Friday, 30 August 2013

The Colonisation of Mars?!

                                                                Now look here!

There is no need to be a Grumpy Old Man to doubt the sanity of one's fellow members of the human race......

Former astronaut, John Grunsfield (ever heard of him?), claims that , 'Single planet species don't survive.'   What balderdash!  Look around you, old fool, and count them - literally millions after millions of years since Big Bang.
True, at the moment, improvident development of industrial inventions is creating problems - the melting of the icecaps, general global warming, sometimes glibly described as the Greenhouse Effect, but is this an irreversible process?
The population of the world may be increasing, but is not his controllable? Starvation may be faced daily,  and the exposure to infection with deadly disease, but medical advance is rapid and agricultural science has the capability to expand the production of foodstuffs without the need to cultivate Mars!
There, it is solemnly suggested, pressurised greenhouses could be built to produce copious harvests, which would be, presumably, mysteriously transported through emptiness, in a shuttle of space ships on their eight month journey to Earth....or is the idea to abandon the terrestrial globe, and start all over again with  a new race of alien earthmen?  Indeed, Stephen Hawking,(with a kind of Professor Branestawm invention?), visualises 'eventually establishing self-sustaining colonies on Mars and other bodies in the solar system.'!!
Buzz Aldrin, first Man on the Moon, later a U S Senator, now solemnly pronounces, 'We are on a pathway to homestead the Red Planet.' This when George W Bush's proposed plan merely to send a manned mission to Mars was shelved when the cost was reckoned at more than $400 billion...
Even the worthy Obama has joined the game, but modestly only asks Nasa to work on the possibility of sending a manned mission to orbit the planet by the mid 2030s.  Shouldn't attention be paid to simpler, more practical schemes to increase food production in ways we understand and on surfaces we can master?
The pressurised greenhouse notion can be pursued.  The oceans cover vast areas of the earth's surface.  Churchill could imagine floating harbours to surprise Adolf Hitler in 1944. Are not floating islands in the Pacific now a feasibility? Or could not the canopy of Brazilian rain forests provide space?  30 years ago my god-daughter was dropped on to a net above the trees to spend a month studying insect life.  Small technical advance would be required to devise a method to site there a few acres of tomato houses, say, pressurised and thermatically controlled to a suitable temperature, of course.
There are many ways to skin a cat.....

1 comment:

  1. Hmm! for thought here. But why always up when down could be better. Oceans untapped are a world of plenty waiting to be discovered. If it was good enough for JC (the diver not the other one) then what's stopping us? After all what goes up must always come down eventually.......why wait?