Before then, it is an ecological and economic free-for-all. Already, as Impey pointed out to the AAAS panel, private companies are involved with an area race of sorts. For the time being, the ones that are viable using the blessing of NASA, catering straight to its (governmental) needs. But if capitalism becomes the driving force behind space travel – whether through luxury vacations to your Moon, safari tours of Europa, mining asteroids for precious minerals, or turning alien worlds into microbial gardens we harvest for ourselves – the total amount struck between preservation and exploitation, unless strictly defined and powerfully enforced, is likely to be susceptible to shifting in accordance with companies’ profit margins. Given the chance, today’s nascent space industry may become the second oil industry, raking within the cash by destroying environments with society’s tacit approval.
In the world, it is in our interest as a species to stave off meltdown that is ecological and still we refuse to put the brakes on our consumption of fossil fuels. It’s hard to believe ourselves to care about ruining the environment of another planet, especially when no sentient beings are objecting and we’re reaping rewards back on Earth that we could bring.
But maybe conservation won’t be our choice that is ethical when comes to alien worlds.
Let’s revisit those antibiotics that are resistance-proof. Could we really leave that possibility up for grabs, condemning people in our personal species to suffer and die to be able to preserve an alien ecosystem?Comments Off on Earthlings have no vested curiosity about the status quo on Mars, with no one else seems to either.