Why Colonize?

-views are my own and are not endorsed by present or past employers or affiliates-

Mars One applicants are just a bunch of imitations loonies. Who’d be stupid enough to try to die on another planet?

People with vision—that’s who.

In an environment where we have 15 pounds of air pressing on every square inch of our bodies, where land can reach higher than buildings, where planes regularly fly higher above the ground than I drive to work, it’s easy to forget one very disturbing fact.

The Earth is fragile.

One space rock at the wrong place and time can wipe out not only all our species but most of our infrastructure and food and fellow animals. The wrong burst from the wrong black hole, and our entire solar system gets fried to a crisp in x-rays. It’s a sobering fact.

Worse than that, the Earth changes.

Since it formed, it’s been hot and acidic, cold and icy, and one day, when the Moon has slipped away and left us tideless, its core may stop spinning. The magnetic field may fade like Mars’s, letting the atmosphere blow away in the solar wind while the Sun’s radiation sanitizes the surface.

Chances are, it won’t happen in your life, just like chances are, you won’t hit a deer* on your drive home. (*Sub in local fauna as appropriate.)

Why colonize?

Why put lifeboats on the unsinkable Titanic?

Why colonize?

The more we spread out humanity, the more likely humanity is to survive. As Randall Monroe points out, one day a significant portion of the human race may be your descendants.

Don’t you want your great-great-great-grandkids to survive?