Terraforming mars?

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

http://www.guardian.co.uk/life/news/story/0,12976,1179710,00.html

personally, i think we need to wait until we have a more conclusive look at what current life there is (if any) on mars and then decide if this is an ethical idea...even then, it may be absolutely impracticle...
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
567
3
However, both goals - heating and thickening - could be achieved together, say researchers. One idea is to build a large mirror, many miles in diameter, and place it orbit above Mars. This would then be used to focus the Sun's rays onto a polar icecap, melting it and releasing its frozen carbon dioxide contents. The carbon dioxide would then trigger greenhouse heating.
So basically they want to create another earth? How plausible is this idea?


The alternative would be to construct plants for generating super-greenhouse gases - made of complex combinations of carbon, chlorine and fluorine, and which are thousands of times more effective than carbon dioxide at trapping heat. These would be built at strategic sites across the planet and should also trigger global temperature rises. Thickening the Martian atmosphere would also protect its surface from the ultra-violet radiation that bombards its surface and which would otherwise kill off most Earth-like lifeforms on the planet
Are these genetically engineered plants? How plausible is this?

Other scientists remain cautious. 'We now know Mars used to have an atmosphere, but it disappeared for reasons that are still unclear,' said Monica Grady, a planetary scientist at the Natural History Museum, London. 'If we restore Mars's atmosphere, we could easily find it disappeared again. We would have done some devastating things to the planet for a temporary effect. That is certainly not ethical.'
How is it not ethical? How would we "have done some devastating things to the planet"? If its a temporary affect, why the big deal? why worry?

[sigh] will we ever give up on mars? Why are we so obssessed with it?
 
  • #3
SquareItSalamander said:
So basically they want to create another earth? How plausible is this idea?

How is it not ethical? How would we "have done some devastating things to the planet"? If its a temporary affect, why the big deal? why worry?

[sigh] will we ever give up on mars? Why are we so obssessed with it?
1. Yes, another Earth. It is quite feasible if we can bombard it with ice-teroids and comets and release greenhouse gases.

2. If there are martian bacteria still there, then the new environment would devastate their ecology. Xenocide, I guess you could call it.

3. We're obsessed with it, because it has similarities in the day, polar ice, seasons, variable winds, and the possibility of life. The latter reason is the most compelling to go there. We want to know if we are alone or not. Out of all those trillions of planets in our galaxy, are we freaks? Are we the last intelligent beings beings of the Milky Way? We might as well take a small step, and achieve more proximity to the truth.
 
  • #4
567
3
We want to know if we are alone or not.
But we've probed mars for so long a time that I think we might as well give up. There is NO life (intelligent, conscious [not subconcsious]) on mars. So I'm for this terraforming idea.

the last intelligent beings
do you mean to say that you believe there were intelligent beings before us?

2. If there are martian bacteria still there, then the new environment would devastate their ecology. Xenocide, I guess you could call it.
Is Xenocide the actual term for it?
 
  • #5
SquareItSalamander said:
But we've probed mars for so long a time that I think we might as well give up. There is NO life (intelligent, conscious [not subconcsious]) on mars. So I'm for this terraforming idea.

do you mean to say that you believe there were intelligent beings before us?

Is Xenocide the actual term for it?
Ah, we've probed it for a long time, but not everywhere. We've not checked Valles Marinaris, or the inside of Mons Olympus. Places where there is more heat, or was. Then, we could find if not bacteria, at least fossils of them.

If they existed, they might have died out, probably from a planetary collision, nuclear war, or even rampant computers/nanomachines. The universe is old enough to have allowed thousands of civilizations to form, yet we can't find any.

To quote Enrico Fermi on his paradox, "Where are they? If they existed, they'd be here."

I believe 'Xenocide' is the unofficial term for it. It's basically the killing of a species that is alien to us. Since we have not discovered any extra-terrestial entities or life, it's a useless word right now.

I'm all for bacterial and perhaps low-multicellular life. But the thing is, there's no evidence of present day societies beyond our system. I don't know; you don't know. Not until we look closer will obtain the truth.
 
  • #6
Janitor
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Not that my mind is in the gutter-

It seems to me that one of the reasons for societies to have the written and unwritten rules they have on sexual behavior is that humans are locked in a battle with pathogens that can be transmitted through that "vector," to use a clinical term for sexual contact. Do you suppose that when it comes time to build a colony on Mars, the colonists will be screened for such diseases and quarantined before launch, such that on launch day they are known to have no STDs lurking in their systems? If so, then I would guess that some of the Earthbound rules will no longer be applicable among the colonists on Mars. Just as an example, monogamy may lose some of the importance that it has in most Earthly societies.

This was just a thought on my part. I can't remember ever hearing this idea brought up in anything I've read, but it seems plausible to me.
 
  • #7
selfAdjoint
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Janitor said:
It seems to me that one of the reasons for societies to have the written and unwritten rules they have on sexual behavior is that humans are locked in a battle with pathogens that can be transmitted through that "vector," to use a clinical term for sexual contact. Do you suppose that when it comes time to build a colony on Mars, the colonists will be screened for such diseases and quarantined before launch, such that on launch day they are known to have no STDs lurking in their systems? If so, then I would guess that some of the Earthbound rules will no longer be applicable among the colonists on Mars. Just as an example, monogamy may lose some of the importance that it has in most Earthly societies.

This was just a thought on my part. I can't remember ever hearing this idea brought up in anything I've read, but it seems plausible to me.

The idea of building a population with no STD is dangerous. Think what happened to the native americans, when the europeans introduced measles! A better scheme would be to use genetics to hurry the evolution of natural protection to fast-evolving retrovirus diseases.
 
  • #8
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SelfAdjoint,

As I was writing my post above, I was grinning a little at the thought of all those 1930s-era science fiction pulp stories about people secretly stowing away on spaceliners going to other planets. You know, when and if interplanetary spaceships get really big, that might actually become a security issue!
 
  • #9
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If they existed, they might have died out, probably from a planetary collision, nuclear war, or even rampant computers/nanomachines. The universe is old enough to have allowed thousands of civilizations to form, yet we can't find any.

To quote Enrico Fermi on his paradox, "Where are they? If they existed, they'd be here."
On a planet like earth, doesn't the contiential ehh.. plates? land parts? completly renew every few millions of years or so (being sucked down, melted and exhausted as lava on opposite side) (not sure about the exact time), thus, removing all traces of our civilzation? Marks on the moon and alike would be erased by meteors quickly.
 
  • #10
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Fossils have been dated in some cases to hundreds of millions of years old, so clearly there are parts of Earth's crust that are not being reprocessed all that quickly.
 
  • #11
jammieg
Everything required for life is there, it's a matter of time and effort and that the people who seek to control others through money and power will rise to the top and find enough ways to abuse democracy thus providing the motivation to move out like teenagers from their parents house. The president of today is the son of the president of yesterday, out of all the good people in this country why should this be so? It's good to move out of one's parents house though or this is my opinion of the motivation behind moving around not that all or even most people who seek to control others are bad we seem hardwired as a species to look to our fearless leaders, but things are likely to be better the more democratic the system.
 

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