Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mars: Key to Climate Change?

I had Drudge recommended to me by a friend in class - here is one of the first links I found. It's Buzz Aldrin, he of moderate Apollo 11 fame, talking about how he sank into a deep depression after getting back from the moon because his life had no purpose. He wants America to go back to space, but this time to Mars. His reasoning is something I've never thought of before:

"Exploring and colonizing Mars can bring us new scientific understanding of climate change, of how planet-wide processes can make a warm and wet world into a barren landscape. By exploring and understanding Mars, we may gain key insights into the past and future of our own world."

Is this nothing more than a plea to return to the final frontier, or is there merit behind the idea of colonizing Mars to learn about climate change? I'm reasonably certain it's the former. Right?

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Compared with the totality of knowledge which is continually utilized in the evolution of a dynamic civilization, the difference between the knowledge that the wisest and that which the most ignorant individual can deliberately employ is comparatively insignificant. ~Fredrich Hayek in The Constitution of Liberty