Colonising Mars will help protect humanity in the event of a nuclear war

November 28, 2009

I’m not fatalistic.  I don’t believe humans are a naturally destructive or war mongering species.  In fact I think we’re the most caring, thoughtful species there is.  (What other species goes against it’s natural instincts and refuses to eat meat for ethical reasons?)

But the fact remains that something bad could happen and leave the earth either completely in ruins or severly damaged.  It makes sense that we should have a second home in the universe to protect ourselves.  You back up your data don’t you?  It’s the same principle but on a much larger, species survival, scale.

Lets look at the things that could potentially screw up earth.

-Nuclear war.  India vs Pakistan?  China/America?  France tries to take everybody down?

ProTip: If you are nearby and survived the blast, get as far away as you can. Don’t run directly down wind where the fallout will be. Run 90 degrees to the wind if the blast was directly up wind of you, rather than directly away.

-Some sort of accident by scientists like the ones mucking around with black holes at CERN.  (They say that possibility is ridiculous and their probably right, but you never know and the whole species is at stake.)

-A technological screw up.  Something like Chernobyl but on a much bigger scale.  (Nanobots go wild?)

-A super volcano eruption.  More likely than an asteroid impact and just as deadly.  The last time one erupted just 70,000 years ago it reduced the human population on earth to just 5,000 people. Here’s a video.

-Computers becoming sentient and deciding to destroy us.

It could happen

-Asteroid strike.  See Deep Impact.

-A highly contagious disease.  Either introduced through bio-terrorism or evolving naturally like the black death.


If we colonise Mars not only is humanity protected in the event of an earth destruction scenario (like an asteroid blowing the earth to smithereens.)  But also the Mars can send Earth aid if something not-quite-so-bad happens, like a nuclear war.  The people on Mars can help to rebuild Earth and possibly shelter some of Earths population for a while.

Having access to resources and technology would help a lot in the event of something like a nuclear war.  Many lives could be saved.  Earth’s recovery time would be speed up and most of our knowledge and technology will still be intact.

There is a theory that the reason aliens have never visited us is because at a certain point in the evolution all advanced civilisations inevitably destroy themselves.  I don’t believe this is the case, but I wan’t to do everything I can to stop it happening to us.

A lot of these events don’t seem likely, and there not.  But given a long enough period of time the probability of any event becomes a certainty.  Is humanity will survive the next century without experiencing some sort of cataclysmic event?  Yes.  But will we survive the next ten thousand years without one?  Maybe not.

We’ve really only got a narrow window of time to do this in, which is why work needs to start now.  If we don’t finish it in time then *Poof* there goes humanity.

But if we do manage it then it won’t be long until we master interstellar travel and that will ensure humanity’s survival for millions of years.


There are no mountains left to climb…

November 27, 2009

At least on this planet.

The peak of Mount Everest, the highest mountain on earth, was reached on the 26th May 1953.  That was over fifty years ago. Since then there have been literally no mountains left to climb on this planet.  There are five mountains that are higher then Mount Everest on Mars.  The biggest is Olympus Mons which is three times bigger than Everest.  (It’s 17 miles high.  I’m sure hardcore climbers would be salivating over the prospect of being the first to reach the top.

We’ve done so much of the stuff that there is to be done on earth.  Some of the harshest terrain on our planet now boasts luxury hotels and spas.  Cruise ships go to Alaska and you can get mobile phone reception on the summit of Everest.  There still plenty more things to discover on this planet, that’s true, but there’s even more on Mars.

Artist impression of Ben Fogle being the first to conquer the highest peak on a terraformed Mars