Better use of money

Humans have made giant strides in space exploration and this is something to be proud of. But while we celebrate our achievements, we need to think about the millions who are dying of disease and starvation.

In trying to show off their power, many leaders neglect the poor - both in their own country and abroad. I agree that dreams drive us forward. But when life is being threatened, we need to adopt a down-to-earth approach. When the earth is suffering because of climate change, starvation, economic crises and wars, how can we give attention to other planets which are far away from us?

To save our planet, we should use some of the money spent on space exploration to help developing countries raise their people's living standards and eliminate poverty.

In the award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, former American vice-president and Nobel Prize-winner Al Gore emphasises the importance of making the right choice. We should decide what our right choice is. Otherwise, we will destroy ourselves.

Gloria So Man-ting, Kit Sam Lam Bing Yim Secondary School

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Gloria. Those are thought-provoking words. It is always hard to understand how nations spend money on seemingly unimportant things when other people are dying. This has been a major criticism levelled at communist countries who scrambled to join the space race while there were many things which needed their attention at grassroots level. But as long as they were under threat from other countries they had to do what was necessary to meet that threat and survive. That sort of competition is still alive and well among nations. Whether it's putting money into weapons, or putting money into space, each nation does what it has to do to preserve its people from a bigger threat.

The payoff is that many technological advances have been made in space that have civilian use. Does that even the scales? Perhaps other readers would like to comment. If you want to join the discussion, go to 'Over to You' > 'YP Forum'.

Susan, Editor