Saturday, February 05, 2005

The Next Place for Democracy to Flourish

Great news for those worried about overpoplation and environmental degradation...

The best way to make Mars habitable would be to inject synthetic greenhouse gases into its atmosphere, researchers said Thursday.

The stuff could be shipped to Mars or manufactured there.

Scientists and science-fiction authors have long pondered terraforming Mars, melting the vast stores of ice in its polar caps to create an environment suitable for humans. The topic is highly controversial.

Some think earthlings have no right to mess with the climate of another planet. Others see Mars as a refuge for people who might need to flee this world as conditions deteriorate. Another argument holds that Mars was likely warmer and wetter in its distant past, and it might have harbored life, so bringing it back to a previous state makes sense.

Among the ideas for how to warm Mars: sprinkling stuff near the poles that would absorb more sunlight; or placing large mirrors in orbit around the planet to reflect more sunlight onto it.
The ethics of invading another planet, in my opinion, depend on our need for survival, and whether we're affecting another living being. Last I checked, we haven't discovered anyone or thing living on Mars, and we haven't even set foot there, so I think we can put this decision on the list of ones far off in the future.

Although if W. suggested this idea, the protests would probably start tomorrow about American interplanetary imperialism.

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