Aloha – I ran across an interesting story today about why we should colonize Mars.
#1 Survival of our species. Hmmm…. I think that is rather weak. Survival from what? The Sun going Nova? I’m not so sure that Mars survives that one. We’re discovering better deposits of water on moons of Saturn, Jupiter, and the Dwarf Planet Ceres. For survival I think those may be better choices. However, I offer a different #1
#1A – Makes a great retirement community for retirees. With lower gravity, us old folks will feel spry again. Consider how it will reduce the cost of things like hip replacements. That may save enough money from Medicare to launch the entire program.
#2 Discovery of life on Mars. The perspective of discovering life around the Solar System is gaining momentum, but the quality of life is mostly interesting to microbiologists. I’m not that interested in spending my billions to ship microbiologists to Mars. Now sociologists and philosophers might be worth it.
#2A – A better choice, Search for evidence that Barsoom really existed or even exists today. I’d really be interested in meeting John Carter. Plus, they have that great atmosphere generator in the novels. Now that could be valuable.
#3 Improve the quality of life on Earth, okay the idea of technologies and science expanding through such development is undeniable. I’ll give them that, but….
#3A – If we colonize Mars with far right and far left politicians we will improve the quality of life on Earth. Likewise, let every culture that has two multi-millenial wars going on flip a coin and have one side go to Mars and the other stay on Earth. or perhaps simply give Mars to ISIS and let them kill and butcher all other life forms on the planet that are vaguely humanoid. Then surprise them by sending no other life forms :o)
#4 Growing as a species. NIce try. It certainly can grow a very small segment of the Earth’s braintrust, but I don’t think we can generalize on this, however
#4A Put a McDonalds on every corner and get rid of everything but Supersize. That can grow the entire population as a species.
#5 Demonstrate political and economic leadership ROFL
#5A I think a better solution to demonstrating political and economic leadership would occur if:
1. We arrest all newscasters who extort the truth. That would eliminate all current newscasters who drive their political agenda and assume that all people of Earth are really sheep (sadly their efforts suggest that they may be right)
2. Shift to a democracy that is scaled so that we have concentric leadership circles with no person representing more than 5,000 people. This means that we would have communities of 5,000 even within cities of huge populations. Those representatives meet in their city or regional councils and each selects a representative for every 500 such communities. There is no such thing as representing the people, when you’re representing 20 million Californians. Nobody can remember that many individuals.
So there you have it, 5 reasons followed by 5 ‘good’ reasons to colonize Mars. Oops, #5A doesn’t really apply, but then political leadership is an oxymoron and has no means of providing a rational answer.