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Old 27th November 2018, 12:43 PM   #41
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As to the literary obsession with Mars, that's probably because, for most of human history, Mars has been much more interesting.

Venus, until we could get local images, was always just a white disk in the sky. No features, therefore no story.

Mars, for quite some time, has had mountains, plains, canals (alright, not canals, but you get the idea) valleys and canyons, in short, Mars has Geography and a non uniform appearance that fuels imagination. Venus has, for the most part, simply been a white dot.
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Old 27th November 2018, 12:47 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
As to the literary obsession with Mars, that's probably because, for most of human history, Mars has been much more interesting.

Venus, until we could get local images, was always just a white disk in the sky. No features, therefore no story.

Mars, for quite some time, has had mountains, plains, canals (alright, not canals, but you get the idea) valleys and canyons, in short, Mars has Geography and a non uniform appearance that fuels imagination. Venus has, for the most part, simply been a white dot.
And now that we know what it really is, it's even less interesting.
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Old 27th November 2018, 01:07 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
In that case, the best option is going to be Earth, for humans as we know them today.

If you have the technology and the resources to terraform Mars, you have the technology and resources to terraform Earth.

Of course it is. Earth has atmosphere, magnetic field, and ecosystem. Even a severely damaged Earth habitat would still be a better place to live - and offer humanity a much greater chance of survival - than anything short of a magically terraformed Mars.

I think you're vastly underestimating the effort it would take to make Mars a viable alternative habitat. Humanity would be much better off staying on Earth and rebuilding. Anything you could do to make Mars habitable you could do to make Earth habitable. With the advantage that Earth is already at least partially habitable.
Well said.

I really wish those that talk so glibly of self-sustaining Mars colonies - or even 'terraforming Mars' - would work a calculation or two. The energy input, the expense, the time ... yet some of those very same people will tell you that it's not feasible to fix Earth's atmosphere or just to work out ways to survive if push really comes to shove 'down here'.

Any reasonably fit adult could pack a rucksack, wander into the wilds, and survive for the rest of their natural life. On Earth. The environment is essentially hospitable to human survival and will remain so - in places, at the very least - even under the worst foreseeable circumstances.

Oh, and by the way, Mars is just as likely (more?) to get slammed by a big fat space rock.
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Old 27th November 2018, 01:13 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Oh, and by the way, Mars is just as likely (more?) to get slammed by a big fat space rock.
Maybe, butboth Mars and Earth being hit by big fat space rocks at the same time is much less likely than one or the other being hit.
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Old 27th November 2018, 01:14 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Well said.

I really wish those that talk so glibly of self-sustaining Mars colonies - or even 'terraforming Mars' - would work a calculation or two. The energy input, the expense, the time ... yet some of those very same people will tell you that it's not feasible to fix Earth's atmosphere or just to work out ways to survive if push really comes to shove 'down here'.
Who said that? It sure is possible to "fix" the atmosphere. It's just really hard. Terraforming is not crazy. It's just very difficult, technically.

Quote:
Any reasonably fit adult could pack a rucksack, wander into the wilds, and survive for the rest of their natural life. On Earth. The environment is essentially hospitable to human survival and will remain so - in places, at the very least - even under the worst foreseeable circumstances.
I don't think you've really considered the worst forseeable circumstances.

Quote:
Oh, and by the way, Mars is just as likely (more?) to get slammed by a big fat space rock.
The whole point is that the odds of _both_ planets being hit is very low. It's a question of survival in the worst scenario.

And where's your sense of adventure?
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Old 27th November 2018, 01:18 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Because we don't know what terraforming involves, as we can't do it.
We know it involves energy and effort on a massive scale.

Quote:
One mooted method involves chucking enormous mountains of ice at the planet and waiting. Actually being on the planet while this happens would be a bad idea.
I propose that if you have the energy and resources to produce enormous mountains of ice and chuck them around the solar system, you have the energy and effort to do all kinds of things to improve Earth.
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Old 27th November 2018, 01:29 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
We know it involves energy and effort on a massive scale.


I propose that if you have the energy and resources to produce enormous mountains of ice and chuck them around the solar system, you have the energy and effort to do all kinds of things to improve Earth.
Also, chucking Earth Ice around the SS means less water for Earth.
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Old 27th November 2018, 01:32 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
We know it involves energy and effort on a massive scale.


I propose that if you have the energy and resources to produce enormous mountains of ice and chuck them around the solar system, you have the energy and effort to do all kinds of things to improve Earth.
Possibly. Or possibly the only way to terraform a planet is to induce massive tectonic activity. You just don't know, nobody does. Therefore you simply can't know that:

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
If you have the technology and the resources to terraform Mars, you have the technology and resources to terraform Earth.
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Old 27th November 2018, 01:42 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Elagabalus View Post
Also, chucking Earth Ice around the SS means less water for Earth.
The proposals I've seen don't involve Earth sourced ice, which is at the bottom of a steep gravity well, and expensive in terms of fuel. Comets, which are largely ice, could be more easily redirected to hit Mars, providing water for Mars and eliminating the possibility that the comet will hit Earth. The impact energy will also break up the surface, releasing Mars own sub-surface water, and provide energy for warming the planet.
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Old 27th November 2018, 01:54 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Because we don't know what terraforming involves, as we can't do it..

Then you have no basis for saying what he said is not true at all.


But that's besides the point. Stating that it's going to be easier to terraform Earth than either Venus or Mars doesn't require a complete understanding of what it takes to terraform either Venus or Mars.
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Old 27th November 2018, 01:59 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I don't think you've really considered the worst forseeable circumstances.
Well, go ahead and tell us what you think the worst case is that leads to Earth being less Earth like than Venus or Mars. Then we'll see if there isn't a more feasible way to address whatever danger you come up with than terraforming Venus or Mars.
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Old 27th November 2018, 02:05 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Then you have no basis for saying what he said is not true at all.
Okay, I'll revise:

"That's not necessarily true at all". There's no way to know that the statement is correct.


Quote:
But that's besides the point. Stating that it's going to be easier to terraform Earth than either Venus or Mars doesn't require a complete understanding of what it takes to terraform either Venus or Mars.
Yeah, but it might not be true. If the only method of terraforming involves hurling comets at the planet to add water and release CO2, then you can do that to Mars, but you certainly can't do it to Earth with all the people on it.

Any terraforming method that has a middle stage that's deadly to humans could be used on Mars or Venus and not used on Earth.

There's literally no way to know that the process is transferrable due to the very pertinent fact that there are people living on earth.
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Old 27th November 2018, 02:30 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Okay, I'll revise:

"That's not necessarily true at all". There's no way to know that the statement is correct.

Yeah, but it might not be true. If the only method of terraforming involves hurling comets at the planet to add water and release CO2, then you can do that to Mars, but you certainly can't do it to Earth with all the people on it.

Any terraforming method that has a middle stage that's deadly to humans could be used on Mars or Venus and not used on Earth.

There's literally no way to know that the process is transferrable due to the very pertinent fact that there are people living on earth.
Really?

Given that we failed (I'm sad to say) to land little Philae properly on that comet, then I'm all ears as to how we fling entire comets at a planet.

Same ol'. People mutter words and post 'artist's impressions' of a SF nature as if that makes the concepts feasible. I'm not saying that you are, but 'people here' do it all the time.

p.s. Mars doesn't really need any more H20 or CO2
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Old 27th November 2018, 03:32 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Really?

Given that we failed (I'm sad to say) to land little Philae properly on that comet, then I'm all ears as to how we fling entire comets at a planet.
Beats the hell out of me.

Quote:
Same ol'. People mutter words and post 'artist's impressions' of a SF nature as if that makes the concepts feasible. I'm not saying that you are, but 'people here' do it all the time.
I have a reasonable grasp, I think, of what it would take to hurl comets at planets.


Quote:
p.s. Mars doesn't really need any more H20 or CO2
Fair point.

Massive impact causing seismic activity releasing unobtanium from beneath the plane'ts crust?
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Old 27th November 2018, 04:14 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post

There's literally no way to know that the process is transferrable due to the very pertinent fact that there are people living on earth.

How does Earth need terraforming but still have people living on it?
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Old 27th November 2018, 04:19 PM   #56
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Re-terraforming the Earth would still leave all of humanity's eggs in one basket. One nice meteor or supervolcano ends it.

We need separate established, independent, self sustaining humanity off of Earth for long term survival of the species.

We're talking about a backup, a ready spare, a hot site, not a replacement.
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Old 27th November 2018, 04:46 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Really?

Given that we failed (I'm sad to say) to land little Philae properly on that comet, then I'm all ears as to how we fling entire comets at a planet.
And the much more recent Hayabusa 2 was considerably more successful at landing rovers. Also these missions were aimed at landing delicate instruments packages on a comet, not altering its orbit, for that you would be looking at something like a scaled up Deep Impact(yes they really called a space probe that).
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Old 27th November 2018, 04:49 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
As to the literary obsession with Mars, that's probably because, for most of human history, Mars has been much more interesting.

Venus, until we could get local images, was always just a white disk in the sky. No features, therefore no story.

Mars, for quite some time, has had mountains, plains, canals (alright, not canals, but you get the idea) valleys and canyons, in short, Mars has Geography and a non uniform appearance that fuels imagination. Venus has, for the most part, simply been a white dot.
Well, here's the thing, though: we've envisioned people living just about everywhere ELSE. Even in places far more boring than Venus.

- in some hollowed out asteroid that's not even visible to Earthlings with the naked eye? Sure. We even have the Expanse as a very current example.

- some space station in the middle of nowhere? Sure.

- generation ship to nowhere? Bring it on.

- I've even read a SF novel that floated (pun intended) the idea of blimp cities on JUPITER. It's the exact same Venus idea, except on a cooler planet, I guess. And not only it's not any less boring a place to be floating around, but only the elder gods know what it would take to have flotation in a HYDROGEN atmosphere.

Or as a more mainstream example, the floating Cloud City on Bespin in Star Wars. I don't remember anyone having a problem with it being over some boring clouds with no geography in sight.

It seems to me like actually a lot of SF actually thrives on bleak environments, rather than it being a problem.

Only when it comes to Venus, it's like the Monty Python And The Holy Grail part where Arthur goes, "On second thought, let's not go to Camelot. It is a silly place."
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Old 27th November 2018, 04:56 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
How does Earth need terraforming but still have people living on it?
Beats me.
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Old 27th November 2018, 05:01 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Re-terraforming the Earth would still leave all of humanity's eggs in one basket. One nice meteor or supervolcano ends it.

We need separate established, independent, self sustaining humanity off of Earth for long term survival of the species.

We're talking about a backup, a ready spare, a hot site, not a replacement.
A hot site, eh? Yes, I like where you're going with this, Joe. I think something like a 3D Planet of the Lingerie Wearing, Men Enslaving, Amazons should fill the bill nicely. Not a replacement for the Earth, certainly ... but definitely a ready spare...
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Old 27th November 2018, 05:07 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Re-terraforming the Earth would still leave all of humanity's eggs in one basket. One nice meteor or supervolcano ends it.

We need separate established, independent, self sustaining humanity off of Earth for long term survival of the species.

We're talking about a backup, a ready spare, a hot site, not a replacement.
I disagree.

I think that in the limit of technology indistinguishable from magic, it will always be easier to make a go of it on Earth, than to make some other planet habitable enough to make a go of it there.
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Old 27th November 2018, 06:44 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I disagree.

I think that in the limit of technology indistinguishable from magic, it will always be easier to make a go of it on Earth, than to make some other planet habitable enough to make a go of it there.
Abandon the space program
Limit humanity to Earth
A 50km wide asteroid out of nowhere hits the Earth
Game over for humanity

What a great plan!!

Your reply totally ignored what you were actually replying to. No-one is arguing for the abandonment of Earth in favour of going to Mars or some other place. What is being argued is making Humanity a space-faring species. IMO, this is absolutely essential for the long term survival of the human race; remaining isolated on one planet is not a viable option.

If we don't wreck this planet ourselves by remaining in complete denial about what we are doing to it, a very large planet-killing asteroid WILL come along and end us. Its only a matter of time - and the clock is ticking.
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Old 27th November 2018, 07:22 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I disagree.

I think that in the limit of technology indistinguishable from magic, it will always be easier to make a go of it on Earth, than to make some other planet habitable enough to make a go of it there.
This is true but omits a very important IMO point. Planets aren't the only option. Artificial colonies beat out planets by A LOT on multiple fronts.
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Old 27th November 2018, 08:53 PM   #64
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Well, space stations are a popular thing in SF. Arguably THE most popular thing if you're going to get off Earth.

However you still need them to be at least near a planet with a magnetic field that can stop that radiation. E.g., around Jupiter could work. But see radiation again: a trip to Jupiter is going to take even longer than one to Mars.

Anyway, without that planetary magnetic shield, at the moment they have the same problem we can't solve to get someone to Mars: radiation. If keeping someone in that kinda radiation soup for 6 months to get them to Mars is bad, keeping them in it for a lifetime, yeah, not gonna be good.

Plus, even if someone manages to be born there and live to an age where they can reproduce, yeah, they're gonna be as sterile as surgical equipment by then from all the radiation. (Nor very attractive, after all their hair and nails and teeth fell off) So much for keeping the human species alive, eh?

I suppose you could haul enough lead to space to stop it, but at that point you're not gonna see outside or anything anyway, so you could just as well hollow out Ceres like in the Expanse and hide in there.
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Old 28th November 2018, 12:06 AM   #65
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Just spotted this over on NASA's Mars missions page.

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/g...s-terraforming
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Old 28th November 2018, 01:31 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
This is true but omits a very important IMO point. Planets aren't the only option. Artificial colonies beat out planets by A LOT on multiple fronts.
Basic resources? Water, oxygen and nitrogen for plant growth spring to mind, just for starters.

And then every single bit of equipment will one day wear out and need replacing. To be self-sustaining you'd have to be able to manufacture every essential item. That's a hell of a challenge even on a planet like Mars that has reasonably accessible natural resources, but on/in an artificial colony? You'd have to start hauling asteroids around - or venture out to mine them, which means rockets and rocket fuel and the ability to manufacture them. How do you bootstrap such a project?
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Old 28th November 2018, 02:19 AM   #67
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Until the 60s Venus was almost as prevalent in science fiction as Mars.
Then it was found to be a hellhole.

Mars probably retains some fascination because that's where more probes have gone.
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Old 28th November 2018, 11:48 AM   #68
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I think that it's also due to the fact that Mars looks exactly how we pictured it to look. Check out Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964) compared to some views by the Curiosity Rover.
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Old 28th November 2018, 11:51 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Well, go ahead and tell us what you think the worst case is that leads to Earth being less Earth like than Venus or Mars. Then we'll see if there isn't a more feasible way to address whatever danger you come up with than terraforming Venus or Mars.
Ok, another planet collides with ours.

There.
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Old 28th November 2018, 11:53 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I disagree.

I think that in the limit of technology indistinguishable from magic, it will always be easier to make a go of it on Earth, than to make some other planet habitable enough to make a go of it there.
Why not both?

Again, survivability, and just good old adventure.
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Old 28th November 2018, 12:28 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Ok, another planet collides with ours.

There.
It doesn't even take another whole planet to collide with us.

There is a the myth out there that THIS is what a planet killing impact would look like.


In fact, a collision of this order of magnitude hasn't happened since the Earth collided with Theia to form the moon 4 billion years ago.

In reality this is the relative size of rock needed to wipe out life on Earth



Can you see it? No? Try the next one.


How about now? Still can't see it? Try again


Just above and to the right of centre

This is about the relative size of the rock that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. It was a relatively insignificant speck, but in a single blow it wiped out those species of animals that had dominated the planet for hundreds of millions of years. Even now, we to not have the ability to stop one of these if we see it coming our way.
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Old 28th November 2018, 12:33 PM   #72
theprestige
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Why not both?

Again, survivability, and just good old adventure.
Why not both? Because of resource limitations. Surviving on Earth requires less resources than surviving on Mars - even if the Earth becomes substantially less habitable than it currently is.

If you have enough resources to maintain Earth's habitability in the face of cataclysmic disaster, *and* at the same time make Mars similarly habitable, then I propose that your civilization is so advanced and resource-rich that survivability is no longer a primary concern, and being bound to one planet or another is no longer a factor in your long-term planning.

One thing that seems obvious to me is that at our current level of technology, and our current resource availability, it is a waste of effort to try to colonize Mars. That effort would be better spent here on Earth. There's no "survivability" to be had on Mars for the forseeable future.

On the other hand, "just good old adventure" is a perfectly cromulent reason for humans to do things. I've been saying for a while that space will be populated not by scientists and homesteaders, but by tourists. And that's fine. My only concern is that governments do not expend effort in projects of adventure. Let the private enthusiasts follow their hearts. Let the scientists follow the science. And let the governments follow the money and common welfare - which is not in my view served in any way by working to establish a human colony on Mars. "Survivability" is a pipe dream, and a red herring of the romantics who hope to present a pragmatic spin for their vision of life on Mars.
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Old 28th November 2018, 12:36 PM   #73
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@smartcooky

But the Earth didn't need to be terraformed after that impact. And even though you are correct that we can't deflect nor even are we guaranteed to detect such an object, it's still going to be easier to arrange to detect and deflect that then it is to terraform a planet.
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Old 28th November 2018, 12:48 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
It doesn't even take another whole planet to collide with us.

There is a the myth out there that THIS is what a planet killing impact would look like.
He asked me for the worst scenario, so I got him one.

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Why not both? Because of resource limitations. Surviving on Earth requires less resources than surviving on Mars - even if the Earth becomes substantially less habitable than it currently is.
We have plenty of ressources to make a colony viable, were we really invested in it. And once it's self-sufficient it can contribute to colonisation efforts, so our ability to colonise grows with each new step.

Quote:
If you have enough resources to maintain Earth's habitability in the face of cataclysmic disaster
Stop right there. We don't. A big enough event kills us all, wipes out all life on earth, and makes it incapable of ever bearing life again. If we're in other places as well, at least we can recover.
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Old 28th November 2018, 01:08 PM   #75
theprestige
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
This is about the relative size of the rock that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. It was a relatively insignificant speck, but in a single blow it wiped out those species of animals that had dominated the planet for hundreds of millions of years. Even now, we to not have the ability to stop one of these if we see it coming our way.
LOL @ dropbox links inside of spoiler tags.

Anyway, that rock wiped out the dinosaurs (we infer) because it changed the Earth's environment in a way that they were unable to adapt to. But humans are demonstrably more adaptable than Dinosaurs. And a post-apocalyptic Earth would offer many advantages to humanity's remnants than a pre-, post-, or un-apocalyptic Mars, including:
- more atmosphere
- more magnetic shielding
- waaay more biomass to work with
- waaay more raw and processed materials to work with
- all the remnants of the global industrial base, including heavy machinery, power infrastructure, transportation infrastructure, etc.
- all the remnants of the pre-apocalyptic civilizations

Just having access to the cities of the world would put Earthlings whole generations ahead of Martians on the post-apocalyptic survivability sweepstakes. And there's no plausible path *at all* right now for putting Mars on such a footing to compete with Earth in this regard.

If Earth's humanity were to be entirely wiped out somehow, a Martian colony would need at the very least the following things to perpetuate the human race:

- A population large enough to breed at better than replacement rate, ideally without resorting to draconian control of citizen's bodies. We have enough surplus humans on Earth that we can maintain our population even though many people don't care to participate, and many people don't care to share their reproductive functions with more than one partner. I don't know the minimum number of people a population needs to reach this happy state, but that's probably the bare minimum number of people a self-sustaining Mars colony would need.

- Enough biomass to support a population of that size. It would have to be a self-sustaining ecosystem, too.

- A complete and self-sustaining industrial base, including:
-- raw material extraction
-- raw material synthesis (for materials not naturally present on Mars)
-- energy production and power generation
-- heavy manufacturing
-- transportation and power transmission infrastructure
Any material or component that must be sourced from Earth will be instantly fatal to a Mars colony if Earth goes offline. Even if the Earthlings survive their cataclysm and bootstrap themselves back to civilization, it may not be in time to save their Martian comrades.

- A large and diverse technocracy. If you've got the minimum-viable population, then probably everyone in the colony will have to be a skilled knowledge worker, in one or more fields ranging from mechanical engineering to chemistry to surgery to library science.

And all that for what? Just so you can feel good about the idea that at some point in the future there could still be humans breeding on Mars even if there are none left on Earth? That seems like a pretty pointless goal, to me.

Chixculub may have killed all the dinosaurs, but they don't seem to be any worse off for the fact that none of them are around to complain about it.

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Old 28th November 2018, 01:24 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
We have plenty of ressources to make a colony viable, were we really invested in it.
I disagree. I also think it's a bad investment at our current resource level.

Quote:
Stop right there. We don't. A big enough event kills us all, wipes out all life on earth, and makes it incapable of ever bearing life again. If we're in other places as well, at least we can recover.
And there's your answer to "why not both?" - If we can't do one, then doing both is out of the question.

And I think you're underestimating the level of effort needed for us to be "in other places" in a self-sustaining way. That level of effort seems excessive, for the purpose of mitigating the unlikely risk of an Earth-destroying event.
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Old 28th November 2018, 01:33 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I disagree. I also think it's a bad investment at our current resource level.
And that's the problem. It's always going to be a "bad investment" until after it's too late.

There's a chance that single volcanic eruption already reduced the human race to a population that could fit into a 50th biggest high school football stadium in Texas once (and something did cause a population bottleneck at least once before regardless of what you think caused it.) And Toba was nothing compared to Yellowstone.
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Old 28th November 2018, 01:45 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
And that's the problem. It's always going to be a "bad investment" until after it's too late.
If we started now, with our current resources, by the time the colony was self-sustaining it'd be too late anyway. And meanwhile we'd be paying a *massive* opportunity cost in not investing those resources here on Earth.

Quote:
There's a chance that single volcanic eruption already reduced the human race to a population that could fit into a 50th biggest high school football stadium in Texas once (and something did cause a population bottleneck at least once before regardless of what you think caused it.)
And we recovered from that with a fraction of the resources available to us today.

Quote:
And Toba was nothing compared to Yellowstone.
I think it would still be easier to adapt to a post-Yellowstone Earth than it would be to establish a Yellowstone-proof colony on Mars in time to save us from Yellowstone.

And by "save us" of course I mean, "perfect strangers generations hence breeding on Mars long after we're all past caring". Which seems like a pointless investment goal.
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Old 28th November 2018, 01:51 PM   #79
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Okay I'm not going to argue against some form of "I don't care if humanity survives past the point that I know them personally" nihilism.

If we can just assume the crazy idea that humanity as a species surviving is something worth investing in, we should get a self-sustaining population off planet before something happens that makes that impossible and it's too late.
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Old 28th November 2018, 02:38 PM   #80
theprestige
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Okay I'm not going to argue against some form of "I don't care if humanity survives past the point that I know them personally" nihilism.
If you're going to make the survival of humanity the basis of your argument for colonizing Mars, you should probably put more effort into arguing that point than any other. As it stands right now, you're abdicating all justification for your desired goal.

Quote:
If we can just assume the crazy idea that humanity as a species surviving is something worth investing in, we should get a self-sustaining population off planet before something happens that makes that impossible and it's too late.
Begging the question. I'm asking why we should invest, and you're asking me to assume that question has been answered, instead of actually taking the trouble answer it.

At this point, "humanity as a species surviving is something worth investing in" is essentially a religious belief for you - a first principle axiom which merely exists as true in your head, without any justification or explanation. One either believes it, or one does not. And so colonizing Mars is just a point of religious dogma for you. This puts me in much the same position I'm in whenever religious proselytizers come to my door asking me to invest in their belief system: "No thanks."
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