“Let’s Pollute Mars, Too” (Linkedin)
My new article on Linkedin “Let’s Pollute Mars, Too”
Every so often, tycoons such as Elon Musk come up with another craze that has to do with inhabiting Mars. According to the magazine SciTechDaily, “Elon Musk has claimed he’s confident there will be a city of 1 million on Mars by 2050, transported there by 1000 Starships proposed by his SpaceX venture.” I understand that playing with spaceships can be fun for multi billionaires, but it isn’t going to help humanity, it won’t make our lives any better, or teach us anything about life itself.
What’s worse, it will replicate the damage we have done to Earth on Mars. Because living elsewhere will not make us different people, we will bring to Mars the exact same flaws in our nature that have caused us to ransack and deplete our home planet to the point where we are looking for another planet to inhabit. Living on Mars will not make us caring people, considerate toward each other and to nature. The exploitation that has destroyed human society and our natural environment will do the same to Mars, so anyone who moves there will be just as discontented as those who stay here, if not more so.
In general, research into new colonies, prolonging life expectancy, and other such fanciful fields of exploration do nothing but plant false hopes in people’s hearts that somehow they will be happier, when the opposite is true. On Mars, a planet that is unsuitable for sustaining humans, life will clearly be far more difficult than on Earth. Likewise, if we could live much longer than today thanks to scientific developments, it will only prolong our misery. We don’t know what to do with ourselves in the eighty years we have now, let alone in 800 years. People will kill themselves or one another; futility will drive them out of their minds.
If people want to improve the quality of their lives, they have to begin by asking what they’re living for. Most people aren’t in that place yet, but it will come. When it does, they will discover that life is not about inhabiting new planets or spending 800 years traveling around the world and eating in fancy restaurants, but that life is about connecting to the people around us and to the environment we live in. They will begin to nurture deeper and deeper connections with each other until they reach a point where the physical body becomes meaningless, and life is no longer bound by the existence of our protein body.
This is the future that awaits us. We can make it happen that much sooner if we focus on cultivating our connections here and now, or we can look for happiness on Mars. If we choose the first option, we will begin to feel the positive change at once. If we choose the second one, happiness will remain a long way out.
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