I’m sick and tired of everyone talking about going to Mars.
You’ve heard Elon Musk. Richard Branson is set on going — and Trump recently announced we wants to send people to Mars by 2033 (a cost of more than $400 billion dollars).
Our government is literally trying to get rid of the Environmental Protection Agency to protect Earth and then investing in a manned mission to a planet that has no air to breathe.
We have the opportunity to better the air on Earth yet we’re investing in the attempt to habitate a planet that literally contains 20 times less oxygen than we require just to exist.
More than ever, we need Earth Day, but it’s not enough. If we want things to get better here, we also need to realize how shitty it would be to live on Mars.
How is Mars becoming so desirable?
We have everything we need on our Goldilocks planet. In fact, it has just the right specifications for human life it produced life in the first place.
So why are we seeking a desolate planet that has no breathable air, no food, and likely no water?
Let alone no Chipotle, rainbows, animals, or casinos…
I get the doomsday argument about the necessity to extend our species to another planet in case something detrimental happens to this one. Cool, we don’t want to go extinct.
The problem is that argument can also perpetuate the problem. And it throws in the towel by default. It’s lazy.
By believing we can just pack up and move to Mars if this planet doesn’t work out grants people the permission to justify actions that damage Earth.
And by believing it’s already too late allows us to muck it up even more without feeling guilt…or that we’ll even have to face the consequences.
We must realize we don’t have anywhere to go that is better than here and it’s not too late.
There’s still hope
Fortunately for us, science is finding it’s not too late to reverse much of the damage we’ve done. With the right policies in place, enough investment into clean energy, and a better awareness as to what climate change is and how it’s affecting us, we can still live on Earth.
We don’t have to get in a spaceship for 8 months and try to eek out a living on a planet that can’t naturally sustain life.
We can thrive, here, and still have Netflix.
Perhaps we need to frame Mars in the right light.
It’s received a lot of press lately and I won’t deny the allure of becoming a multi-planetary species.
It’s kinda sexy.
But let’s get real.
Even if we were able to design suits that never ripped exposing us to the deadly atmosphere…
Even if we created a dome that we could live inside…
Even if we could eventually grow our own food…
Life on Mars would suck balls.
Besides never being able to jump in an ocean, there would be no Amazon Prime, no concerts, no rain…
You literally wouldn’t be able to walk outside and take a breath of fresh air.
There would be no nature, no dogs, no coffee shops, no Sam’s Club.
It could be the greatest mistake humans have ever made: seeking to survive without the essential things we need to survive (you know, like air, food and water).
We need to reframe the conversation. Mars isn’t sexy.
The average temperature is 80 degrees Farenheit BELOW.
Not only can you not breathe the air, you can’t even withstand the average temperature for more than a few moments.
Celebrating Earth should be a lifestyle, not a single day of ‘appreciation.’
Our planet is abundant with life for a reason: it meets the specifications for it exactly.
And damn is it rare. So far we haven’t found anything like it in the universe.
So on this Earth day, don’t just go plant a tree. Instead, start fighting for the very thing that gave you life in the first place on a daily basis.
Stop talking about Mars as though it’s appealing. It’s a dried-up, freezing wasteland with no oxygen.
It’s not too late to keep calling this place home. But if we don’t act soon, we may never find a home again.
Originally published at medium.com