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 »

How Europe's heroin capital solved its overdose crisis
A decade ago, Portugal had a heroin problem. It decided to deal with it by decriminalizing drug use and focusing on harm reduction and treatment. A CBC News special report looks at what lessons the country’s experiment holds for Canada’s own opioid crisis.
Trump's threat to withhold sanctuary city funds blocked by U.S. federal judge video
A U.S. federal judge on Tuesday blocked President Donald Trump's attempt to withhold funding from "sanctuary cities" that do not co-operate with U.S. immigration officials, saying the president has no authority to attach new conditions to federal spending.
Q & A Margaret Evans on why South Sudan's famine will continue 'for a long time to come' audio
In the past month the situation in South Sudan has gotten even worse. The CBC's Margaret Evans was in the capital city Juba.
more »

Canada »

Crash victim's court award for surrogacy fees believed to be a 1st in Canada
Mikaela Wilhelmson receives precedent-setting $100,000 award to be used for the future cost of surrogacy after tragic accident.
CBC Investigates 'I want someone to take my pain': Woman set on fire by husband denied home insurance payout video
Wendy Soczek won her fight for survival after her husband intentionally set her on fire back in 2010. But earlier this month, she lost her legal fight for a payout from her insurance company to fix her home.
259,010 eligible to vote in Conservative leadership race
The Conservative Party has announced the total number of members who will be eligible to cast a ballot in the May 27 leadership vote.
more »

Politics »

Wilbur Ross says Canada is 'dumping lumber,' as Ottawa vows to push back video
The U.S. commerce secretary says the White House wanted to get the softwood lumber dispute with Canada out of the way before NAFTA renegotiations began, appearing to blame Canada for not resolving the issue before countervailing duties of up to 24 per cent hit Canadian imports.
259,010 eligible to vote in Conservative leadership race
The Conservative Party has announced the total number of members who will be eligible to cast a ballot in the May 27 leadership vote.
Liberals repeal Conservative immigrant residency requirement targeting marriage fraud
The Liberal government is repealing a measure brought in by the Conservatives to revoke permanent residency, and possibly deport, immigrants who don't continue to live with their sponsoring spouses for two years.
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»

Bachelor star Chris Soules jailed after deadly Iowa crash
Chris Soules, an Iowa farmer who starred on The Bachelor two years ago, was arrested Tuesday on a charge of causing a deadly accident and leaving the scene.
Drake named world's most popular music artist in 2016
Drake was the world's most popular recording artist in 2016, as the growth of music streaming gave global music sales their biggest boost in 20 years.
Night Trap, controversial horror game from the '90s, set for a re-release
Night Trap, an infamous video game whose controversial content helped pave the way for an industry-standard ratings system, is coming back in a remastered release to celebrate its 25th anniversary.
more »

Technology & Science »

Facebook facing criticism after Thai man kills daughter live
A Thai man filmed himself killing his 11-month-old daughter in two video clips posted on Facebook before committing suicide, police said on Tuesday.
Q&A Say what? How a Canadian company can clone your voice
Computer voices are about to get a lot more convincing. A new Canadian startup says it can clone your voice and make you say anything.
Fiat Chrysler expands Google self-driving car fleet to 500
​Fiat Chrysler and Google for the first time will offer rides to the public in the self-driving vehicles they are building under an expanding partnership, with Google expanding its fleet to 500 Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans.
more »

Money »

Trump plans to slash U.S. corporate tax rate to 15% video
President Donald Trump plans to stick with his campaign pledge to slash the corporate tax rate from 35 per cent to 15 per cent, but the dramatic cut raises a problematic question for the White House: How can he deliver the "massive" tax cut he promised without blowing the budget?
Billy Bee and Doyon honey sold in Canada to be made in Canada, too
The company that owns the Billy Bee and Doyon honey brands says it will start using only Canadian honey for both products in Canada this year.
Rent control measures could lead some Ontario condo investors to sell: report
New rent control measures unveiled last week by the Ontario government could push some small investors out of the condominium market, according to a new report.
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]
McDavid prepares to go head-to-head with Ducks agitator Kesler video
What is Connor McDavid's reward for helping the Oilers dispose of San Jose in his first-ever Stanley Cup playoff series? Another dose of NHL irritant Ryan Kesler and the big and heavy Anaheim Ducks in Round 2, starting Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. ET.
Raptors' DeRozan says 'heated' team meeting just a lovers' spat
After a disastrous Game 3 playoff loss in Milwaukee, the Toronto Raptors cleared the air in what forward DeMarre Carroll called a "heated film session between coaches and players."
Ex-Jay Thames bashing his way into Brewers' record book
There has been no adjustment period necessary for Milwaukee's Eric Thames, the bushy-bearded first baseman in his first season back in the majors after three years playing ball in South Korea.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »