The author reports on a recent speech by visiting NASA Administrator Charles Bolden who revealed his views on a number of issues including Mars, climate change, China, etc. However, the emphasis in the article is on the human settlement of Mars as urged by Bolden.
Getting to Mars is important because it is the only planet in the solar system [other than Earth] that we believe might have born life in some form at some time,’ Mr Bolden said.
It may be able to sustain life right now, and it definitely can sustain human life if we put humans there.
That’s important for the preservation of the species, and I want to make sure that my grand-daughters, and great-great-grandaughters, have the opportunity to go there.Although Bolden admits that there are many "detractors" who disagree with him and that getting there and establishing colonies there will be "hard, just to put it bluntly. Mars is really, really, really hard."
I am posting this as an example of one major fantasy that members of the capitalist ruling classes have as they wake up to capitalism's greatest dilemma: the fact that capitalism with its growth imperative cannot exist within finite limits of the Earth. (There are two other major fantasies: fusion power to replace fossil fuels and climate engineering.) Thus, when we completely trash our planet Earth and make it uninhabitable for humans (and other species), we will be able to migrate to Mars. I presume that the same method can then be used when we are finished trashing Mars. Therefore, humans can go on forever trashing the universe while preserving their cherished system of exploitative capitalism.
Somehow I wonder if he really believes this fantasy, or if he is simply engaging in self-promotion: bigger budgets to play with and promoting his career at NASA. This ethos is, of course, so typical of capitalists and their followers, and so well expressed by Margaret Thatcher who said:
...there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It's our duty to look after ourselves....