Growing on Mars

I have an ambivalence about agricultural technology that comes from how pointless it mostly looks. The things we do to improve yields come at such a high price. But my moral foundation – outside of my religion – comes from my belief that we need to abandon this rock to the birds and step out past the darkness in the sky. There is so much room for life.

So, to proponents of genetic engineering, and our destructive system of agriculture, I offer this response.

Someday this planet will be a vast, wild wasteland. The people will be gone. We will have stepped into the starlight. So, perfect your technique of genetic manipulation and the malleability of the organisms that evolve and evolve, but do not pollute this pristine mother with your experiments here. We are all only on one rock. A single outbreak could kill us all. One nuclear winter would be enough to wipe away all known life in the whole universe. Let us step into the stars, first.

Mars appears to be an amazing laboratory. The long growing season there, the water, the seemingly limitless supply of isolated spaces, and the gap between worlds all paint a picture of what could be done with man and beast and living green cell. There, build your organisms from scratch. Here, leave the ancient preserve alone.

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