Posted: March 4th, 2023

The notion of colonizing Mars is fascinating on a number of levels. Yet, this st

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The notion of colonizing Mars is fascinating on a number of levels. Yet, this stirs a number of questions. The primary being, why? Often, the suggested reasoning within both the scientific community and media for colonizing Mars, is need driven by humans making Earth uninhabitable. Individuals are not inherently responsible for the sum result of this possibility (and many demographics are doing little to contribute to the damage that could lead to such a reality.) However, it still begs the question, do humans deserve a second chance? In particular, if one species is able to destroy one planet, will they not simply destroy another? I would assume that if the technology has advanced enough to successfully colonize Mars, then perhaps that destruction of either planet or at least one, is avoidable.
Yet, if we’re going to Mars for other reasons. The question still exists. Why? Overpopulation? Then proceeds a litany of additional ethical questions, who gets to go, in what order, etc. Factors such as accessibility to this new colony could lead to an eventual shift in our species evolution and demographics. If these changes are not ethically and equitibally driven, this could lead to broadened existing disparities amongst different groups of people whether socioeconomically or culturally. In addition, physical evolutionary changes, as well as evolving customs and behavior could create a divide between Martians and Earth dwellers.
Beyond our own species, humans have shown to be a threat to ourselves, the environment, and other creatures. While technology has many benefits, it has also come with some challenges. While those on Mars would have access to great technology that would make their journey possible, they may not have sufficient technology for multiple trips or communication with those outside of Mars. This could cause severe isolation, depression, rifts among colonizers, etc. Beyond humans, the environment could suffer as resources are utilized for our needs and we alter the environment through our actions. This could cause potentially irreversible damage to Mars as it has on Earth. Would this be the case on Mars as it is on Earth?
Ultimately, determining whether colonizing Mars is a “good” idea is difficult. It is a nuanced and complex undertaking which should be evaluated thoroughly with a lens to ethics, equity, and overarching long term impact to human and environmental health.
“The Case for Colonizing Mars, by Robert Zubrin – National Space Society.” National Space Society – Working to Create a Spacefaring Civilization, 3 Aug. 2017, Accessed 1 Mar. 2023.

Verrone, Skyler. “Colonizing Mars Is a Terrible, Awful Idea | the Triangle.”, 2021, Accessed 2 Mar. 2023.

“Why Go to Mars?”, 2023, Accessed 2 Mar. 2023.

“Should We Colonize Mars? – Viterbi Conversations in Ethics.” Viterbi Conversations in Ethics, 14 Oct. 2019, Accessed 1 Mar. 2023.

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