Colonizing Mars and the Death of Earth
The state of the Earth is rapidly declining, and despite protesting and social media awareness, there is a shortage of policy change. What happens when the damage to the Earth is irreversible, and should humans begin searching for a new home planet? Some people believe that colonizing Mars is the solution to rapid and widespread rot of this planet (Musk). However, a large portion of the Earth's populus firmly believes that the answer lies in aggressive change in society's destructive habits and that saving Earth is a viable solution. This paper will delve into the newest aeronautics technology and the minds behind it, and debate the plausibility of colonizing Mars. In addition to that, it will assess the state of Earth in respect to the strain on our resources and our decaying environment.
Elon Musk is currently one of the leading pioneers in space travel; his company, Spacex, was founded in 2002. It's mission statement is: "SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded in 2002 to revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets" (Spacex). According to the Spacex website, the company has built three different "vehicles", it's most recent being the Crew Dragon cargo spaceship. Spacex receives funding from NASA, according to its website, and in turn supplies the International Space Station with supplies. However, the Falcon Heavy is perhaps the most interesting spacecraft yet designed by Musk; the Falcon Heavy is believed to be the most powerful rocket in the world, and it's mission is to: "carry humans into space and restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the Moon or Mars" (Spacex). Musk released an hour long and twenty minute video on the Falcon Heavy in October of 2019; the video depicts Musk's unveiling of the spacecraft to the public and a lengthy explanation of the craft's capabilities, as well as the recyclable roots of the materials used. On the nineteenth of August, 2019, Musk Tweeted: "Nuke Mars", he later followed up with "Let's nuke Mars to make it habitable." Musk believes that by strate no gically sending nuclear warheads to Mars the ice on the planet will melt, providing a water source. Musk has built a company upon his belief that colonization of Mars is not only possible, but necessary. Musk and NASA are confident in the quality of Spacex's crafts and it won't be long until they begin launch initiatives. Musk has estimated the cost of a Spacex ticket to be around $500,000.00. Colonizing Mars isn't financially possible for the majority of the world, so what can be done to save the Earth?
According to a National Geographic article by Madeleine Stone, Antarctica is melting from the top and bottom; the warmth of the Earth is destroying the icebergs at a rapid pace. Glaciologist Alison Banwell believes the state of the atmosphere will lead to the pole's demise: "I think in the future you're going to get more and more of these lakes due to atmospheric warming, and a greater intensity of melting and ponding combined with these subsurface processes simply means these ice shelves are going to become more unstable."(Stone). However, the state of the atmosphere is not the only threat to life on Earth; the Earth is full. There are over seven billion people living on Earth today, during the 1960's the baby boomer generation was born, given the name because of the astonishing number of children born in that generation. In Pascal Costas Tedx talk: "Stopping overpopulation before we reach 10 billion people" she claims that,"In 43 years we will possibly reach Earth's carrying capacity of ten billion people." According to Costa the world's current main source of freshwater, groundwater, is being depleted by large nations such as the United States and China. She goes on to say that taking water from the foundation of the Earth leads to an unstable foundation and it can lead to sinking: "the California central valley has already sunk twenty eight feet due to this exact phenomena (Costa)." The problem circles around because after the groundwater has run out the only source of freshwater available to humans will be the glaciers. The melting of glaciers has led to a rise in sea level which is a danger to coastal regions, glaciers also keep the ocean at the correct temperature of the survival of all sea life, and lastly the glaciers serve as Earth's air conditioner As the planet's air conditioner and impact weather and climate dynamics (Why do Glaciers Matter?). Humans have wounded the Earth, and it seems that in 43 years the damage may be irreversible.
According to BBC journalists Simon Beard and Lauren Holt, one of the most acute risks to life on Earth is overpopulation. Because of the aggressive overpopulation there is a risk of widespread disease as well. "Given this, it may be that global risks should not be defined by the size of the disaster that caused them, but by their potential to disrupt these vital systems (Beard & Holt)." Overpopulation isn't simply a risk because of the loss of supplies for survival, such as clean water and food, it also means that medication isn't readily available like it was 10 years ago. It also means that the water supply is tainted with bacteria and may result in a massive spread of disease. China is experiencing a break out of avian flu, and there is thought to be a potential break out of influenza that will: "kill and average of 700,000 people and cost the global economy $500bn (£391bn) per year (Beard and Holt)." The last major global threat of disease the Earth has faced in recent years is the Ebola threat, and since then countries like the United States have struggled with the vaccination debate. The threat to humanity balances upon so many unstable blocks and a simple slip up may lead to the end.
If you give a teenager a car and they crash it within a year do you buy them another? This is determined on the circumstances of the crash. Was it their fault? Were they driving under the influence? Is the damage irreversible or can the car be fixed? Humans are living in a car wreck they caused and it seems unlikely that we will ever drive again. However, why take the money and resources we have left to plague another planet? Humans have proven that they are not suitable to drive so rather than destroying another car they should repair the one they have. It would take such strict policy change globally to eradicate the damage to the Earth, but it is possible. Pascal Costa looks to veganism as a viable solution to the overuse of groundwater by large Nations such as the United States (costa). According to Costa it takes 53 gallons of water for a grown chicken to produce a single egg, for a full dozen eggs it takes roughly 636 gallons of water for production. Freedom is a loose concept, in the Oxford dictionary there are about six definitions, the most applicable one is: "The state of not being subject to or affected by (a particular undesirable thing)." Whether people like it or not they are subject to climate change, and it will kill billions of lives without a structured and efficient plan. Climate change isn't something terrible to be ignored because it is a gross danger to all the inhabitants of the Earth. In addition to that, only one percent of the population will be able to afford a ticket on to Spacex which is a blatant representation of the distribution of wealth in the United States. The crisis of the Earth's decay comes down to the age old struggles humans have faced for decades. Humans have always sought to expand. From the discovery and theft of America from the Native Americans to the irresponsible use of credit that lead from the Roaring Twenties to the Great Depression, The United States remains a neon display to the rest of the world of the harm a lack of unity between policy makers and citizens can do. The American people have challenged such social issues such as women's right to vote, the use of guns, and gay marriage, however, all of these involved policy change that only affected part of the populus. When women were given the right to vote it revolutionized one gender, when marjuanna was legalized in Oregon the remaining states felt little to no economic and social change; the United States has not faced a threat this vast. The United Nations is made up of 193 countries, in 2016 the United Nations met to sign a treaty in Paris, called the Paris Agreement, that dealt with the spread of greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance. In 2019 the United Nations met in September to discuss the current state of the climate and atmosphere, and they will meet again in 2020. In the closing remarks of Climate Action Summit of 2019 , the Secretary-General said "You have delivered a boost in momentum, cooperation and ambition. But we have a long way to go." To save the planet requires a sacrifice of freedom, many people don't have freedom in the first place, but for a nation such as The United States it will take a grave catastrophe for policy change to be enacted. There are no foreseeable solutions to overpopulation that wouldn't infringe upon human rights, but if the Earth reaches a population of 10 billion its carrying capacity will exceed and resources such as water and food will rapidly replenish. We have lived long enough to create weapons of global destruction, but in the end the largest danger was the one we nurtured for decades and it can no longer be ignored.