Discussing Fourth World with a college classmate, I mentioned that, according to my novel, the first manned mission to Mars lands in 2030.
“Why?” he asked.
“No. Why go at all?”
Although NASA has found its resolve, I’m sure that’s an argument still echoing in the corridors of Congress. Is it simply in our DNA to push the limits of our capabilities, i.e. to go because we can? Is the space race still a thing? Do we hope to find life there, opening the door to unimagined scientific breakthroughs? In the future Fourth World, there are minerals and fossilized genes to exploit- but really, why do we, in 2017, want to colonize Mars? To escape overpopulation, global warming and rising sea levels? Imminent nuclear holocaust? Donald Trump’s inauguration (better start boarding)? There does seem to be a shift worldwide towards confrontational, nationalistic, authoritarian governments, and climate change is real, but the Noah’s Ark (or is it Elon’s Ark) explanation can’t be enough- can it? Our incoming president rattles the nuclear saber and wants to “cancel” the Paris Accord. According to Al Gore and many others, there is a point of no return, beyond which climate change cannot be reversed. When we pass that point, please save me a seat on the Ark!