“SPACE ECONOMIST” MOLLY MACAULEY MURDEREDAugust 12, 2016
This strange story was shared by Ms. K.M., and given our space focus this week, a brief look is in order:
I want to concentrate on the first four paragraphs here:
Molly K. Macauley, a vice president for research at Resources for the Future, a Washington-based think tank that studies environmental and economic policy, died July 8 in Baltimore. She was 59.
She was stabbed while walking her dogs near her home in Baltimore’s Roland Park neighborhood and was taken to a nearby hospital, where she died. According to the Baltimore Sun newspaper, it was the first homicide in the upscale neighborhood since 1998.
“Homicide detectives are continuing to investigate this case,” Baltimore police spokesman Jeremy Silbert told the Sun.
Dr. Macauley was considered a national leader in the field of environmental economics and helped lead research projects on space, renewable energy, new technologies and natural resources. After joining Resources for the Future in 1983, she developed a specialty in linking economics with space science. Her scholarly interests extended to space stations and eliminating debris in space, as well as commercial opportunities associated with space travel.
In a period that has seen the more-than-suspicious deaths of a lawyer who served a class action suit against the Democratic National Committee for obvious pro-Sanders bias, the equally suspicious deaths of Seth Rich and Victor Thorn, the death of Babylon Five actor and talk show host Jerry Doyle in his Vegas home, and the death of newly-appointed US Space commander Major General John Rossi, I cannot help but think that the sad death of this obviously attractive lady might at least be connected with the latter.
There are a number of questionable points in what little facts are related in this article: (1) Ms. Macauley was walking her dogs when she was stabbed. So the first question, as Ms. K.M. pointed out to me, was what happened to the dogs? Their presence, and the violent manner of her death, suggest that whoever did the killing was known to her, since a stranger doing such might have easily been attacked by the dogs trying to defend their mistress.
Concerning those dogs, the Baltimore Sun indicated that they were not small dogs:
At night before going to bed, she walked the couple's two dogs, Wilga, a 71/2-month-old white-and-cream colored wolfhound, and Leo, a dark brown 70-pound Plott hound with a "booming voice. One of the strongest dogs I've ever seen," said Mr. Lasky.
A large 70 pound dog, about which nothing more is said in relation to the murder, raises the stakes, for it does indeed suggest that the murder was known to Dr. Macauley, and perhaps a familiar "scent" to her dogs as well.
(2) Dr. Macauley was linking economics (and therefore, presumably finance) to space issues. And this suggests that Macauley might have run afoul of financial and space interests that did not like where she was going. The question is, where was Dr. Macauley going? A few answers are suggested here:
You'll note her specialties:
Macauley was a valued member of the space policy community for decades and renowned for her expertise on the economics of satellites, especially in the earth observation arena. Her professional portfolio was much broader, however, including the use of economic incentives in environmental regulation, climate and earth science, and recycling and solid waste management. She testified before Congress many times and was the author of more than 80 journal articles, books, and book chapters.
She was Vice President for Research and a Senior Fellow at Resources for the Future, a Washington-based think tank that focuses on the economics of natural resources. She was a past member of the Space Studies Board (SSB) and of the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board (ASEB) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine and served on many of its study committees. She was a member of the steering committee for the ongoing Decadal Survey for Earth Science and Applications from Space at the time of her death.
Earth observation satellites... perhaps Dr. Macauley had "seen something" or learned something she was not supposed to see or learn. Additionally, her focus on the economics of space development and satellites - a specialized field in which she had made a definite mark - suggests that this may have been a prime motivation for the murder. There are the usual theories, including speculation that her murder was racially motivated, but in a period of time that has seen the death of Major General Rossi, I'm not convinced.
There's something here, but the media is being typically short on analysis and facts, and I don't know about you, but that raises my suspicion meter into the red zone. And perhaps, with all the talk of space commercialization, this 2003 paper of Dr. Macauley had something to do with it:
Note what she says on page four:
Among the most controversial operating parameters specified by the commercial license is the spatial resolution, or level of detail, with which the satellite can see the earth. Only military reconnaissance satellites are allowed to have the keenest eye. In the interest of national security,the Department of Defense and the Department of State review commercial license applications. The agencies also review commercial operations to control the flow of information during periods of international crisis and to fulfillunspecified foreign policy obligations that might require the United States to share imagery with other countries. Resolution is an influential factor in the market value of theimages of earth. Just a few years ago, the government limited commercial resolution to one meter (that is, it can distinguish objects of roughly one meter or larger on a side). Industry pressure and competition from foreign commercial earth-observing satellites operating at better resolution led noaa to relax the limit. At present, the highest spatial resolution supplied by U.S. commercial earth-observation satellite is 0.61 meters. But market pressure for even finer resolution continues — a company has recently requested a license for a quarter-meter resolution. At that scale, additional issues arise — like citizens’ right to privacy in their backyards.
See you on the flip side...