An economic think tank has brought a new proposition and people are not here for it.
In a paper titled “Space Invaders: Property Rights on the Moon” published by the Adam Smith Institute (or ASI, named for the British philosopher known for claiming that free markets are guided by an “invisible hand”), economist Rebecca Lowe argues that the Moon should be split up among the nations of Earth, which would then rent or sell them to boost the economy.
This idea has been mocked online.
Lowe understands that the ownership of space property is currently “outlawed by long-standing international treaty,” a reference to the United Nations’ Outer Space Treaty (OST) of 1967.
Lowe states in the paper that as commercial space travel becomes more common, so too should lunar real estate.
The idea would be to portion the Moon off in a scheme that sounds a lot like the Berlin Conference that split up the African continent among European nations in 1884. It will be the responsibility of each government to figure out how to make the sale of their plot of moon land fair. This will be done through “tenders, shareholder schemes, other market mechanisms, lotteries, or various types of state-determined allocation.”
It is still unclear who would oversee portioning off lunar property rights, though Lowe does admit dozens of pages of property theory later that the scheme is built on individual nations “[competing] against each other for plots of land on the Moon.”
It is stated that if this happens, it will almost certainly result in controversy. It is also not known which parts of the moon are valuable and how much.