Fantasist's Scroll

Fun, Fiction and Strange Things from the Desk of the Fantasist.

1/26/2004

The Ethics of Terraforming

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Is there such a thing?

Well, David Grinspoon thinks there is. In this article on Slate, he questions whether or not we should be going to Mars with the nationalist attitude that is driving our country right now. I have to admit, he raises some interesting points. For one thing, the proponents of Martian terraforming are trying to say that we’ll be conquering Mars the same way we “conquered” the frontier here in America. But, of course, we didn’t do that here. We stole America from Her natives. On Mars, though, we will really be making the frontier.
Right now, Mars is not much more than a ball of rock and dirt and ice. No breathable atmosphere or any real “life” as the layman recognizes it. It will take years to reshape that planet into something that can support life. Well, really, it will take decades, maybe even centuries. In any case, a really, really long time. But, already there are people saying that we, as in Americans, should claim Mars for “ours”. I wonder what they mean? Will we deny the Russians or the Chinese a space base there? How will we control that border when we can’t hardly stem the tide right here on Earth where the borders are relatively well defined?

Well, it’s an interesting and thoughtful article and, of course, a great source of ideas for some science-fiction stories.

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