DEMAREST: Why should we migrate to Mars

It has always been an attempt of people to spread our lives to every corner of this blue and green ball that we call home. Our ancestors millions of years ago lived in savanna East Africa, but they were looking for land outside their own home.

While this was brought about by game, climate change and the escape of enemies, the departure is largely due to the strange and exploratory nature of mankind combined with our primary desire to survive and prosper.

But today, as we have come to live in every little corner of the world, many are looking to the stars for our next destination. Much ado has been done on the settlement of Mars so late.

Since the time of Ray Bradbury ‘s “The Martian Chronicles,” the idea of ​​people one day living on the red planet has been an interesting feature in science fiction. Fast forward to today, the preview has grown closer and closer to reality with Elon Musk company SpaceX developing the Starship rocket and planning for its launch on tour to Mars, probably as early as 2024.

While fortune is so great in a time and place where rampant poverty and income inequality are such a widespread issue raising questions about Musk’s personal character – that’s a completely different debate for a day between -different. The fact remains that he is a progressive man who works to bring to life humanity’s long-term view of conquering space.

Whatever his motivations, I see his pursuit of exploration and the abode of our neighbor in the wise solar system. “Settlement” gets a bad reputation, and rightly so. It has destroyed countless nations and peoples of their culture and dignity. However, in the context of an infertile neighboring planet, I think this is largely an issue. As far as we know, he has no life, and no ability to sustain life.

By settling there, we would not destroy any people or animals, other than that which we would bring in. This migration would have nothing to do with the conquest or spread of culture and everything to do with survival as a species. It is no secret that we have completely destroyed and exploited our destroyed planet.

Since the mid-18th century, the industrial revolution and burning of fossil fuels has significantly increased greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, in the Earth’s atmosphere. I remember this phenomenon being described as “global warming” in my youth, especially by Vice President Al Gore in his documentary, “The Inconvenient Truth.”

We all know now by the definition “climate change.” His connections may be more mysterious and, by your definition, more ominous, but even those who assume it to be true (which 100 percent of the population is sadly not) are not clinging to the full extent of it. It’s not just a process that will soon bring an eternal summer.

Instead, it is a death knell for the planet and mankind as a whole. Warmer weather allows the spread of deadly tropical diseases. The coronavirus infection (COVID-19), unfortunately, may have been little indication of its potential. Melting of ice and glaciers will lead to massive sea level rise, flooding many low-lying areas around the world, destroying millions of people and destroying their homes.

This melting also creates a feedback loop. Ice reflects sunlight back into space. Without this ice, more sunlight will remain on the Earth, which will melt the ice faster. Extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, droughts, cyclones and snowstorms are becoming more common, causing severe damage to property and people alike.

We saw this in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast. Forest deaths cause many animals to lose their habitats and eventually become extinct, not to mention the destruction of the large oxygen-producing organisms that make up their trees and foliage. harboring. In the oceans, coral swellings and ocean acidification prevent the smallest plankton from surviving, affecting the entire food chain.

A major event unfolds, affecting everything living on this planet today, ourselves included. The weakest part about this fact is that much of this destruction is already happening, irreversible, and unlikely to change any time soon. We have sown the seeds of death and destruction, and I complain about the conflict and despair that this will bring us into the rest of this century.

The promotion of a for-profit business is hardly lost by any legal or ethical requirement to save our home, and the back pressure is against it, no matter how noble it may be, sadly.

At the same time, the Earth’s crust is moving at an accelerated pace. I do not like to say that there is no hope in saving this planet. Instead, to ensure the survival of the human race, we must turn to the fourth planet in the solar system. We have to make it our home.

The conditions for survival will certainly be much more difficult than anything man has ever lived. We are the result of billions of years of changing and adapting to the conditions on this planet, as are every other form of life we ​​see today.

Plucking and moving into an alien, unstable world with completely different conditions from anything we are used to may seem like an unstoppable attempt to overcome ideas. inevitable. In my opinion, that is entirely correct.

This will not be easy, but it is definitely needed. To make the red planet our home, we need to terraform it. In other words, we have to make it look like Earth. We need to create a sense of oxygen so that we can breathe.

We need to introduce a water cycle until the rain and snow fall, giving life to the vegetation we need to cover the planet and create oxygen. Most importantly, climate needs to be warm enough to sustain an ecosystem that is capable of sustaining life.

In stark contrast to our current understanding of our home planet, we need to incorporate greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Mars has an average surface temperature of -81 degrees Fahrenheit, which is comparable to the winter temperatures of our most uninhabited continent, Antarctica.

The carbon dioxide emission factories that have been killing the Earth will be crucial to capturing warmth and sunlight on this bare red ball. While the distance from the sun could leave the planet a bit chilly, I would prefer a winter house to a summer grave. The waters of our world sustain all life, and we must repeat that on Mars as well.

We know that Mars has frozen water at the north and south poles. This is good news, as transporting water between planets is expensive and difficult. I couldn’t imagine the logical nightmare of incorporating enough to create a whole ocean.

Melting the ice caps may be a means of wetting the dry landscape. However, given that this logistics proves feasible, there may not be enough water to create a large body of water to support an entire ecosystem.

Much of the planet’s northern hemisphere is low-lying compared to the southern hemisphere, which seems to make the land a perfect base for ocean. If there is not enough water in the ice caps to form this ocean, the settlers have to create a way to synthesize water on a large scale. The red planet needs a feeling of breathable air. For that, we need photosynthesis-capable organisms.

Considering the planet’s distance from the sun, this process may be much more difficult to complete. Like water, the synthesis of oxygen may need to be supplemented by artificial means. Eventually, the vegetation will grow to a point where it will be able to sustain an atmosphere. At that time, we will have whole forests and lush green fields. Reporting the systems that sustain the Earth is not an easy task.

We have a broad understanding of how our planet works, but we have never done the gargantuan job of copying these systems and creating them from scratch on a bare canvas of a planet. “Mars Makeover” is not just a vanity project, but the biggest migration we will ever see and the beginning of a truly safe haven for mankind. Let’s turn the red trash into a blue and green paradise.

Kenji Demarest is a young school of the School of Arts and Sciences that excels in history and political science and mining in South Asian studies. His column, “Kickin ‘it Back with Kenji,” runs every Tuesday.

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