Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 03, 2019

The Goddess, The Jade Rabbit And The Magpie Bridge - Chinese Culture On The Far Side Of The Moon

An extraordinary mission by the China National Space Administration helps us to learn a bit of ancient and modern Chinese culture.

Today at 2:26 utc the lunar lander module Chang'e-4 and its six wheel rover Yutu-2 landed on the far side of the moon. They used the Queqiao relay satellite to send us the first ever close range pictures (see below) of the far side of the moon.


The names Chang'e, Yutu and Quegiao have no meaning for people who grew up in 'western' cultures but are well known throughout Asia:

In a very distant past, ten suns had risen together into the skies and scorched the earth, thus causing hardship for the people. The archer Yi shot down nine of them, leaving just one sun, and was given the elixir of immortality as a reward. He did not consume it straight away, but hid it at home, as he did not want to gain immortality without his beloved wife Chang'e. However, while Yi went out hunting, his apprentice Fengmeng broke into his house and tried to force Chang'e to give him the elixir; she refused and drank it herself. Chang'e then flew upwards towards the heavens, choosing the moon as residence. Yi discovered what had transpired and felt sad, so he displayed the fruits and cakes that Chang'e had liked, and gave sacrifices to her.
On mid-autumn day, the full moon night of the eighth lunar month, an open-air altar is set up facing the moon for the worship of Chang'e. New pastries are put on the altar for her to bless. She is said to endow her worshipers with beauty.
Wikipedia, Chang'e

There are classic drawings of Chang'e, but she also plays a prominent role in modern anime.

by phsueh - bigger

Yutu, the jade rabbit, is the companion of Chang'e. He and his mortar can been seen in the full moon. Yutu is pounding the ingredients of the elixir of life for Chang'e.
Wikipedia, Moon rabbit

The Chinese lunar exploration program uses the names of Chang'e and Yutu for its lunar landing modules and the exploration rovers that comes with them. Chang'e-3 and her Yutu-1 rover landed on the near side of the moon on December 14 2013. It was the first lunar landing since 1976.

Earlier today Chang'e-4 autonomously landed on the far site of the moon. This is the first mission ever that touched down on the half of the moon that can not be seen from earth. (The far side of the moon is not dark, but gets the same amount of sunshine as the near side. The "Dark Site of the Moon" is an allusion to lunacy. Pink Floyd mentions do not fit the event.)

Being on the far side of the moon Chang'e-4 can not directly communicate with her lover on earth. A special relay satellite was stationed in the halo orbit some 75,000 kilometer beyond the moon where it can see the far site of the moon as well as earth. Its name is Queqiao or Magpie bridge:

Zhi Nu, the seventh daughter of the goddess of heaven, fell in love with the cow herder Niu Lang. They lived happily for many years. Both were sad when Ziu Nu had to return back to heaven. But the goddess of heaven took pity with the sweethearts and allowed them to be reunited once every year. On this seventh night of the seventh moon, magpies form a bridge with their wings in order that Zhi Nu might cross and meet with her beloved husband. That day (during August) is the Chinese equivalent of Valentines day.
The legend of magpie bridge


After she landed early today Cheng'e-4 took this picture and sent it over the magpie bridge back to her lovers on earth.


The two metal structures at the top of the picture are the ramps the Yutu-2 rover later used to roll down onto the moon's surface.

One of the six wheels of the Yutu-2 rover.

via Andrew Jones - bigger

Yutu-2 on the surface of the moon.

via Cosmic Penguin - bigger

Due to the distance of the communication the delay between a control signal from earth and feedback from the far side of the moon is some 6 seconds. Let's hope jade rabbit will 'mind the gap', i.e. the crater in front of it.

Later on Yutu-2, the jade rabbit, will drill into the surface and collect stones. He will pound them in his mortar and check if they contain the elixir of life.

The elixir of life is of course water. If mankind is ever to colonize the moon it will have to find ways to produce it right there. It is likely that some form of water is available somewhere below the surface of the moon. The geology of the surface will give hints where deeper drilling might be justified. 

Congratulations to China and its space engineers. This is an exceptional mission, the first of its kind, and a great success. It is also a interesting lecture in Chinese culture.

Posted by b on January 3, 2019 at 18:26 UTC | Permalink


thanks b.. fascinating! kudos to the chinese.... i wonder if this has anything to do with the moon cakes in chinatown that i used to buy as a kid??

Posted by: james | Jan 3 2019 18:52 utc | 1

I hope we get some pics underneath the lander to see what kind of blast crater was created by its descent, and if there's any dust or debris on the landing gear. Remember - past photos of lunar landings showed no disturbed areas underneath. The explanation of this anomaly was that in a vacuum, and in low gravity you don't have thrust impacts on matter. How many believe that??

Posted by: Andrew | Jan 3 2019 19:16 utc | 2

One wonders if Queqiao uses any Huawei technology? Apple stock lost another 10% today.

Posted by: dh | Jan 3 2019 19:19 utc | 3

The Chinese have pulled off a great space achievement, and are to be congratulated. That said, I can't help but notice the landing happened at the same time as the New Horizons flyby on New Year's day.

August 28, 2015 NASA’s New Horizons Team Selects Potential Kuiper Belt Flyby Target

New Horizons will perform a series of four maneuvers in late October and early November to set its course toward 2014 MU69 – nicknamed “PT1” (for “Potential Target 1”) – which it expects to reach on January 1, 2019. Any delays from those dates would cost precious fuel and add mission risk.

I doubt if this was an accident.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jan 3 2019 19:36 utc | 4

Just imagine for moment the progress humankind could make in space travel if the US, Russia, China as well as India, the EU, etc. all got together to work on space exploration. We could be sending probes to the surface of Pluto by now.

Posted by: Lysander | Jan 3 2019 19:40 utc | 5

Thanks for the posting b as it follows my interest in astronomy

I have long wondered why the elite chose to back off the US space exploration program after reaching the moon.....follow the money

IMO, if the US would have kept moving forward we would have people on the moon now like we have in the space a minimum

If we make global finance a public utility we can return to having and pursuing this human frontier which I think is so important for our species....AD ASTRA!!!!! To the stars!

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 3 2019 19:44 utc | 6

What wonderful stories B. Thank you. Putting aside all thoughts of the technology and some peoples' competitive response to the landing - think on the mindset of the names selected. Names of lovers, suggesting empathy and loyalty. In other words poetry. It brings to my mind the Russian behavior after the salvation of Palmyra: they sent music! The US sends bombs and broken promises.

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Jan 3 2019 20:09 utc | 7

amazing! b -- you blow my mind.

Posted by: annie | Jan 3 2019 20:14 utc | 8

Thanks for sharing the mythology behind the mission, b. Your coverage is much better than the BBC's:

China says it has successfully landed a robotic spacecraft on the far side of the Moon, the first ever such attempt and landing.

You have to love the classic British condescension with 'says it has'. Guys, they have pictures so I'm pretty sure they REALLY did it. Unlike Russiagate (which the BBC and other outlets share with zero skepticism) this really happened.

Posted by: worldblee | Jan 3 2019 20:19 utc | 9

I am sure China will be able to make water on the moon... they already work with MT Keshe Plasma Technology that is in fact a Space Technology... they know what to do...

Posted by: Bente Petersen | Jan 3 2019 20:19 utc | 10

@Andrew > I hope we get some pics underneath the lander

How do you evaluate your specialized knowledge about gas expansion and pressure build up below adapted rocket nozzles in vacuum? ;)

Posted by: rocketeer | Jan 3 2019 20:33 utc | 11

And on cue, US issues travel advisories for US citizens traveling to China.

Great work by China. The L2 point is interesting. Had read a bit about but thought it was simply a point of neutral or zero gravitational pull. Seeing the diagram of the halo orbit, I am constantly amazed at what scientist or physicists nut out accurately when it comes to space, with China now being first to make use of the L2 point.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 3 2019 21:07 utc | 12

Outstanding, b! China's Mythos is very rich as you've exposed; but as with most things Asian, it's almost totally shunned in the West. China's prestige will continue to rise. This TASS item from 2017 provides some background to Russia/China cooperation on Lunar Exploration, the agreement mentioned was signed in March 2018. This item from yesterday about plasma engine development caught my eye. Judging where Russia and China stand technologically in several important areas, they are well ahead of the Outlaw US Empire, which I deem a good thing.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 3 2019 21:11 utc | 13

lovely folklore...that was conjured in a time when magic was more stable than science. in today's technosphere such enchantment would be considered frivolous by most, and besides, we've split the atom... the sky full of suns envisages a whole new prospect.

Posted by: john | Jan 3 2019 21:25 utc | 14

Hmm - no stars visible in the Moon's dark sky shots. Just like in the US's Moon pics. I suppose those who can't distinguish likely-real conspiracies from likely-loony ones will now tell us that the Chinese are faking it too, and they have no machinery actually up there either... :)

Posted by: Rhisiart Gwilym | Jan 3 2019 21:35 utc | 15

Congratulations, b. In artfully weaving Chinese lore as a backdrop to a spectacular scientific achievement, you proved yourself once again a talented polymath. There is an old adage I used to hear when I was growing up which many here may know which posits. 'if you awaken China, the world will shake'. If this lunar landing is a reflection of portent, the Chinese may be about to shake both spheres. Wishing them all the success that high achieving non-interventionists deserve.

Posted by: metni | Jan 3 2019 21:51 utc | 16

@Rhisiart Gwilym

Not that you're a lunatic, but to those you do address:

Believe me, if the sun is up and there's no atmosphere, that sun shines relentlessly!
Hence for photo's you need short exposures.
The light from stars just has no chance to make an impression on those short exposures.

Posted by: bjd | Jan 3 2019 22:05 utc | 17

Mooncakes taste horrible and no one eats them. I like how Youtu-2 sounds in English, though.

Posted by: Jamie_NYC | Jan 3 2019 22:08 utc | 18

At the heart of Marxist scientific ideas was the awareness that planned industrial systems could lead us from quantitative production to a revolutionary qualitative dimension - in short from the ' industrial to the truly 'scientific ' revolution .
This 'all systems ' approach was in the marrow of Soviet and Maoist perspectives still underpinning some aspects of Russian and Chinese science praxis .

Anyone interested should go to the writings of Irish sage J D Bernal .

Posted by: ashley albanese | Jan 3 2019 22:16 utc | 19

@Posted by: Miss Lacy | Jan 3, 2019 3:09:56 PM | 7

I had the same feeling, reading this story on peace, love and progress, after watching this video of a Siberian hunter rescuing a deer, just made my day....

Meanwhile.... as a gentilece of US led coalition....and Pentagon's interim chief begins work with a priority in mind: "China, China, China"

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 3 2019 22:42 utc | 20

This is an epochal event. And will be understood as such around Africa and Asia, if not in the less enlightened lands.
It is an event on a par with the sputnik launching of 1957 which heralded the beginning of the end of imperialism's pretensions to inevitable hegemony.
It puts an end, except in the minds of madmen-a well represented and influential minority in imperial governing circles- of First Strike strategies. Someone should tell the British government.
It also reminds us that, as ashley suggests at @19, what this demonstrates is the amazing superiority of central planning over the anarchic market championed by speculators in finance and philosophical systems. Seventy years ago China was in ruins, devastated by generations of war and imperialist plunder, its people humiliated and under estimated despite an unmatched cultural heritage, and a record of pioneering technologically. It was, moreover, surrounded by hostile enemies armed to the teeth and determined on the destruction of its revolution. the attacks on Chins were relentless and comprehensive: neither capital nor aid was forthcoming from outside. The PLA's role in defeating Japanese imperialism was rewarded by the Korean war which included systematic biological and chemical attacks, most of them carried out by such units as 731, which surrendered to the US and was taken up and its criminal work developed to the fullest extent.
China, in need of peace got only war on every front- organised by the Empire.
This is a remarkable achievement in which all humanity shares and which augurs well for the immediate future during which it will be of critical urgency for humanity to co-ordinate its resources, intellectual and material, to solve the urgent problems that centuries of unplanned, unrestrained, unconsidered economic growth- guided by greed in the service of waste and luxury, have produced.
It ought not to be forgotten that the broadest shoulders on which China's scientists stand wear Russian epaulettes, just as the flag on the far side of the moon bears a resemblance to that of the Soviet Union. This share in these achievements outlives the Soviet state but it reminds us that the dream it aimed to realise, that of a world of equality and freedom, still lives.
It also serves notice that the era of patent owners gobbling up the gains of social productivity in the form of rents is coming to an end. The idea of intellectual property is a nonsense, a stench in the nostrils of the entire species. All that is is the property of all, and of none more than the unborn whose planet we defile at our peril.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 3 2019 22:53 utc | 21

Lysander @5:

Just imagine for moment the progress humankind could make in space travel if the US, Russia, China as well as India, the EU, etc. all got together to work on space exploration.

And it would be a much better way to spend the trillions that now go to military spending.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 3 2019 22:54 utc | 22

Of course there is no problem to send unmanned probes. Sending men is the problem , especially for long trips, due to cosmic radiation concerns

The solar system is now moving into a region of the galaxy where there are fewer cosmic rays so if you can avoid those put out by the sun on the dark side it may be more feasible

Posted by: Pft | Jan 3 2019 23:04 utc | 23

The Chinese moon landing is an epochal moment like the Sputnik, yes. However, the Lagrange points have been already used by the two Artemis satellites in 2010-11:
However, this does not lower the Chinese achievement by any means, neither it's significance.

Posted by: Kassandra | Jan 3 2019 23:14 utc | 24

China is planning to mine rare minerals; the moon is going to be part of OBOR!

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 4 2019 0:03 utc | 25

The ability of the Chinese people to achieve such feats makes Trump’s recent blackmailing of their government horrific. Although it might be revived under a different name, the Made in China 2025 was one of the two main items on the Xi Jinping platform alongside the Belt and Road. The fact that he was forces to back down shows how much of a bully Trump is with his tactics. As Anglo-Americans we don’t think about it much, but imagine living in a country where foreigners force you to change your legislative programmes and thus undermine your sovereignty. What if Trump’s tax cuts were blocked by the EU, or plans for an American NHS were stopped by Saudi Arabia? It’s a direct attack on the people’s will.

Posted by: Stop Nonsense Known As PayGo | Jan 4 2019 0:06 utc | 26

@ Posted by: Pft | Jan 3, 2019 6:04:25 PM | 23

Of course there is no problem to send unmanned probes. Sending men is the problem , especially for long trips, due to cosmic radiation concerns

Not with soft landing. When China launched the first Jade Rabbit, it was the first time since the USSR did it in 1976 that a probe soft landed on the Moon. To simply send a probe to the infinite or to hard land on something is relatively easy nowadays: NASA has launched many, it's just a matter of patience and money.

To send humans to the Moon (or any other planet) is simply impractical with today's technology: it's too expensive, too pointless, too risky and only superhumans, with years of training and at their apex can be launched (i.e. be astronauts for this purpose).

That means, yes: space colonization still is a pipe dream; sending something the size of a shoebox still requires herculean effort from the creme de la creme of humanity, we're smart, but not that smart.

Posted by: vk | Jan 4 2019 0:24 utc | 27

I know this isn't open thread, but it has to be quoted now, and has a loose relation to the topic.

This op-ed just came out today on the NYT:

Is This the End of the Age of Apple?

But the most interesting thing in the op piece is the sub-headline:

We need the next wave of innovation, and we need it now.

Since 2008, capitalism is stuck in a depression. It remembers 1937, when the American economy showed very timid signs of economic recovery (per indicators) and, by pressure from the American elite, FDR was induced to allow the Fed to raise the interest rates again. The economy went back to recession. At that time, what saved America was WWII -- it is recorded FDR commemorated when the Japanese declared it would attack Pearl Harbor.

Concomitantly, the recent electronics technology was already in an advanced stage of development, and found space to take over with the destruction of WWII. This new technological "revolution" (Kondratiev Cycle) allowed the rise of the Golden Age of Capitalism in the so-called first world countries (1945-1975).

The USA is desperate for a way out of the 2008 depression: it needs a new techonological breakthrough now. All the bets of the capitalist are on AI, nanotechnology and genetics engineering. They think these will trigger a fourth industrial revolution. But, without creative destruction, it won't happen fast enough: the West wants a hot world war: WWIII.

The only thing stopping that are the nukes. That's why the USA is working on breaking MAD (Prompt Global Strike, the rebirth of biological weapons in a facility in Georgia, cyber warfare, trade war, regime change etc. etc.). Time is not on the West's side.

Posted by: vk | Jan 4 2019 0:39 utc | 28

Pft @23--

This item briefly discusses Russian thought on radiation for lunar trips and links to an article discussing the cosmic rays problem you raised. The latter suggests "An artificial electromagnetic shield could reliably shield a crewed spacecraft from cosmic radiation during a flight to Mars," but that seems easier said than done.

Victory Through Peace!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 4 2019 1:03 utc | 29

@28 You're right about the Apple connection. They are in serious trouble and it could have a serious affect on the US economy. But I'll say no more. The stock market is not a high priority here at MOA. We all live in dumpsters.

Posted by: dh | Jan 4 2019 1:18 utc | 30

kubrick is either dead or treman show like living somewhere close too admiral birds little america
the area with ice walls all around bigger than the usa.

the china the russian and especially mason satanists at nasa should give them tax payers sheckles too christopher nolan at least we would get some nice realistic looking shots

the simple facts are from nasa yesterday branson and musk today the green screen is bad the cgi is so basic it makes ed wood movies look like masterpiece.

russia,usa,uk,india and china all are liar nod and wink shaky handy secret society brigade stealing trillions from poor tax paying folks.

van allen papers state clearly man or unmanned the radiation pulses are too strong

as countless dead jap robots can testify in fuckishima electricals canna take gamma rays captaon shes gonna blow

please go on youtube and look at the musk sports car in space so apalling these are goy tests

poor kubrick spent years on his film shots today these grand children of satanists jack parsons and von braun spend a 100 sheckles and a couple of hours and nobody questions
a bit like wt7 free falling

Posted by: stan myers | Jan 4 2019 1:20 utc | 31


5G and iOT will be huge requiring a million antennas and tens of thousands of satellites. Microwaving ones population is a good way to depopulate, with the hardest hit being thev urban poor. Rolling out in 2019 in a few locations

Also the green economy being pushed will create a million jobs for green accountants and economists, not to mention the tax revenue

China will be a big benificiary as well

Posted by: Pft | Jan 4 2019 1:39 utc | 32


Supposedly we did soft landings 50 years ago using sliderules. Not to underestimate the challenges, and congrats to China, but sending a man is the ultimate test. Hopefully they leave more evidence than the US did and provide better video

As for the cost China can just print RMB to pay, most of their space expenses are local


Thanks for the link. Yeah, long trips are the challenge

Posted by: Pft | Jan 4 2019 2:03 utc | 33

What a wonderful way to illustrate China's great feat.
Phra Jan (full/holy moon) is an important part of Asian culture, as is the rabbit in the moon.

Posted by: V | Jan 4 2019 2:08 utc | 34

@ karlof1 #29

Your link speaks of the need for an extremely robust level of protection on the moon. Some folks have suggested the easiest way to get that protection is to go looking for lunar lava tubes.

Finding them would be the tricky part. An NSA-type spy-sat built for the moon would work, but these cost a fortune and the thing would have to be transported all the way to our satellite. I'd suggest something much smaller and cheaper - a camera-carrying spacecraft in a highly elliptical orbit. The DAWN spacecraft ended its days swooping down to within 22 miles of Ceres. With a good camera you can get some decent images at that sort of range.

Getting to Mars is quite another issue. I can comprehend how a magnetic shield might be useful in any particular direction, but don't understand how it could ward off the cosmic rays from anywhere else. So out of pure ignorance I favor passive shielding with a slow boat ride. For this you'd need a good hibernation system for people. Would this also protect the pasengers from the zero-g consequences from the long trip? I don't know.

Upon arrival the human travellers would need accomodations already made for them. So send ahead construction robots to 3D print some dwellings, and then to heap Mars rubble in very deep layers above them. No point of getting Mars alive if you're going to quickly get fried by the same cosmic rays while living in surface shacks.

A better question regarding Mars is this - Why bother going at all? Unless you're a Musk-type willing to abandon Earth and carry away all the super rich folks and their families. And a handful of serfs/servants, of course.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jan 4 2019 2:45 utc | 35

moonies and dere eyes wide shut
say wow well done
know questioning of masons words or claims
show me the proofs
show me the stars show me the real ball earth in an untouched up jpeg
show me the earth as the craft is landing show me the moon surface as the rockets are touching down
why always graphics composites.

this looks super low budget
van allen van allen

the china ignores them belts because the ship uses exoskeleton made of tofu zirconium ceramiks
maybe even tuff enough to land on saturns humming ring
almostcertainly good enough for exploring the piles cleft area on uranus

Posted by: arthur c | Jan 4 2019 3:10 utc | 36

@35 "A better question regarding Mars is this - Why bother going at all? Unless you're a Musk-type willing to abandon Earth and carry away all the super rich folks and their families. And a handful of serfs/servants, of course."

Good question. Speaking as a non-Musk type moving to Mars has no appeal at all. Perhaps if I was wealthy enough to afford a comfortable radiation proof 3D printed dwelling I might consider it. I would need a good Netflix connection. But how would I monitor my wealth back on Earth? And what happens if the serfs revolt?

Posted by: dh | Jan 4 2019 3:15 utc | 37

all a show

Why is everybody so focused on the geopolitical dance between US and its vassal states on one hand and Russia/China/Iran/Syria/etc. on the other while ignoring the fact that they are not only cooperating but are on the same side on issues of space/cosmos in promoting the heliocentric illusionary version of our world, in colluding and hiding all there is about Antarctica? Aren’t we missing the forest because of the trees?

Are you aware about the greater military operations called ‘Dominic” and “Fishbowl” performed by both Russia and the US some years after the first world war, in which they were both shooting nuclear armed rockets into the sky/firmament? I don’t know much of it but I heard of this from different sources and I was completely stunned.

Also, the fact that NASA is a complete bogus organization, created for promoting the heliocentric illusionary version of our world, caught with lies in Virtual Reality techniques while presenting their video materials as real and live imaging. All used in a massive scale of brainwashing all people while cashing in $ billions.

Posted by: miko | Jan 4 2019 3:35 utc | 38

@ dh #37

I don't see any significant problem with having a Lunar or even Martian internet connections. The moon has only a couple of seconds time lag while a one-way radio message to Mars takes about 3 minutes. Unless you were running some kind of research lab, what else could you do? Well, maybe reading.

An explorer could safely drive around a in vehicle with a foot or two of special shielding, but what could he/she do better than a far cheaper robot?

Living full time somewhere else gets into the very difficult issue of gravity. As Science Fiction authors have long recognized, humans would very quickly evolve to handle the lower gee levels. A person would find his weight on the Moon to be 1/6 of Earth's while Mars is in the range of 2/5. IMO natural selection would happen quickly.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jan 4 2019 3:46 utc | 39

...promoting the heliocentric illusionary version of our world...

I've never before seen this sort of troll. My guess would be early teens male - probably Middle School.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jan 4 2019 3:53 utc | 40

The planets and moons that we know of and can conceivably reach, are far more inhospitable to human and most forms of life than the most inhospitable parts of this planet.
The only reason we would set up any sort of colony on these places is mining. Mineral extraction of whatever is not abundant on earth.
Some sort of handy stardust just out at the moon without having to go to mars or wherever.
"The idea of harvesting a clean and efficient form of energy from the Moon has stimulated science fiction and fact in recent decades. Unlike Earth, which is protected by its magnetic field, the Moon has been bombarded with large quantities of Helium-3 by the solar wind. It is thought that this isotope could provide safer nuclear energy in a fusion reactor, since it is not radioactive and would not produce dangerous waste products.

The Apollo programme's own geologist, Harrison Schmidt, has repeatedly made the argument for Helium-3 mining, whilst Gerald Kulcinski at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is another leading proponent. He has created a small reactor at the Fusion Technology Institute, but so far it has not been possible to create the helium fusion reaction with a net power output."

Read about the stuff some time ago. That was just the first link off the search list.
US is in a geo-political race for 'We are the first and the best'
Apollo - putting a man on the moon, although as a by product advanced science, its main aim was to beat the reds to the moon. Since then, the yanks lost interest.

This now reminds me some of what I read of oz gold rush days. One field in particular I remember reading about, was paying reasonable to good money to the diggers, but they heard about another find and all took off for the greener pastures of the new gold field. On finding the grass on the otherside was not greener, many finding nothing, they returned to the goldfield they had left only to find the Chinese who had never left industriously digging up the gold. Created a bit of friction apparently.

Chinese checking out the far side of the moon while US and others flit here there and everywhere very much reminds me of that.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 4 2019 4:24 utc | 42

All this moon talk reminds me of a novel that came out a few years ago called Seveneves. Cool stuff on mining in space, robotics, challenges of cosmic radiation, etc. Not to mention the moon explosion passing through a micro black hole resulting in 7 pieces which over a few years smashed each other to bits before raining down on Earth and creating an inferno that wiped out civilization. Survival of those orbiting Earth was interesting and the seven eves spawned a new human race bred for space

Posted by: Pft | Jan 4 2019 4:35 utc | 43

Not sure that Darwin's concept would allow people to live in space. More likely it would simply be - weakest die first, strongest die last.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 4 2019 4:45 utc | 44

My post @ 42 led to other thoughts. China is not self sufficient in energy. China is noticeably leapfrogging many technologies. I wonder if helium-3 is a major target for China in its space program.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 4 2019 4:49 utc | 45

@21 bevin --- " as ashley suggests at @19, what this demonstrates is the amazing superiority of central planning over the anarchic market championed by speculators in finance and philosophical systems. Seventy years ago China was in ruins..."

I agree that the remarkable rise of China - back up from its lowest point ever, to its historically natural ascendancy - is the product of centralized planning, and a great testament to its efficiency and value. The material accomplishments merely of Mao's tenure are astonishing. Some 10,000 dams were built, and 9 of the greatest 10 in use in China today were built back then.

The One Belt One Road could not be accomplished using "capitalism" because no financial interests could collaborate without competing, sufficient to make such a project work. Big projects are built by central planning, with thousands of people taking part in the planning alone, all organized to the beneficial end. And this is what we see in China today.

The propaganda of capitalism has much to answer for, that we think so poorly of communal effort.

I don't look to capitalism to repair the damage it has done to this world as new generations take their place in the future. But when I see the projects and social benefits created by the USSR and today's Communist China, I am encouraged to think that there may be a chance to restore the world. A nation that thinks as big as China always has could perhaps do it, if anyone could. China will perhaps have to do it, simply to survive, and carry the world on its shoulders too.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 4 2019 4:52 utc | 46

@ Peter AU 1 #42

I think I found an article by Harrison Schmitt discussing Helium 3.

Because the concentration of helium-3 is extremely low, it would be necessary to process large amounts of rock and soil to isolate the material. Digging a patch of lunar surface roughly three-quarters of a square mile to a depth of about 9 ft. should yield about 220 pounds of helium-3--enough to power a city the size of Dallas or Detroit for a year.

In my humble opinion this is plainly silly. So what else has former Astronaut Schmitt been saying?

Harrison Schmitt: in His Words

Don't know if the fellow was always a nutcase, but he sure is now.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jan 4 2019 5:00 utc | 47

When the Communists led by Mao Zedong won the struggle for freedom in 1949, China threw off all its oppressors and ended the Century of Humiliation that had lasted 110 years. From 1839 until that point, China was utterly debilitated with at least 100 million Chinese addicted to opium, caught in the scheme of western imperialism to sell opium to a deliberately addicted and ruined nation, exploiting the dominated country and stripping its silver and precious materials. China had vast amounts of products that western traders wanted to buy but didn't want to pay for - eventually the way was found.

In those 70 years since 1949, China has eliminated famine, grown the largest middle class in the world (I believe), and raised almost all of its 1.3 billion people out of poverty. And it has kept its people safe from invasion and domination. Western propaganda would have us believe that the Chinese people are not free because they are under a Communist system. We will have to find out for ourselves if this is the case or not - nothing in the official west is going to help us learn.

I've been looking for ways to share some of Jeff Brown's scholarship on China without actually having to rewrite pages of his material. Ramin Mazaheri may be one answer, in his 8-part series examining the modern Chinese system, using Brown's modern and accurate work and comparing it with academic and inaccurate work. Two pieces may be useful.

Here Mazaheri examines the nation during Mao's time and the western myths about the Great Leap Forward:
Daring to go beyond Western propaganda on the Great Leap Forward’s famine

And here he offers a brief look at how the Communist Party actually works in China, adding a spicy touch by comparing this with the options we "enjoy" with the corrupt western system of money-driven governance:
Do you prefer the 1% or The Party? (Or: Why China wins)


And congratulations to China for its far-reaching, paradigm-changing success on what appears to be the lighter side of the moon.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 4 2019 5:06 utc | 48

Zachary Smith "Don't know if the fellow was always a nutcase, but he sure is now."

Going by the link, if correct, I would have to agree with you. At the same time, going by your linked article, he seems to be pumping for the fossil fuel industry, ie - a bought nutcase.
Be interesting to see where China goes with this. Perhaps Schmitt's making the argument for Helium-3 mining was before being employed by the oil and coal crew.
The section of the article I quoted, I have read elsewhere in the past. That was just the first off the search list.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 4 2019 5:17 utc | 49

@ Grieved #48

Regarding Ramin Mazaheri, I believe I'll restrict my remarks to saying that fellow has now joined a select group of authors I'll never again knowingly read. Niall Ferguson is another of those who instantly comes to mind.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jan 4 2019 5:26 utc | 50

@ Grieved with the links and commentary about China development....thanks

In the early 70's along with macro-economics I studied long range planning techniques of the day. There were future studies conducted back then that explored planning components like China must be using but efforts to expand the use of such in the US didn't happen. My conjecture about why the West does not publicly study the future anymore is because the cancer of private finance becomes glaringly obvious early on.

That said, I probably would not understand the dynamics of the planning system that China uses but I would like to know how to find out about the creation and instantiation of 13 5-year plans....and counting.

What do you think that China will say to the Western brainwashers that posit that requiring profit in provision of social necessities is necessary and makes "sense"? Which speaks to the power of China executing a space program as a communist country that is going beyond what the for-profit West is doing with ongoing war.

WWIII is not about the ME. It is about conflict between different social system tenets represent by the West and the Not-West. I am ok with The Party if they are transparent and respond to social pressure because the 1% are and do not.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 4 2019 5:57 utc | 51

Thanks b. I appreciate you going to the trouble of putting this event into a relevant historical context.
Soft-landing a rover on the far side of the Moon, on auto-pilot is pretty clever stuff. But slotting a relay satellite into an almost imaginary L2 orbit, to maintain radio contact, seems much cleverer. I've seen the L2 diagram, checked it out on Wiki, and still find it hard to believe or comprehend.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 4 2019 7:04 utc | 52

"Western propaganda would have us believe that the Chinese people are not free because they are under a Communist system. We will have to find out for ourselves if this is the case or not - nothing in the official west is going to help us learn."

Best way to learn is to go there. Far less oversight on their everyday lives than in the west. Less police, traffic cops don't carry guns and are not revenue collectors. Transactions in cash. More mum and dad businesses than in the west.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 4 2019 7:09 utc | 53

This is fairly pedantic, but no, Chang'e has no role, prominent or otherwise, in modern anime. Or much of any anime for that matter. The Japanese, with a few exceptions, prefer to mine their own folklore for story content (with the exceptions usually being Romance of the Three Kingdoms adaptations). That picture is fanart for Smite, a video game made by an American developer about battling gods from various pantheons.

Posted by: Merasmus | Jan 4 2019 8:15 utc | 54

Anyone unconvinced as to why humans should go to the Moon and/or Mars should read Kim Stanley Robinson's 'Mars Trilogy'. Its a fascinating mix of American frontier mythology and Marxist historical materialism (Robinson studied under Frederic Jameson). Tells the story of Mars' society and politics over a millennia, complete with a national liberation movement ('Free Mars'), a workers movement (the 'Bogdanovists') and even environmentalists opposed to the terraforming of Mars (on Mars they are 'Reds' not 'Greens'). To make a very long story short, the social and political possibilities of a whole new world can have profound effects on humanity.

As for the radioation risk, I believe it to be overblown. I'm not a biologist but I am a smoker, so a significant cancer risk is not enough to stop me from doing what helps gives my life meaning, and what could be more meaningful than helping to create a new human society?

Of course there is the risk of Capitalism escaping the earth and eating the universe. The mathematician John Von Neumann envisioned a space probe that upon reaching its destination uses local materials to create copies of itself which carry on to new destinations. He believed such a technology could explore the galaxy over a relatively short time period due to its exponential expansion, but also believed such 'Von Neumann Machines' to be extremely dangerous. I like to think of Capitalism as a kind of economic Von Neumann Machine, devouring humanity and nature to create more and more of itself.

Although it could be dangerous to allow capitalism to escape Earth (the US & Luxembourg have both passed legislation alloing the privatization of Asteroids in contravention of the Outer Space Treaty), space may be big enough for humanify to finally go beyond self replicating $ as a principal of social organization.

Good luck to the Chinese with their new Long March 5 rocket, and its mission to retrieve a sample from the moon. Bring on the Long March 9, which could open up the Moon and Mars to human exploration!

Posted by: Paora | Jan 4 2019 8:59 utc | 55

Thanks b that is really good news. Long life and healthy electrons to all the components of this adventure. Ditto to the latest Mars probe that NASA just landed. It is good to see smart science doing amazing research.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 4 2019 10:30 utc | 56

peterAU1 53

Lee Kuan Yew ran similar planning system for Singapore so it might not be unreasonable to scale up the Singapore results for China over the next 20 years or so.

Posted by: m | Jan 4 2019 11:21 utc | 57

A national vanity project?

Thanks for the explanation of Chinese culture as it relates to the Moon landing as well as the celebration of Chinese scientific achievement…..however, I cannot help but think that while Chinese technological achievement has now caught up with and surpassed that of the West – it is still going very much in the wrong direction – one that dagerously undermines planetary ecology and is therefore unsustainable.

The crisis at the end of this unsustainable process – i.e. China reaching the limits of economic growth just as western capitalist countries are – is not a long way off, but NOW.

Last September Nafeez Ahmed published an article titled “The next financial crash is imminent, and China’s resource crisis could be the trigger. Over three decades, the value of energy China extracts from its domestic oil, gas and coal supplies has plummeted by half.”

Industrial development is underpinned by energy and China is running out of easy and cheap to access fossil fuels as the article documents with studies.(The Belt and Road Project can also be seen as an international strategy to access globally depleting energy, mineral and other resources for China - particularly energy from Central Asia, Iran and Africa...)

Nor will the Chinese transition to so called “Green Energy” be simple.Just like other industrial countries China is finding that wind and solar are not cheap and their intermittency is not easy to cope with - in fact it is costly to "buffer" in a stable grid. This article gives China's experience and is called “The answer my comrade is not blowing in the wind”

In short China as yet lacks scientific answers to some serious problems and will be hit by climate catastrophe like other countries – particularly abrupt climate warming in the Arctic that will have serious implications for world agriculture – where changes in land management to store more carbon in soils is the chief hope of drawing down CO2 to cool the planet and create deeper and richer soils that will cope with serious climate related drought and flooding.

In the light of this, the landing on the moon is arguably a national vanity project that is of little help to anyone.

Posted by: Brian Davey | Jan 4 2019 11:58 utc | 58

This is such a touching story, perfectly abridged!! Thank you.

It brings to my mind, though, that space and space travel is a consistently shifting factual entity where physics and reality conflict. I am not trying to start an FE argument or NASA slapping session but this is massively hard to digest due to the massive amount of CGI and the images they are showing of the surface don't show any landing or thruster impact (our friend in a comment above also mentions this).
All I am saying is that if I had achieved something in 2019, during the era of the cynic, I would leave no room for debate or doubt.

Peace and well wishes to everyone.

Posted by: factilicious! | Jan 4 2019 12:04 utc | 59

Thanks b, the future is clearly in the East, Eurasia all the way. One needs only to go to Shanghai to understand the meaning of it, have been there dozens of times and it is a new city each time you go there. I am funding my 15 yrs old niece on Mandarin, she already speaks 3 languages and said you need one more..Mandarin.

Posted by: Canthama | Jan 4 2019 12:15 utc | 60

i can hear the cheering in Xinjiang and Tibet from here. Han Culture is one thing. The totalitarian Communist Han-Chinese gang in Beijing which touts Adolph's favorite judicial thinker, Schmitt, "known as the "crown jurist of the Third Reich"" is adding nothing to it, even if it is proficient as being good at coming in second.

Posted by: stevelaudig | Jan 4 2019 13:29 utc | 61

@57 m

You're probably aware of this but China accords great honor to Lee Kuan Yew's achievements and inspiration for its own efforts.

This strikes me as an excellent overview from Adam Garrie:
China Honours Singapore Founder Lee Kuan Yew During Celebrations of Deng Xiaoping’s Reforms

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 4 2019 14:46 utc | 63

@51 psychohistorian

You were curious about the Party system and its responsiveness to public input.

What I have learned from Jeff Brown is that China has always run with a strong government at the top, and an array of layers from the local villages up through the administrative entities, all the way to the top. At each stage of input, local level officials may be accused, charged and overthrown from local population pressure. So the concept of the Chinese people overthrowing their rulers is by no means a romantic notion. It's founded in traditional practice. And today, there are 300-500 protests throughout China every day, on a vast range of matters. This is not the sign of a repressed society, but of one that is accustomed to making its voice heard.

Brown illustrates in his book, "China is Communist, Dammit!" how the feedback from China's 1 million villages today finds its way upward through the levels to the ruling committee of China. The idea that China is actually "ruled" by one person in a dictatorial fashion is completely wrong. Rather, China locks itself into a consensual form of dictatorial rule governed ultimately by the masses. Brown calls this the "democratic dictatorship".

I will try to find a source that details the actual workings of this whole system. It's far too much to summarize, and it's profoundly impressive simply as a system, but you have to know all the details of it to see how the nation of China governs itself. The Chinese government is the greatest taker of polls in the world. Trying to find out how China's 1.3 billion people feel about things is of supreme importance to its actions and future planning.

There's no doubt that the Communist Party has held this nation together through some tough times, and I gather that the people for the most part are happy with its performance. China, like Russia, has a wary eye on foreign aggression, and part of its government's job is to safeguard against this. As with Cuba and Iran, we see that these socialist and counter-imperialist nations have all succeeded at performing Job One.


Meanwhile, you were also concerned about the Social Score. Greanville Post keeps an archive of China material and Brown's work. Here's an article by Brown that deals with that controversial score:
China’s public Social Credit System versus the West’s secret Panopticon

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 4 2019 15:15 utc | 64

I need to correct my mistake and put my comment on the previous article.

According to Douglas B Vogt, most of the space exploration by NASA et al, in partiucular the moon landings, were focused on investigation of the conditions or remains on the moon as results the Sun Novas (cyclic repeated outburst of energy). He claims that Sun Novas every 12068 years which makes the planets shift their magnetic fields and create ice ages. When the magnetic shift occur it creates a dramatic shift of the earth climate as the spinning of the planet stop and start spinning in the reverse direction. During the last decades it has been noticed that the magnetic north and south are shifting in an accelerated fashion. This model could explains flooding and sinking of continents etc. in the past. According to him we are at the end of the 12068 year cycle now with only about 28 years left. He offer quite compelling proofs it appears to my mind and it is strange that this is hidden for the general public.
To me it appears that the only way to survive such event would be underground on high altitudes with a many years of food stockpiling. Are there any preparations made one may wounder if this is true? Perhaps is the recent Chinese lunar exploration part of the same mission?

Se also - from 2.40

Posted by: Carloz | Jan 4 2019 15:48 utc | 65

@65 There is no such thing as a "sun nova." Solar flares, coronal mass ejections, sure. But not sun novas. There is no 12,068 year cycle in the geological record. Not for mass extinctions, ice ages, nothing. The 12,068 year thing is basically the time since the Younger Dryas climactic shift, which recent evidence points to be caused by one or more impact events. In investigating this Mr. Vogt, I find that he has a book that seems to blame global warming on the judgement of an imaginary being. Since this is nonsense of the highest order, one might take anything else the man says with a heaping dose of salt. Also worth noting, he devoted an entire book to the discredited myth that the ancient Jews were slaves in Egypt.

Posted by: Mataman | Jan 4 2019 16:46 utc | 66

On lunar mining and human exploration of Mars. During the 1990s, I delved deeply into the various extraterrestrial mining propositions being made and the extremely important aspect of how to provide support for humans camped on the moon or traveling to explore Mars. The hurdles are very daunting and go well beyond protection from harmful radiation, particularly the ability to produce the fundamentals: breathable atmosphere for both humans and plants; water for both humans and plants; nutrients for plants; waste recycling systems; radiation protection for plants, too; energy generation. I was involved with nutritional food services at the time, so I concentrated on the issue of food production. The primary issue is installation of the required infrastructure and initial robotic production of edibles, water and air prior to the arrival of humans. The work required is very complex, and any human construction crew would need to haul all its supporting materials with it, which would be quite costly. Any mining to be done after the completion of the support complex would need to be of something of extreme value and close to non-existent on Earth, which must also somehow be shipped back to Earth.

At the time, things like 3-D printers and other technologies didn't exist. Sure, they help to a degree, but don't really reduce the overall cost and complexity of such a venture. By 1998, I was convinced no private venture would ever be viable due to costs and complexities, and 20 years later, that evaluation still stands. The continuing exploration of our celestial neighbors via robotic probes is sensible as is experimentation performed on orbital space stations by humans. But it would be a million times more sensible to solve the environmental and social problems existing on Earth prior to any attempt at lunar colonization or human exploration of Mars.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 4 2019 17:11 utc | 67


Excellent post.
Thank you.


Stevelaudig 61

Im just waiting for someone to show up with something like this, it never fails.

NObody talks about native American Indians, Iraq, Libya, Syria ...when fukus send up a rocket. Nor Kashmir, NE, when india does it. But they just gotta raise the issue of Tibet./Xinjiang ,....dissidents, blah blah when its China's turn.

Matter of fact, in any thread on China,regardless of the context, in any forum, you can bet somebody like stevelaudig would show up and recite fukus propaganda on Chinese maleficence verbatim,.

They say 5lies are the lands of mushrooms, where everybody is kept in the dark and fed B.S.
all day long.
You can say its also the land of parrots, where everybody is trained to mindlessly rattle off the dear leader's latest admonition.

Garbage in, garbage out.

Posted by: denk | Jan 4 2019 17:11 utc | 68

amazing achievment lets also give a big shout out too all the folks in nasa that came up with all this amazing science and technology this new achievemnt is based on.
it is wondefull that the uk,israel usa,russia,china and india mr musk and sir richard dick lord virgin spaceman branson can all work together in sweet masonic harmony in these regards.
the fermament is indeed a trick dome to breach whatever way you spell it these are great times indeed for satan and his showa.

i say let us next have a united colors of bennetton trip let us get angelina,matt demon and gorge cloney and land a rover on saturns hollywood ring already
only when we all become space cadets can mankind be free of wars

Posted by: crowleigh | Jan 4 2019 17:30 utc | 69

crowleigh 69

In case you havent noticed.
fukus has designated space as its last frontier
.....for FULL SPECTRUM DOMINANCE on air, sea, land and SPACE.

An arm race in space is already on, courtesy

Posted by: denk | Jan 4 2019 17:35 utc | 70

24;Lagrange is a ZZTop song.:)

Posted by: dahoit | Jan 4 2019 17:38 utc | 71

What is China going to mine on the Moon? Silicon and aluminum. Maybe some iron and magnesium. Lots of oxygen and maybe some water too.

"But why?" the doomsayers shriek, "Those things are not valuable enough to go to the Moon for! There would be no profit in it!"

Silly capitalists! Those things are not valuable in and of themselves, but when fed into a highly automated solar panel fabricator, they become something valuable. The Chinese know a little bit about making solar panels these days.

"But they can make all of the solar panels they want on Earth. Why do it on the Moon?"

Because then you have solar panels on the Moon. A panel fabricator operating in near vacuum on the Moon would actually be simpler in many ways than fab facilities on Earth.

"But then the panels are still on the Moon! What good is that?"

Sure, the panels are not terribly useful on the Moon, but the Moon is somewhere really really close to a place where several hundred square kilometers worth of solar panels would be really really valuable.

"Yeah? And where is that, Mr. Smartypants?"



China intends to build massive orbital solar power stations and beam the energy they produce back to Earth using microwaves and/or lasers. These structures will be enormous and mass hundreds of thousands of tons, so building them on Earth and lugging them into space is highly impractical. Lifting big pieces of such structures to geosynchronous orbit from the surface of the Moon is quite manageable, on the other hand. It is just an engineering issue at this point and requires no magical Technology X. The Chinese are remarkably good at engineering and getting better every day.

Once the infrastructure is in place to manufacture and assemble these things China becomes the OPEC of cheap renewable power. After the first few such orbital solar power plants are built, the marginal cost of producing new ones will drop to about the cost of a similar sized coal fired plants and significantly cheaper than nuclear power plants of the same capacity.

Then China says "What environmental crisis were you talking about?" and the world is saved.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 4 2019 19:19 utc | 72

William Gruff @72--

Your suggestion does absolutely zip to mitigate the escalating Climate Crisis that also includes the acidification of the oceans and the resulting threat to the fundamental food chain on which life on Earth depends. Oh, and did you know that iron was made by microorganisms that had yet to evolve prior to the moon's separation from Earth and is thus not present on the moon? Get Lovelock's book about Gaia and Margulis's Microcosmos and educate yourself, please!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 4 2019 20:44 utc | 73

Actually, iron and all heavier elements are created when stars go supernova. When they blow up, all the elements created in their interiors are blasted out into space, and every once in a while, a few iron atoms find their way to the earth (and to other planets, and asteroids, and of course the moon as well) most of them ending up in the earth's molten core.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jan 4 2019 21:55 utc | 74


...iron does exist on the moon.

And as AntiSpin already pointed out, iron is created in stars, not by life.

This is some pretty basic science here.

Posted by: Merasmus | Jan 4 2019 22:32 utc | 75

"also includes the acidification of the oceans and the resulting threat to the fundamental food chain on which life on Earth depends. Oh, and did you know that iron was made by microorganisms..."
Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 4, 2019 3:44:24 PM | 73

Basically microorganisms do not "create" any element. They may separate or create some chemical compositions but no element per se like iron.
Have you heard the expression "we are stardust"? Most lighter elements are created through fusion in stars as explained here:

The heavier elements (I think above iron) are created in stars supernovas.
BTW. some very heavy elements have been only created in lab, so yes, some living beings did create elements contrary to what I said above, but we are not microorganisms, so we can leave it like this.

About ocean acidification and the climate scare: The atmosphere has seen in the past more elevated CO2 then today and all life was fine, it even thrived.
Actually during the ice ages, the CO2 got so depleted that some trees showed signs of CO2 starvation.
CO2 is plants food, without it, plants die. With more CO2 plants thrive.
The Earth is getting old and the CO2 level was slowly going down over the last several million years, probably that is why some plants evolved to better consume CO2 (see C4 versus older C3 plants).
When CO2 reached levels around 180 ppm most C3 plants ceased photosynthesis.

The estimation showed the total biosphere doubled during the Holocene, as of 'now', in comparison with the ice age times (15.000 years ago and more) due to the warmer climate and more CO2 that came from the warming seas.
Let this sink for a moment.

Why do you think that modern indoor farming includes elevated CO2?
"Most indoor growers should have CO2 levels between 800 and 1200 ppm. Some growers have used closer to 1500, but there is a law of diminishing returns at that point; for most people, 1200 is the highest they should go."

Please take the list and check plant by plant, study by study, hundreds of studies:

Carbon Dioxide Fertilization Greening Earth, Study Finds

Not some models, real life study worldwide 1982-2015.
Let this sink in for a moment (again).

The oceans contain more then 40x more CO2 then the atmosphere. Also there are other mechanisms that maintain the current basic pH above 8.
Have a read at the following article, it explains clearly why there is no need to panic for ocean acidification:

Yes, it is posted at watt's up, but I do not ask you to believe the author, but use your brain, look at the arguments and information provided.

Yes we do have problems, we do have pollution.
CO2 is not pollution, not at these ppm, it is plant food. Going after CO2 now is waste of resources.

Posted by: LP | Jan 5 2019 0:24 utc | 76

The moon is a mystery. For USA Americans it is a mystery - like people whom are different from us - are mysteries. For that we should treat the moon in the same way - that we treat other peoples. We should blow it up.

Posted by: fast freddy | Jan 5 2019 1:04 utc | 77

@ Brian Davey #58

In your final link I found this statement:

Without heavy subsidies, the economics of solar and wind still can’t compete with coal, hydro, or even natural gas in some instances.

So far as I can determine, that is completely and totally incorrect. Regarding the "storage" issue, are you unaware that China is building battery factories at an astounding rate? Adding to that, Elon Musk is reported to be planning to build a mega-factory in China. The abundance of Lithium may limit the use of some types of batteries, but be assured there are many other types for non-portable functions.

Here are all the gigafactories that Chinese electric vehicle battery giants are building

China is a very large nation playing catch-up. To immediately get electrcity that country naturally went with tried and true coal. The air polution disaster caused by this has accelerated the drive to get cleaner and cheaper energy. But the standard of living is still growing and despite the astonishing growth of renewables, the coal usage is just now beginning to reach a plateau. Besides,, there is the investment in all those filthy coal plants to consider.

You're old enough to remember when tourists visiting China played magician by showing the local folks instant pictures from Polaroid cameras. They've come a long, long ways, and in my opinion if they have some sort of a financial crisis this will be a temporary issue for them.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jan 5 2019 2:36 utc | 78

Grieved | Jan 4, 2019 10:15:29 AM | 64

Very good brief on China; the veil is slowly lifting for those who want facts.
+1 on the Greanville Post...

Posted by: V | Jan 5 2019 3:01 utc | 79

@ Grieved with the China follow up....thanks!!!

I like the term democratic dictatorship and think it describes the dynamic between benefits from versus responsibilities to society. Those that think that it boxes them in probably don't believe in rule-of-law either.

The Western way is that you have faith that those in charge are working in your interests or understand that you will die fighting them.

It will be interesting to find out more about their experience with what seems to be a mixed meritocracy and "capitalism" social strata. Do the merit folk get as much "press" as the capitalist winners?

What phases will the West go through as it declines? Will it move towards China or totally away until collapse?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 5 2019 3:23 utc | 80

@ Grieved

There is quite an article over at ZH by Gordon Chang:

IMO, there is more than a little bias in that article. But, it likely reflects the West's view of todays China. There are some interesting contrasts, especially concerning China's view of the Westphalian System of nation states.

Posted by: V | Jan 5 2019 4:26 utc | 81

Regard LP post #76

This was so full of nonsense I decided to see if there were other instances.

Yes, there was.

Nothing is heating up dangerously when the sea level is meters lower that in the Roman period. There is no acceleration & no reason for panic.

I don't figure anybody except a paid propagandist would have posted that.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jan 5 2019 4:52 utc | 82

Re Jeff Brown's article from Grieved 54

-*Behind the Great Western Firewall, if you have come across any news about China’s Social Credit System (SCS), it was probably not very flattering. Mainstream propaganda is using all the usual trigger words to elicit within you a Pavlovian revulsion: totalitarian, Orwellian, Big Brother, New World Order, nightmare, disturbing, troubling, dystopia, police state, fascism, abusive, insidious, Panopticon ( – and those are the terms I found in just a few articles. It’s not worth linking them, but if you wish to, just search “(China/Chinese) social credit system/score”. They are all about the same. The West’s propaganda foghorn is blasting away in synchronized, symphonic goosestep.*

Western presstitudes are paid to lie thru their teeth.
What beats me is, they seem to have an army of echo chambers in MOA/UNZ/SAKER, the last bastions of alternate voice.

'China's persecution of xtians',
'1000000 Uighurs kept in gulags'
'China's police state dwarfs the fukus'

Why are all these nonsense repeated verbatim by 'progressives' who oughtta know better ?

I was actually expecting pft/donkey to do their obligatory China bashing in this thread, but apparently they didnt rise up to the occasion, or perhaps beaten to it by that stevelaudig character ???

Posted by: denk | Jan 5 2019 16:02 utc | 83

While China's little robot is crawling over the far side of the Moon, Trump is crawling to Beijing, but not before spouting his usual deluded nonsense. He claims that China is in a weak position and desperate to make a deal, while the US is in a strong position.

The Dow has crashed 5,000 points plus in the last 3 months while Shanghai has held steady. Apple is down 40%+, its market cap down by hundreds of billions of dollars. The US stock market has lost trillions of dollars in the last 3 months.

US agriculture has been hurt very badly by Trump's tariff war. The few thousand jobs created by the Steel and Alu tariffs have been unfortunately negated by the loss of more jobs in metal fab n downstream metal parts production. Rising costs of steel n Alu have alrdy destroyed profit for coys like Ford and GM, and will likely hurt many more smaller US companies.

Last time, Trump had 6 casinos. All went bankrupt. Trump's listed coy, DJT, also went bankrupt. This time he has gambled with other people's lives and money and he is a loser again. If America wants a president to revitalize its jobs and economy, the last person to choose would be Donald Trump. He does talk a good game, I'll give him that- but it's all just talk, no results. And the damage and impact on other people's lives from his foolishness is huge.

China can easily pump stimulus into its economy(they have been deleveraging and tightening since the stimulus to counter the US subprime crisis) to mitigate the damage from the trade war while America at this point, cannot do much. Both countries may suffer from the trade war, but China will suffer less.

The Chinese are not stupid, they know they are in the stronger position now. China will give him very little, but Trump as usual, will pretend he has won an enormous victory.

Posted by: observer | Jan 6 2019 18:05 utc | 84

karlof1@73 How does sourcing humanity's energy needs directly from the biggest fusion reactor in the neighborhood cause Earth's oceans to acidify? This claim you made does not make sense.

I have always looked forward to reading your posts and until now found them very informative, but this outburst of yours on a topic you are clearly not well-versed in has shaken my faith in your analytical abilities. The fact is that solar power is good for humanity and the environment. Solar power collected in orbit is even better. Solar power collected in orbit with the major components of those collectors being manufactured outside Earth's biosphere is even better still. This is so self-evident that I've never had to argue it before. The standard arguments against that I am familiar with are "Too expensive! Not profitable!" and "OMG! Microwave death rays in space! We're all gonna die!", and neither of those arguments impresses the Chinese much. I have no idea how to respond to a claim so wild as "Solar power acidifies the oceans!"

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 7 2019 18:49 utc | 85

More likely it would simply be - weakest die first, strongest die last.
google street view

Posted by: Julie Adams | Jan 22 2019 6:40 utc | 86

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