The concept of making foreign worlds habitable was discussed in detail by Carl Sagan (initially Venus then Mars), and has continued to be a topic of interest of legendary moon walker, Buzz Aldrin. The entire system of transforming even a small encapsulated dome must be automated, compartmentalized, and redundant. I can envision the process of bringing a life supporting environment as a series of automated tasks, being both beautiful and efficient. But there's so much of own planet that we have yet to use.
Consider the following far out environments:
- the surface of the ocean
- deep beneath the waves
- the frozen surface of Antarctica
- great cities that defy the laws of gravity by hovering high in the atmosphere
There is so much untapped and unused space on our own planet that we can use to create healthy ecosystems in, before we reach out to other planets. We are challenged by efforts to protect existing ecosystems. Over fishing and deforestation are powerful human-centric forces that require careful moderation and measurement to avoid catastrophic environmental effects. The green house effect is perhaps the most powerful atmospheric alteration. The changes to the world's climates based on industrialization is an area of ongoing research.
Taking the idea of world forming further, it is important to focus on the following questions:
- Have we truly made both healthy and sustainable living conditions for humanity or other life here on Earth?
- What about the classic metropolitan slums, or impoverished areas?
- Have we learned enough to shape our cities in a way that minimizes dangerous living conditions?
If we aren't continually asking these questions, what gives us the right to go forth to other worlds only to make the same mistakes over and over again. In my mind, we must prove that we can build healthy conditions for life on Earth before we unconsciously subject other worlds to our experimentation. Seeding barren worlds with life is a natural counter to this argument, and to that I can't object.
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