The author makes the brilliant observation that mars is cold. My bedroom is cold, but there's a fix for that, that works on mars just as well. We call them space heaters. Stuff breaks which means you have more than one heater and big spaces that fail gracefully.
An example of myopia: "it will not become the new promised land."
The promised land wasn't until people arrived to make it so. There is absolutely no reason, not one, that mars could not be a paradise in quality of life.
Living on Mars is harsh, with few natural resources available.Just plain wrong. It's not harsh, it's completely deadly until we change it, one large habitat at a time. As for resources, that's why we choose mars, because it's abundant in resources. In some respects more than earth. The potential for industry is enormous.
Homesteaders will not be faced with dense forests, clear rivers and abundant wildlife to start a new life.No, it's not earth (as if it had to be???) Will they have wood? Why not? Will they have water? Absolutely in abundance. Wild life? Perhaps not, but animals they import. You bet. Probably by insemination of a few brood females to create the genetic diversification required.
About all Mars can offer are minerals, rocks that contain oxygen, and underground ice.Otherwise known as the periodic table that makes modern life possible. Sheesh.
No one even knows if Martian soil could support plants in a greenhouse.Wrong again. Plants will grow, but we should take live earth soil as a starter medium. What we don't know is the rate of growth which with high CO2 could potentially surpass standard air.
if you run out of supplies, the delivery truck takes seven months to get there, at a cost of at least a billion dollars.You never run out of supplies because the essentials already exists on mars. Non essentials from earth cost about $60k per kg as a mass surcharge, making every new colonist a millionaire just by careful selection of personal possessions they bring with them.
Of course, it might be possible to geo-engineer Mars to replenish its atmosphere and make its rivers flow once again, but this would take tremendous effort with no guarantee of success.Blindness. They just can't see. Totally not required or even desirable.
Why would we give up living in the Garden of Eden to move to a frozen hell?To live in a community with a touch more vision? To not be at the mercy of those that can't see past their nose but still vote to make other lives miserable? To live where SSTO is easy, opening up the rest of the solar system? Where the resources you disdain haven't yet been picked clean over thousands of years. Where nuclear power really will become too cheap to meter. Where thinking outside the box is the norm? I could go on and on, but that's sufficient.
So, sure, let's go to Mars. In fact, I will volunteer to make the first boot prints in the red soil. But like any traveller in a strange new place, I will think about what I left behind and be happy to return home.The beauty of colonizing mars is they don't have to live with the blind. You're not invited. They go for a new life. To stay... until others (mainly from mars) go beyond.