasons why someone might want to claim the moon, but none for why anyone else should pay any heed whatsoever to such a claim.

Even ignoring the fact that it would be a blatant violation of the Outer Space Treaty, there is no traditional or even historical basis on which the nation could claim the entire body, nor is it necessary. Even if we could get an international consensus that off-planet property rights, or even sovereignty claims, are a good thing, we have to establish some criteria for making such claims beyond the fact that we stuck a flag on it four decades ago. Traditional claims, at least in modern times, involve actually occupying and improving the claim. For the U.S. to claim the entire moon without having even bothered to do anything significant on any part of it for almost half a century would rightly be viewed as almost as ludicrous as the Eros claim a few years back. It’s a planet too far.

16 thoughts on “The “Claim The Moon” White House Petition

  1. Mark R. Whittington

    If you had read the petition for comprehension you would have noted that the first step would be to withdraw from the Outer Space Treaty. You will also have noted that I propose just such an occupation.

    Then if you had actually read my essay you would also noted that I do not expect the administration to actually accept the proposal. But if the thing gets 25,000+ signatures, the White House will be forced to respond, garnering some publicity, I hope, for the issues surrounding space property rights and economic development. I choose the claim the moon idea as an attention getting device, though I think it does have certain merit. With you, at least, I have succeeded, though as is your usual practice you have preferred to leap the length of your chain rather than actually think things through. That might have helped, by the way, when you made your own ill-considered space property rights proposal, only to see it shot down in front of God and everyone.

  2. Rand Simberg Post author

    The White House response will be that the Outer Space Treaty is too valuable to withdraw from for such a ridiculous purpose, and that will be the end of it, even if you get the signatures. And I have no “chain” to “leap,” hence never “leap the length of it.” But I understand that the notion that I do is an indispensable part of your fantasy world, like your imaginary friends in the “Internet Rocketeers Club.”

    And if my property-rights proposal was “shot down in front of God and everyone,” where and when did that happen? Was it before or after The New Atlantis ran my latest essay on the subject? Do you think that The New Atlantis is likely to run your ideas on space property rights any time soon?

  3. Mark R. Whittington

    Of course the White House will say that. Getting Obama’s approval was not the point.

    Your proposal was essentially destroyed during your web cast presentation by a space lawyer whose name escapes me, who pointed out how toothless and unproductive the idea was. He favored a slow, painful coming to a consensus by lawyers and diplomats, which will likely be how property rights in space will be formulated.

    I can’t speak for the New Atlantis in regards to your piece, though I am thankful that it published a response I wrote to a military space piece several years back around the time of the Chinese anti sat weapon test.

    1. Rand Simberg Post author

      It was disputed, and debated. Only the clueless would imagine that it was “destroyed.” For something that was “destroyed,” it certainly continues to gather interest.

  4. Karl Hallowell

    Your proposal was essentially destroyed during your web cast presentation by a space lawyer whose name escapes me, who pointed out how toothless and unproductive the idea was.

    It worked for the US in the 19th century. Of course, this proposal is toothless, simply because of two things: no one is doing anything that would generate a claim nor has Rand’s proposal been implemented. But we’re transitioning to an era where people actually can do productive things on other bodies in the Solar System and claims of ownership will happen.

    He favored a slow, painful coming to a consensus by lawyers and diplomats

    Such as the Moon Treaty? If it doesn’t reflect the interests of those actually doing anything in space, then it will be dead on arrival.

  5. Mark R. Whittington

    Rand, when will Rep. Rohrabacher going to offer your proposal as a bill, which I recall you expressed as a hope? Karl, the United States made sovereign claims to the West and other areas backed up by military force. We got into a war with Mexico, as I recall, over Texas joining the Union and wound up with much of the south west, including California. I cannot imagine anyone proposing that – say — property rights be supported by the courts without an enforcement mechanism. As for the Moon Treaty, I agree it is an object lesson in how not to proceed. It is more of a commentary of how silly the Carter administration was than in the virtues of negotiation, which I favor from a position of strength.

  6. Rand Simberg Post author

    Rand, when will Rep. Rohrabacher going to offer your proposal as a bill, which I recall you expressed as a hope?

    We know that your sense of humor was excised at birth, but most present understood that was a joke.

  7. Andrew W

    I do not expect the administration to actually accept the proposal .. I choose the claim the moon idea as an attention getting device,

    Sounds like it’s not to be taken seriously, so it is a sort of a joke.

    See Rand, he does have a sense of humor!

  8. B Lewis

    I don’t give a hoot about the petition one way or the oher.

    I am, however, enjoying the Internet dick-wagging contest.

    This website needs more girls.

  9. ken anthony

    how property rights in space will be formulated

    Not by lawyers here on earth, but let them babble. The formulation is as old as humanity… possession.

    Claiming the entire moon is one of two types of claims… the unreasonable type. Unreasonable claims have the potential of leading to war. Nobody will go to war over reasonable claims and will even support their legality if enough people make them by possession.

    In many cases it’s good to establish legality before an event. In this case, the discussion is so ridiculous that it’s better just to ignore the talk and walk the walk.

  10. B Lewis

    1. Estabish private lunar colony
    2. Declare “Republic of Luna”
    3. Surrender to U.S. Space Strike Force. Accept permanent garrison of troops
    4. ???
    5. PROFIT!

      1. B Lewis

        Yep. If I were Elon Musk, that’s exactly what I’d do. “I, Elon Musk, now declare myself Sovereign of the Grand Duchy of Luna. Any attempt to unseat me will be construed as an act of war, which will be answered by a rain of rock upon the cities of the world courtesy of my mass driver Cosmo Cannon. Come and take it!”

        At that point, I’d just light up a smoke and wait for the ad hoc U.S. Space Marines to arrive and run up Old Glory. “Welcome to the Moon, fellows. I surrender. The bar’s this way.”

        They’d have to stay of course. It wouldn’t do to let the dirty Chinks control the Cosmo Cannon. Net result: permanent manned lunar colony.

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