Why space? — Life Reasons

Why space? — Life Reasons

*************OPEN THE FRONTIER*************

Why space? — Life Reasons

Message 4 of the Frontier Files

c 1995, Rick N. Tumlinson / Space Frontier Foundation

This message is part of a series of Space Frontier Foundation essays designed to inform the internet public about the incredible possibilities awaiting us in space.

In this installment of the Space Frontier Essays we further discuss the reasons why we must open the frontier of space. To some of you these may be obvious. Patience.

Human history on this planet is one of filling every empty nook and cranny we can find. We always push out into the wilderness. As our technology has improved, more and more of the Earth has succumbed to our expansion. This has not been good news for the rest of the living things with whom we share this tiny bubble.

There are no more frontiers to be settled on this planet which will do it no harm. It is a fact of our species: we take materials and resources from the environment in which we live; we displace or kill local life forms we find there, and we produce waste products. This is true no matter where we go within the restriction of the Earth’s atmosphere.

Some say the oceans are the next frontier, but that ignores the fact that they are already under extreme pressure from our activities on land, and the last thing they need is to be directly attacked.

Our only choice is to go where there are no living systems to harm. Those same machines with which we have so savaged this planet can now be turned outward, to carve new homes for life where there is no life.

Imagine. Someday there might be butterflies on Mars, trees on the Moon and eagles flying in the skies of miniature Earths floating between the worlds.

If nothing else, we owe it to our mother Earth to preserve her diversity in the face of a hostile universe. For as hard as it is to imagine, and as much as we want it to be otherwise, there may be no other place like Earth out there. We may be it. Sure, sure, billions of worlds mean billions of possibilities for life. Indeed, the odds are very high that we are not alone, but that’s why they are only odds. We might just be life’s one shot. And even if we aren’t alone, the life on this planet is still unique. So why gamble. Each species that dies as result of our need for more room or resources or jobs is gone. Period.

Life is precious. The Space Frontier is wide, and what we’ve seen of it locally is fairly empty. Our choice for the future of life seems clear: stay locked into limits and continue to kill it — or break out into space and spread the Earth’s seeds to worlds now dead.

We think the future of human life on Earth is clear: spread it, or let it die.

*************OPEN THE FRONTIER*************