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Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Raccoon Love, Dec 21, 2009.
It works in sci-fi. I don't think we are really smart, or functional enough, to pull it off.
The thing that's I'd consider first is that as far as I know, regardless of altering the landscape, without similar atmospheric conditions no sustainable life is going to happen that would completely parallel the Earth's, nor for a lengthy period of time without fudging genetics pretty heavily. Unless we can build a bunch of giant biodomes on the soil of other astral bodies, I'm not seeing it actually coming in handy. Of course, there may be more that's been developed that I'm not aware of, but anything surpassing those limitations is beyond my scope of understanding at this point. Assuming the theoretical conditions were right to properly pull everything off, there are a few things I'd still consider first. Any signs of life preexisting would immediately get a nay vote on causing any change to their environment due to the possible repercussions. For the most part though, if it was thoroughly examined as a barren chunk of rock, then I don't see any major issue. So given a lack of any life, and a way to surpass atmosphere-based issues, I can't think of any major problems off the top of my head.
need to build the bugs first, otherwise the planet is not going to work. Terra forming relies heavily on cloning and bio-engineering.
Sure, it's inevitable. Not very far, especially, if we are able to re-organize civilization meanwhile into more humane, educated, meaningful and loving ways of living (I believe that would be the road to turning every city into an MIT equivalent, instead of Las Vegas equivalent - the loving and humane mind is also more rational about reality). It's functional. Ethics is a human-generated social scheme to help some functionality. Otherwise we become like people who set up some rules to help them, and can't update the rules, when it's needed. I think the most important question is, would it feel natural enough? I believe it's possible. This is not like an artificial garden, for example, it's a whole planet. At first, it will seem awkward, and unpleasant, but the nature has a life of its own, so very soon ecosystems will be formed, balance out, and the natural feeling that we get on Earth, can be pretty much achieved. This I find to be one of the stupidest things in the past century - the idea that humans must live in modern plastic bags, and other worthless imitations of futuristic/digital feeling. That's very childish. We are animals, of Earth. We always will be. Our bodies feel the best in the woods, eating natural foods etc; not in spaceships or offices. So, instead of playing sooooo smart (superficially), we can use all this knowledge to accommodate ourselves naturally, as our bodies would like it to be. And then build everything else on top of that. We can reach other galaxies some day, if we learn to respect and treat ourselves always with the natural conditions that we need, everywhere we go. I'm optimistic.
Right. Specialised photosynthesising bacteria and single-celled plants are needed, not large machinery. However, I think that the Moon and Venus are lost causes. The former having too weak a gravitational pull to keep a good atmosphere; the latter being far too hot.
We should Terraform the Earth back to what it should be before worrying about other planets.
Agreed, there's a lot of work here, before going there, but also the two tasks are not mutually exclusive; by terraforming the Earth, we learn how to bring that world-system (along with our healthy bodies) to other planets. So it could be said we already work on the basis of terraforming.
The problem with the moon is gravity... Need gravity to hold in the atmosphere..
I'm actually writing (life-long project of mine) a speech about the heart of this (space science, education & exploration) matter. I'm all for it. Especially when we don't know much about the universe, but we like to portend we do. Who knows what we "don't know." For example, we can't track every single comet and/or asteroid out there, with that anything can happen in an instant, even if we can track some down, there is no guarantee that we will make a safe decision by keeping our eyes on it or even somehow changing it's trajectory. What about the rest? What about the long-term effects? What about those gamma rat bursts? That fuck it up all up in a flash. There are so many things. My thing is, why should anyone complain or doubt about traveling elsewhere when the very home you live in in the first place can be wiped out at any moments notice? Terraforming other planets will not only save mankind but life. And to those who say it might be wrong or unethical. Where does it say it? Who says it? There is no law in the universe that says it. There is also no law in any religion, ideology, guidebook or whatever that says we must stay on Earth. Even if there was a rule out there, are you going to live by someone elses rules and ways? or your own? Would you rather be considered unethical and have a chance to give life and mankind flourish elsewhere, or be considered ethical and have the entire human race and all life locked down in a cage? That's like being restricted to living in Delaware for all eternity, when there are other cities, states, countries, people, cultures, animals etc. out there. I could go on. Like I said, I'm all for it. The only thing is, we have a huge ass universe and it's there. Not necessarily "for the taking" but it's there. I rather not sit on the bottom of the mountain and question or theorize what's on top, or on the other side, fuck that. Let's go.
I thought that was what we were currently doing. In Earth's history, the "healthiest" periods had higher average temperatures, higher levels of carbon dioxide, and higher sea levels than today. Consequently, rainfall was higher and so was plant growth, allowing land animals to reach enormeous sizes (the dinosaurs). The greenhouse effect is a return to normality.
Why would it be unethical? Nothing lives on these planets (that we know of). Ethics only applies to moral agents...planets are not moral agents.
Oh man...my intuition tells me what the next "Save Pluto" campaign will be about...
"Should be" according to whom, exactly? You? Your doctor? Obama? Ghandi? Hitler? Me? Your mother? Joe Blow from down the road? Point being that there's no such thing as an objective "should be", just a bunch of subjective "The way I'd prefer it to be"'s. Why can't it work both ways? Can't it also be the case that by terraforming other planets we can learn new things that we can then apply to ourselves and this planet?
Okay, let me put it this way. It would behoove us (humankind) to reverse man-made global warming, which is a peril to us all. Clearly, from the previous sentence, one would correctly deduce that I am convinced that the global warming we are currently experiencing is caused by humans. The vast majority of climate scientists believe this, too. I have concluded that the fact of human-caused global warming has been established and that the scientific argument is over. Further argument about this fact is a matter of politics and ideology, not science, as far as I'm concerned. Now, the question is what to do about it.
My understanding is that the scientific consensus on the current period of climate change is that it's a natural process that is being exacerbated by man. The consensus for how much it's being exacerbated by currently lies somewhere between "Quite a bit" and "A lot". And on the subject of it being a "peril to us all", then depending on the definition of "peril" that's highly debatable. Climate change is a serious problem and a great many people (and animals) are likely to be affected by it, but the chances of the human race itself being wiped out or civilisation being plunged into a new dark age or any of the other doomsday scenarios that are being bandied about is in actuality virtually nil. However this thread isn't about global warming anyway, and neither was my point, it was just that we "should" all be careful to avoid confusing subjective opinions with objective facts. If you want to see something done about man-made global-warming, that's fine, I happen to share that opinion. But it doesn't make it objectively true that something should be done about it, it's just a subjective opinion (one that seems more closely based on the facts and that seems more well-reasoned out than some other opinions that are out there, but a subjective opinion none-the-less) based on the way we would prefer things to be.
1. "Peril" can mean a lot less than the complete destruction of the human race, obviously. 2. Global warming is pertinent to this thread because it is the only "terraforming" that has ever been done. Any other kind of "terraforming" is just speculation or science fiction. 3. objectivity?
!. Fair enough. 2. Fair enough. 3. Fair enough, though there's still a clear difference between something like falsifiable evidence that's been repeatedly checked and checked again (even if such checking is never as absolute and unbiased as is often inferred) and something that's just been pulled out of our asses based on personal preferences.* *(Not saying that what you did, btw).
Given some unobtainium, we could likely obtain anything! Seriously, this thread is full of fail. The Moon is out of the question strictly because its gravity is far too weak to sustain the pressures necessary to truly 'terra-form' (make it Earth-like). Mars is mostly out of the question due to gravity and chemical composition, entirely out of the question since its core froze long ago and it no longer has a magnetic field. Remember that on any global scale project, you have to do rough estimates on the energy required simply to _elevate_ the quantities of material that you're talking about (an atmosphere) and then you're assuming that those materials are abundant in elemental form and somehow locked up in the planet's crust. You can forget moving that kind of material from elsewhere in the solar system unless you've got some magic asteroids you want to crash into Mars. On the other hand, there are some Jovian and Saturnian moons that are much more interesting as potential resource farms, abundant in hydrocarbons and indeed well suited for certain (theoretical) types of life. Types of life that occupy entirely different metabolic temperature gradients than ours. I'm not sure why there's that much interest in terra-forming in the first place. Why are you so enamored by the idea of being stuck in a huge gravity well? The sun is already a huge well that you're not going to have an easy time leaving, and there's plenty of room and resources in the solar system to live in orbital or free roaming habitats.
WOW coon thank you so much for the beautiful pictures <3 I had never heard this term before your post but I find it really interesting. I'm afraid I have to be a cynical But I don't think terraforming can or will work. I just have the need to say we have an extraordinary world and NEED to take care of it better!!! [youtube]V5BxymuiAxQ[/youtube]