Would you volunteer for a one-way trip to Mars? | The Tylt
Would you volunteer for a one-way trip to Mars?
Humans must go to Mars in order to survive an extinction-level disaster. Catastrophic events regularly happen to the planet we live on, and it can happen with little forewarning. Colonizing Mars give humans a backup in case something were to happen to Earth.
‘I think there is a strong humanitarian argument for making life multi-planetary,’ he told me, ‘in order to safeguard the existence of humanity in the event that something catastrophic were to happen, in which case being poor or having a disease would be irrelevant, because humanity would be extinct. It would be like, “Good news, the problems of poverty and disease have been solved, but the bad news is there aren’t any humans left.”’
Critics say there are more existential issues on Earth we should fix first—like climate change. Colonizing Mars would be a gargantuan effort which would require a huge investment of resources and political will. It makes more sense to save the planet we have rather than creating a hypothetical backup for humanity.
While the idea of a trip to space or landing on the Mars is all very exciting – though it’s -90F and covered with dust – I can’t help think that perhaps we’d all do better if we kept our feet on the ground. In September, the world passed the symbolic 400ppm carbon threshold; scientists say carbon dioxide levels are unlikely to return below this during our lifetimes. The last time there was this much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was about 3m years ago when modern humans didn’t exist. We’re living in a new and unpredictable world.
The world is facing a very real climate crisis, and yet some of the best minds of our generation our focusing their efforts on getting to Mars. When we do eventually get there, who knows what the state of our planet will be? Our efforts to explore the universe may no longer be a giant leap for mankind, but a step back for Earth.