My Musing Space: Overpopulation? Solution: Mars!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Overpopulation? Solution: Mars!

It has been a favourite buzzword since Malthus that the world is getting so overpopulated that we will not be able to feed ourselves, meaning already back then. Yet, we somehow do, to the effect that our numbers are growing exponentially. My point is that some people see overpopulation as a problem, others don't. I do fall in the latter category. Why? Because I see a pattern, the vague outlines of a direction.

First of all, as we grow, we do manage to find ways to solve our problems. We are quite an inventive bunch! As for the direction? I believe that this population explosion is coming at a very interesting time in history. Space exploration is just about to reach the point where humans are ready to start their grand scheme (is it theirs or Nature's/God's...? - depending on your viewpoint :) of populating the rest of the Universe. Consider X Prize founder Peter Diamandis's announcement of the Mars Citizenship Program*. According to this plan there will be private spaceships going to Mars within the next decade, preparing the ground for the actual settlers who will go there to stay. They will be in enclosed environment until terraforming will make it possible to live an open air, normal life there. Sounds farfetched? There are active forums where people discusse the issue, preparing themselves psychologically for the "Big Step". There seem to be lots of people ready to face the dangers, just as it has been done throughout history, even though those ancestors of ours could not have been half as knowledgeable, and therefor much less prepared for all the odds as our future Mars settlers. If you want to check out some of the discussions, here are a few:
Red Colony
Cosmic Log
New Mars
Marsdrive Consortium
The Spacearium
Space Generation Network
Science&Nature: Space

*There is yet another name seemingly connected to this project. I found a thesis published by one Talmon Feuerstein (International Space University, Strasbourg, 2003), also called Mars Citizenship Program. He appears as speaker at conferences and works for a German company. I wonder what his role is, if any, in Diamandis's project.


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