Pick of the Day: Terraforming: The Creating of Habitable Worlds

There's some pretty rad technology discussed in this book by University of Regina Astronomy prof Martin Beech. Crashing comets into otherwise arid planets to provide a source of water, transporting gas from the Sun to Jupiter to turn it into a mini-star, altering the orbits of asteroids and getting them to clip Venus to speed up its rotation so that a "day" doesn't last 243 Earth days, even erecting giant screens and mirrors in space to help cool down Venus and heat up Mars.

With other planets in the solar system, we don't really have a choice if we're to make them conducive some day in the distant future to human habitation. But the truly scary thing is that scientists, due to fears about runaway climate change if we're unable to get our greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels under control soon, are actually contemplating similar interventions here on Earth. It's called geo-engineering. And it's a pretty sad comment on the lameness of our species, that we've abused and exploited nature to such an extent that we actually have to resort to terraforming Earth to ensure it remains habitable.

That we need to move off Earth is a no-brainer. As Beech notes in an interview in our upcoming Jan. 14 issue, tremendous resources are there for the harvesting in the solar system. As well, if we can establish viable extraterrestial settlements they can act as an insurance policy should humanity one day be menaced by the type of catastrophe that exterminated the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. (YouTube) But before we do that, we really need to get a handle on sustainable development so that we don't soil those worlds like we have our own.

In the hope that we one day get our shit together and begin to explore and settle other planets here's the trailer for the 1958 sci-fi cheesefest Queen of Outer Space which is set, and I use the term extremely loosely, on Venus. (YouTube)

Got notice late last week that tonight at 7 p.m. there's a forum on Community Engaged Research at the University of Regina's ShuBox Theatre where several artists and educators who specialize in community engagement talk about the benefits of what they do.

1 comment:

Dakota said...

Alternatively: we had our chance and it looks like we blew it.

Maybe we should just continue killing ourselves and eventually the ducks, or something, can take over (assuming they're not all dead too).

Still, cool technology.