Now let’s try to put a positive spin on the “We are going to kill Bambi” post earlier.
To do so I should first address what has always been a matter of great bewilderment to me. A few years ago I began attempts to solicit support amongst the space advocates, who are so numerous and influential in the scientific community, for terraforming Mars as an alternative living space for humanity.
While the rank and file of the Mars Society was receptive to this idea, the leadership, and Robert Zubrin in particular, were not open to the idea at all. Zubrin has total control over that organization and his resistance was especially pronounced. What seemed to me an obvious plus for the Mars society’s supposed goal, was anathema for so much as consideration by it’s president. If I understood him correctly, he viewed the only acceptable reason to explore Mars was the scientific goal of finding out what was out there, and the main reason for involving humans at all was their efficiency in attaining information. Robots will, according to my understanding of Zubrin, never be even close to humans insofar as being able to explore distant venues.
I have far less faith in humanity’s desire to know what is out there. Given crises at home I think there is no reason, at all, to think the average human is going to give an fword what is out there. As I see it, unless terraforming Mars is viewed as a possible solution to the crisis that climate change promises to become, there will be no interest in exploring space at all. Thereafter there will be no money, or at least not enough. But that is not how the Mars Society, so long as Zubrin controls it, is going to see it.
So here’s the positive spin. If population growth is directly tied to climate change and if we cannot gain control of population growth–which appears obvious to me–then the only logical endpoint which involves humans at all, is one that includes terraforming somewhere off this planet.
Finally! I have found a direct tie-in to what I’ve been advocating all along. Now all that is left is the argument for our ability to kill everything. Can climate change kill everything? Why not?
One final thought. I am a big believer in science and the scientific community. Yet there are at least three areas in which I am more than a little skeptical. The first is the big bang. To me the whole thing seems based on the assumption that red phase shift is caused by the equivalent of a Doppler effect put out by light waves as they move toward us. In view of the many other bizarre phenomena this assumption has led to, I think the whole phenomena should be reexamined. The second and third points of my skepticism are more directly related to my thesis; the first is the common thread that seems so often to run amongst the scientific community of belief that technology is capable of dealing with the effects of climate change. The second is the apparent doubt that we can kill all living things on the planet.
The first seems to fly in the face of the obvious: technology is precisely our biggest problem. That this planet used to be heaven seems to be more obvious to me than to most people. All I can think is that they are too enamored with the idea they should never have to smell their own poop. But maybe that’s just me. Surely the least one can notice is that technological solutions always result, in the long run, in bigger problems than the original problem they were designed to solve.
As for the second, are we to ignore Mars? Virtually everything we know about that planet tells us that it used to be very much alive but now is dead. No life seems to have survived. Climate change is that kind of threat.
And merrily we role along.