Here are a few thoughts on what is in the news.
Just Say No 9/03/15
Isaac Asimov wrote a little story about the proposed expansion of the colony on Mars, with the punch line of the French National Anthem used as a pun. In order for the measure to be passed by the voters the title of the anthem was “Mars Say Yes”.
With this subliminal message rolling around in their minds and the tune broadcast hourly, the result was a forgone conclusion. Expansion won.
Today I have been mulling over some public announcements from Buzz Aldrin and some history of planet Earth. Rather the actions of the life form that live, work, and change the nature of the planet.
First, Buzz gets up in a public forum and announces that we should really aim to get out to Mars and start colonizing it. This is to be done to celebrate the 70th anniversary of his landing on our sister planetoid the moon.
What gall. We should spend billions or trillions we can’t afford to put a couple of men out there in lethal conditions, and start messing up another celestial body?
This is all for the “advancement of science”? What BS!
Let me count the ways why we should not.
In the first place colonizing Mars or the moon will not in any way alleviates the press of population here on earth. If we plan on destroying our dear blue marble, then this little fairy tale may have some use.
So far we are trying very hard to destroy ourselves through science, but there will always be remnants of tribes hidden away in the Malay jungle and the South Bronx.
The record here on earth clearly shows how we will treat any new planet conquest. We will defile it. Before you start denying this little truth, just think of our own examples. The primeval forests of Greece and Europe are long gone. Mount Everest is piled high with tons of garbage left along the route to the top. Our oceans are teeming with plastic that will not disappear ever! Wars ruin the landscape every hour, logging, mining, and sludge ponds pollute our rivers and destroy the natural habitat of animals too numerous to count.
Clearly, exploration means destruction. This destruction has been going on from the time mankind has been able to fashion the tools to cut, slash, burn, burrow, and kill each other.
So now we have our eyes on outer space.
Let us look at near space, and what lies just on the edge of our own atmosphere. From all the space vehicles, rockets, space station building there is a line of garbage circling our planet.
To get any further from near orbit, we have to plan a circuit to dodge the various items that circle us: from lost tools and gloves to pieces of burnt out rockets. This costs money.
Where are we as a group of ambitious space travelers going to get the money?
After we burnt the oil to power our vehicles, we saw that we had damaged our atmosphere with massive amounts of carbon dioxide. Then we saw that this heating produced terrific new storms that threaten populations and property to the tune of bankruptcy.
By messing up our own planet we proved we are not capable of being good stewards of the land. How does this history justify spending trillions on travel to another planet to start all over again?
What would we gain? There will be blood in this effort and the price may be too high to pay.
Does one success justify further effort? All this space stuff is the result of man’s curiosity and drive to conquer the unknown. We have done it over and over here on earth, but with mixed results.
We explore the ocean and artic to drill for oil. We hastily work without due safety precautions and flood our shores with goop that destroys lives and livelihoods. This escaped petroleum will never be cleaned up, but passed on into the fish to poison the environment further.
What if we calculated what a Mars expedition would cost and then put that money aside to start working on cleaning up our environment, and rectify the sins of our forefathers?
What a concept. It might be too late for us on earth to have a decent habitat, but it is not too late for Mars, which has only a few robots in charge of messing it up.
So for Mars colonization- Just Say No!