Last year I wrote about environmentalists of the future and asked what they'd complain about once we colonized other planets.

What will become of environmentalism in the future? Say we go to Mars and find that there really isn't any life there. Will the greens complain that we're disrupting the planet by building a colony on the empty red sand? Will they whine when we terraform that dead world and attempt to remake it in earth's image? And let's say we're successful in doing so... in fact, we colonize a dozen or so worlds in the next century or two. Will the greens then concede that earth itself has become expendable? There won't really be much need to conserve rainforests on earth if we plant one giant rainforest on some other planet, will there? Oh sure, it might look pretty to keep some parks around the old home planet, but it won't be essential will it? Accumulating trash won't be a problem anymore either once we can just toss it into the sun cheaply and efficiently, or convert it to nuclear power using the Mr. Fusion that satisfies all our energy needs.

One of the main problems I have with environmentalism is that I think it's just a charade. Environmentalists are intellectually dishonest. They proclaim doom and gloom, but their real agenda isn't to protect the earth, it's to hinder humanity.

Via GeekPress I see that the foes of civilization aren't asleep at the wheel. NASA is talking about ways to terraform Mars and make it habitable for humanity, and the human microbes are multiplying furiously.
'The idea of terraforming Mars is extreme, but it is not cranky - that is the truly horrible thing about it,' said Paul Murdin, of the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge. 'If it was just a silly science-fiction notion, you could laugh it off. But the idea is terribly real. That is why it is dreadful. We are mucking up this world at an incredible pace at the same time that we are talking about screwing up another planet.'
Screwing it up how? It's dirt!
It is the risk that terraforming poses to these sorts of organisms that outrages scientists, such as Dr Lisa Pratt, a Nasa astrobiologist based at Indiana University.

'It is very depressing. Before we have even discovered if there is life on Mars - which I am increasingly confident we will find - we are talking about undertaking massive projects that would wipe out all these indigenous lifeforms, all the strange microbes that we hope to find buried in the Martian soil. It is simply ethically wrong.'

If there's life on Mars we should definitely make efforts to find it and study it, but unless it's intelligent life that objects to our colonization I don't think we have any real reason to abandon the planet because of a few bacteria. "Indigenous lifeforms" sounds romantic, but (a) there probably aren't any, and (b) even if there are they're extremely primitive and not any more worthy of ethical consideration than earthly bacteria.
With plants and trees imported from Earth growing and producing oxygen, the atmosphere would become slowly more Earth-like. 'We should get serious about sending life to Mars,' McKay said.

Other scientists remain cautious. 'We now know Mars used to have an atmosphere, but it disappeared for reasons that are still unclear,' said Monica Grady, a planetary scientist at the Natural History Museum, London. 'If we restore Mars's atmosphere, we could easily find it disappeared again. We would have done some devastating things to the planet for a temporary effect. That is certainly not ethical.'

Mars' atmosphere disappeared because the planet doesn't have enough gravity to maintain a heavy atmosphere on its own. It will steadily lose atmospheric gasses even if we terraform it, but on a scale of millions of years. We can add gas far more quickly than it can escape, so for all practical purposes the consideration is irrelevant.

"We would have done some devastating things to the planet for a temporary effect. That is certainly not ethical." Preserving the planet in its current state has moral value? Please explain why you're so certain. Again, it's a ball of dirt. Why do I have a feeling that these same objectionable scientists would all categorize themselves as "pro-choice" and be entirely in favor of destroying other forms of "sub-human" life at will?

It's all a ruse. They don't want to touch Mars until we're sure there's no life on it, but how long will that take? It's a big planet, and even if there's nothing on the surface there could be life underground where it's warmer. Are we supposed to dig up the whole planet to be sure? Bah.



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