The planet we call home is in danger. Humans have abused the Earth for centuries, and now we face an imminent threat: global warming. If temperatures continue to rise, our home will become too hot and uninhabitable. The best option would be to leave Earth and colonize another planet. The closest we have come to visualizing another planet where humans can survive is the red Planet Mars, about 391.62 million kilometers away. Mars is the best-case scenario to our worst-case scenario. However, there are many reasons humans should stay here on Earth instead.
Mars – The Land of Nothing
David Bowie asked in his song, “Is there life on Mars?” According to NASA. No, there is not. There have been no living organisms found on Mars yet. Mars is a cold, dead planet. Colonizing Mars, a planet with air that humans cannot breathe and soil that cannot grow crops, will not be the most straightforward task. Reaching Mars requires six months of space travel, so if there is an emergency on Mars and one needs to return to Earth, it will take six long months. It will require billions of dollars to develop the necessary technology and set up camp on Mars.
Humans – Forever Underprepared
Sixty-three percent of people on Earth believe that all the resources used to study and possibly colonize Mars should instead be used to improve conditions on Earth. Humans are aware that their actions decide the planet’s fate but refuse to take severe action to save Earth. Earth is heading towards water and food shortages in the next few decades. Apollo 11 astronaut Al Worden said. “We are not very good to each other here, and we do not seem to care about being mindful of the resources of this place to live in it for a long time. I think we are doing more damage to ourselves and the planet that may be to such an extent that we do not have to wait till the sun burns out – we are going to do it ourselves.” What is the guarantee that if we colonize Mars, we will not need a new planet again in a few million years? We cannot keep moving to different planets because we keep exhausting all the available resources, burning the planet, and leaving it to die.
Colonizing Mars is not an option available with present technology, so we cannot pretend like we already have a backup planet ready. All we have to call home at this very moment is Earth, on which we have wreaked havoc, causing animal and plant species to go extinct; the water and air have become polluted beyond use, and by extracting minerals to fulfill all our needs and more.
The Next Steps
Human beings need to understand the consequences of our actions and can’t use Mars as a bailout from all the torture we’ve put the planet through. We have no respect for all the resources Mother Earth provides us with as a species. A tiny population even denies the presence of significant deterioration in the form of Global Warming and Climate Change. There is no guarantee that we won’t do that same on Mars or any other planet we choose to move to after that.
Our primary focus at the moment should be saving Earth and making it livable for future generations. The small steps taken by us today will be the deciding factor in whether we need to run off to another planet and alter it to make it livable or live happily on this planet created so perfectly to fulfill all our needs. Planet Earth is perfect and beautiful. It’s filled with bright colors and brighter animals, beauty as far as the eyes can see. Imagine leaving all this and moving to a planet that is dead and dry as far as known.