“ Indigenous peoples, in North America and around the world, have learned to care for the world they are a part of…” I’m not sure it is a good point: there were mass extinctions of native fauna when Amerinds first colonised North America over 10,000 years ago, and there is substantial evidence that indigenous Australians rendered the Australian mega-fauna extinct when they arrived in Australia over 40,000 years ago. There is no evidence outside of hippies’ minds that indigenous people were somehow “in tune” with their environment: in reality their lives were nasty, brutish and short. Your own info-graphic shows how much things have improved in just the last 200 years: can you imagine how bad human life would have been 10,000 years ago?

Why go to Mars when it is so good on Earth?

You mention woolly mammoths and sabre-tooth tigers: the sheer number of woolly mammoths found flash-frozen in Russia indicates that it was climate change rather than human predation that killed off the Mammoths, but I accept the “blame” for the extinction of the Sabre-toothed Tiger: it was us or them: you cannot tolerate a killing machine that carries off your women and children for food, living just beyond your settlement. If the Sabre-toothed Tiger and the Dire Wolf survived today, that would only be because humanity had not.

On one hand you fear humans have caused Climate Change, while on the other point out that earlier Climate Change caused humanity to evolve on the savannas of Africa. Who caused that Climate Change, I wonder? It certainly wasn’t human industrial civilisation and carbon emissions back then. Global Warming is inevitable regardless of human action or inaction: it was 3 degrees warmer 80,000 years ago before the last ice age, and the world was covered in rain forest. The world will be a better place a few degrees warmer: deserts will bloom, forests will spread, and both nature and agriculture will benefit from more rain, and the CO2 fertilisation effect. So don’t go to Mars because Earth is doomed; it is not.

I have a better reason to go to Mars: because it is there, and because we can: humanity is making great progress but needs new frontiers to explore, and new challenges to surmount: we’ll find infinite possibilities for both in outer space, and that will drive our next evolution. Mars is just a handy place to start, and a backup for the Human species is quite a good idea, too.

I work in IT, Community volunteer interested in Politics, support Capitalism as the best economic system for lifting people out of poverty, Skeptical scientist.

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