So you wanna live on Mars?

 



This redneck mispent a significant portion of his youth devouring science fiction. I pretty much stuck to what is now categorized as 'hard' science fiction, as in based on 'hard' science, ie what we thought we knew about physics and such.  We populated other planets, solar systems, created new societies, fought wars, and when things got tough, we could board a rocket and go somewhere else. Space travel was easy.

About the same time I grew out of sci-fi, the genre evolved into fantasy and science fiction, as in mostly fantasy, elves, dragons and wizards, and magic without science.  Then we got dystopian future fiction, which  is also classified as fantasy and science fiction.  In contrast to the sci fi I grew up with, the dystopian was a future  no one would want to live in.

Looking back with a critical eye, so called hard sci-fi was every bit as fictional and magical as elves and dragons.  When science fiction went to Hollywood it became even more divorced from actual science.  Everywhere our heros and heroines went, unrestrained by any Einsteinian speed limit, all the planets they encountered were earthian dopplegangers including nearby Mars and Venus, there was even a twin earth hiding behind the sun, in the same orbit as regular earth but on the opposite side.

So far we have failed to achieve the future the 1950's and 60's sci fi authors preditcted for the 21st Century. By now we should have colonized the Moon and Mars according to Asimov, Heinlein and  their colleags.  Our primary mode of space travel is more gravity than rocket, not to mention hyper drives powered by dilithium crystals or whatever.  The way we get to the moon and the other planets is by falling, exactly the same way we hit distant things by throwing a rock.

It seems that the people who binged on dystopian sci-fi are now convinced that will be our future. Despite that we are better off than ever before in real terms, we are bombarded by evidence that collapse is imminent.  As I view the headlines we are at risk from autocrats, climate disaster, unaffordable housing, environmental collapse, billionaire oligarchs, population decline (what?) and so on.  The obvious solution, of course, is to leave this surly Earth and move to Mars.  

So we can fuck Mars up as well.  

And, oh yeah, if you are reading this, you are not going to be invited to that party.

Allow me to share some observations that may put your minds at rest.

Re the climate,  stop listening to all the people who avoided science in school, and start listening to people who study climate history, actual events literally recorded in stone, not computer models predicting the future.  (If there was a computer model that could provide accurate predictions of the future, it would have been put to different uses, such as predicting horse racing results.) Geological history informs us that climates change for a wide variety of reasons good and bad, but also that warm is mostly good and cold is mostly bad.   However, if you own seaside property, maybe now would be a good time to sell.

Re unaffordable housing.  All people can't all live in the same place.  For every oversubcribed place there  are more empty place that no one wants, There are more empty places than crowded places because most people want the same thing everyone else wants, that being human nature.   In between the wanted and unwanted are perfectly adequate places where nearly anyone can afford to live.  

Re environmental collapse, if you think things are really bad today, you are young.  If you were my age you would remember when people threw their garbage out of car windows, burned leaves in the street, polluted rivers catching fire, smog warnings to stay indoors because the air outside was too toxic. 

While things are far from perfect today the trend has been to no longer accept pollution and hazardous chemicals.  All around the world trends are more towards restoring environments and preserving natural habitats than destroying them as was the case sixty or more years ago.  The trend toward urbanification and intensive agriculture has also contributed to environmental protection, as rural areas, especially those marginally suited to agriculture are abandoned and allowed to recover their natural habitats.  There are more 100 plus year old people than ever before, average lifespans have increased considerably in the past 100 years.

News articles describing the existential threat to humanity associated with low birth rates are increasing.  If you have been paying attention, the other predicted disasters, such as climate change, housing shortages, too many greedy people etc., are caused by too many people doing bad things, but now we are supposed to worry about not enough people as the population closes in on 8 billion.  How did we manage to get through the, the industrial revolution, colonialism, World War I, the great depression, Worled War II and the atom bomb with a population between and one and two billion?  What are they thinking, how much more could we achieve with even more people?  

Re oligarchs and their entourages, stop listening to them.  They are thieves,  the only reason they are not held accountable for stealing from you is that they have devoted a lot of their wealth to bending the laws that would otherwise constrain them.  Instead of worshipping them shame them.  





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