Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

The excess of space tourism

by Saleem Khan, CBC News Online

The Blogs in Space post earlier this week clearly begged for a humorous Pigs in Space reference but it would have been a forced. Leave it to the opinionated writers at the oldest continuously running magazine in the United States to put it out there – and not in a nice way.

The writers at the Nation pull no punches. In a post to the magazine's blog, Richard Kim figuratively tears a strip from billionaire space tourist Charles Simonyi, mocking his extravagant lifestyle and lambasting him – and others like him – for failing to use their wealth in loftier pursuits.

Simonyi … paid $20 million to be escorted to the Kazakh steppes, packed into a Russian Soyuz rocket and blasted towards the international space station. En route, he'll enjoy a meal of roasted quail, duck breast confit with capers, shredded chicken parmentier and rice pudding with candied fruit -- all carefully selected by his girlfriend, Martha Stewart. (Martha, whatever happened to astronaut ice cream and Tang?) No word yet on the threadcount of his sheets or if there's 24-hour concierge service in orbit.

He continues:

Simonyi's spending habits are a window into how the world's wealthiest citizens consume and contribute.…For each act of noblesse oblige, there's an extravagance. In Simonyi's case, not only is he the 5th space tourist ever, he also owns the world's 39th largest yacht, which is so big that one could, as Power and Motoryacht Magazine tell us, "easily mistake her for a military vessel."

If the rich and superrich gave away at morally responsible and entirely reasonable rates …wealthy Americans could generate $808 billion [US] annually for global development -- six times more than what the UN estimates it needs to meet its Millennium Development Goals and 16 times more than the shortfall between what's needed and what donor nations currently contribute.

But that might mean giving up duck confit in outer space.

Ouch. Maybe someone should tell Bill Gates and Richard Branson about this.

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

Post a Comment

Disclaimer:

Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published, and those that are published will not be edited. But all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Note: Due to volume there will be a delay before your comment is processed. Your comment will go through even if you leave this page immediately afterwards.

Privacy Policy | Submissions Policy

Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

World »

Gaza conflict: Israeli cabinet mulls offensive in closed-door meeting video
An Israeli defence official says the Security Cabinet is meeting to discuss international ceasefire efforts, but also the option of expanding its eight-day-old ground operation in Gaza.
Updated Air Algerie Flight AH5017 crash: No survivors, French president says video
All 116 people on board were killed when an Air Algerie plane crashed in northern Mali yesterday, according to French President Francois Hollande. Four of the five Canadians on board were from the same Quebec family.
Gaza suburbs in rubble as Israeli bombardment continues video
Israel says it is doing all it can to avoid civilian casualties in its bombardment of Gaza, but the number of dead and injured there continues to grow, and the view on the ground is pretty bleak, Derek Stoffel reports.
more »

Canada »

Vegetarian or flexitarian: How much meat do you really want to give up? video
In an evolving food world of health-conscious consumers, a vegetarian butcher shop in Toronto has found an unexpected following — vegetarians who haven't completely given up meat.
Steve Adsley survives stroke by drinking toilet water for 7 days video
A 62-year-old man from Dawson Creek, B.C., who survived a stroke in his washroom by drinking toilet water for seven days, is hoping his story will help others avoid a similar situation.
Air Algerie Flight AH5017: Mamadou Zoungrana, of Gatineau, believes family was on board video
A Gatineau resident believes his wife and children were on Air Algerie Flight AH5017 that is presumed to have crashed over northern Mali.
more »

Politics »

'Preventing poverty' not a valid goal for tax purposes, CRA tells Oxfam Canada
The Canada Revenue Agency has told a well-known charity that it can no longer try to prevent poverty around the world if it wants to keep its charitable status for tax purposes. It can only alleviate poverty — because preventing poverty might benefit people who are not already poor.
Air Algerie Flight AH5017: Mamadou Zoungrana, of Gatineau, believes family was on board video
A Gatineau resident believes his wife and children were on Air Algerie Flight AH5017 that is presumed to have crashed over northern Mali.
Updated N.L. loses Upper Churchill bid in Quebec court
A Quebec court has dismissed the latest bid from Newfoundland and Labrador to redefine the ever-controversial Upper Churchill contract, something that has caused sharp divisions between the two provinces for more than four decades.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

FILM REVIEW: Scarlett Johansson's Lucy is missing something video
Luc Besson's new film Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman, is in theatres this weekend. Not only is it ridiculous, it's ridiculously ambitious, says CBC film critic Eli Glasner.
Orphan Black to become a comic book
The hit Canadian sci-fi fantasy show Orphan Black will make the leap to comic book pages next year.
Virtual reality stunts a big hit on first day of San Diego Comic-Con
Fans at 2014 Comic-Con International get the chance to track X-Men mutants, pilot Pacific Rim Jaegers and scale the Game of Thrones Wall using Oculus Rift virtual reality technology.
more »

Technology & Science »

Arctic oil spills likely to spread across borders: study
A major oil spill in Canada's western Arctic would likely spread quickly and foul oceans around Alaska, and possibly as far west as Russia.
World's biggest aquatic insect claimed by China
An insect with huge horn-like jaws and a wingspan similar to a sparrow's has been reported by Chinese state media as the largest aquatic insect in the world. A similar creature that's almost as big lives in Quebec.
Vegetarian or flexitarian: How much meat do you really want to give up? video
In an evolving food world of health-conscious consumers, a vegetarian butcher shop in Toronto has found an unexpected following — vegetarians who haven't completely given up meat.
more »

Money »

Analysis Big box bullies: Discount pricing squeezes small suppliers: Dianne Buckner
Is Target Canada behaving like a bully, in telling suppliers it wants a two per cent discount on the prices they charge the struggling chain?
Vegetarian or flexitarian: How much meat do you really want to give up? video
In an evolving food world of health-conscious consumers, a vegetarian butcher shop in Toronto has found an unexpected following — vegetarians who haven't completely given up meat.
Barack Obama slams tax inversions by U.S. companies
U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday hammered U.S. companies that avoid federal taxes by shifting their tax domiciles overseas in deals known as "inversions" and called on Congress to pass a bill to end the practice.
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Live Commonwealth Games: Day 2 from Glasgow video
Watch live action from the Commonwealth Games as swimming, track cycling, weightlifting, gymnastics and much more take place on Day 2.
Commonwealth Games: How Canada did on Day 1 video
A recap of the top moments for Canadian athletes on the opening day of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, including a pair of gold medals.
Jason Statham: Actor, hero, Commonwealth Games diver
You likely only know Jason Statham as the brooding action movie that specializes in vehicular mayhem. But that wasn't his first career choice.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »