Space Colonization: Not An Excuse To End The World

The human race has, at most 11 years, in which to slow climate change before it becomes inevitable and disastrous. While there are many who deny climate change altogether, there are also those who are apathetic about it, seeing no need to combat it. These people think of the moon and Mars as backups to Earth, that we can move to once it’s destroyed. However, humans have yet to even visit Mars and no one has spent an extended period of time on the moon. The argument that humans can just pack up and leave once Earth is no longer habitable shows a lack of insight into the particulars of off-world colonization and indifference to saving the planet we already have.

The amount of carbon emissions produced by the human race today is not sustainable in order to maintain a habitable planet. Too much CO2 in the atmosphere leads to a changing climate, turning hot areas boiling and cold areas frigid. Parts of the planet will drown, and parts will dry up. There won’t be enough food to sustain the human population because there won’t be anywhere to grow it. There won’t be enough oxygen to breath because there won’t be anymore rainforests. Billions of people will lose their homes and livelihoods. First, life as we know it, luxury and abundance, food and freedom, will vanish. Then, the human race will go extinct.

While much of the negative impact of humans on the environment is irreversible, there is still time before it is too late. We need to slow the warming of the planet to less than 2° by 2030 but ideally to less than 1.5°. Carbon emissions need to be severely cut down. The obvious solutions are a carbon tax, eating much less meat, not using carbon heavy transportation, and not eliminating the natural elements that already work to absorb carbon, such as rainforests.

However, some people are too lazy or too invested in their own assets to take these ideas seriously or even consider them. People would rather continue eating hamburgers for every meal and driving their SUVs and the heads of huge fossil fuel corporations would rather continue hiring lobbyists and “scientists” to spread misinformation to continue making a profit and expanding their personal fortunes. It’s no coincidence that most climate change deniers are old and wealthy: they won’t be around for the end of the world and can only profit off polluting the environment.

Space colonization shouldn’t be considered as the solution to climate change. We shouldn’t be investing time and resources in an unsure future on a different planet when we should be investing those in saving the one we already have. Space colonization is not the safety net people like to think it is; it should be the last resort in the far future for if our planet finally goes to shit and the human race hasn’t curbed its population growth rate. We haven’t done enough research into the effects of living off-world on humans and we don’t know if we would be displacing or exploiting native races. The idea of space colonization is alluring but our focus at the present should be on making Earth habitable into the future.


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