The press has been full of stories lately about how great space technology is because the U.S. had landed not only a “rover” on Mars, but also a small helicopter that has flown as humans’ first aircraft on another world. There’s no question that operating these robot devices tens of millions of miles away is a great engineering achievement.
But if we can do that, why can’t we clean up our own planet!? Seriously, folks! Come on now.
It’s not that we don’t have the brain capacity to come up with the technologies to stop environmental pollution and climate change that are threatening our lives, future generations, and maybe all life on this planet. But we live in a system that values the profits of oil companies more than life itself. What we need most urgently is the social imagination and political will to challenge that system—and do it fast, before it’s too late. If we do colonize Mars, are we going to ruin it, too?