Permanent Human Settlement of the Earth, Space and Ocean Frontiers

Friday, June 16, 2006

Mom Was Right: Why We Can't Go To Mars

The number one reason why humanity can’t go to Mars is the one that is the most serious.


My mother gave me some sage advice as a young man. She said, simply, “People do what they want to do.” The logical inverse of that is equally true, “People do not do what they do not want to do.” It seems too simple to work. Yet, it is one of the most profoundly wise things I have ever heard in my life and it is true 100% of the time. It is also true of the planet Mars and human beings. The number one reason why we cannot go to Mars is simple: we don’t want to go. How do I know that? Because if we did, then we would have been there already.

Now introducing some complexity into the equation, it is true that MANY people DO say they want to go to Mars. But the way our power and economic structures work – there may not be enough of us, or we have not organized for whatever lame reasons to make our voices heard in unison, and so here we sit. And even among those of us who do want to go, there is profound disagreement over many things. If you don’t believe that, check out any of the myriad Internet forums on the subject.

If citizens of the United States (just to name one country) wanted to go to Mars, it would be happening. But it is not because the citizens of the United States have not as a collective entity told their politicians to take our tax money and pay for it or they will be voted out of office forthwith. It is so painfully simple. We are not going to Mars because there are too few of us who have done that. The politicians have other things with which to spend our tax money and they do not fear that there are enough of us to make any difference. If they did - we would be buliding the ships right now. But it is not happening, so, they are correct in their assessment. How do I know that? Because we are not going to Mars. It’s all very, very simple.

For example, if most space advocates were honest, how many of them would admit that they have either not written their congressmen lately or they have NEVER written their congressmen? Why? Because THEY don’t want to go to Mars either. It’s much easier to wax long on some internet forum than to actually write a letter that could make some difference. (Your blogger is, of course, guilty as charged.)

This whole issue of Mars or not-Mars is so simple it is ridiculous. Really. Truly. No joke. If every space advocate who wanted to go to Mars got together in an organized way and VOWED to send congress letters, emails, petitions and phone calls on a daily basis, we would go to Mars, period. There IS that much interest out there and we could do it.

But we don’t. Why? Mom said it herself. “We do what we really want to do – and we do not do what we really do not want to do.”

If Congress is the key, then why do we refuse to pick up the key and slide it in the lock and open the door? It’s obvious, isn’t it?

If you think I am wrong – don’t get mad at me. Count the number of emails, letter, petitions and phone calls YOU have sent, then ask yourself. If congress is the only door, then why haven't YOU turned the only key? YOU have the power. Why haven’t YOU used it? We all actually prove our deepest intentions by what we do or by what we do not do. The bottom line is always, always based on what we actually do, not at all by whay we say.

Waxing long and pontificating with anger and zeal is actually a useless endeavour unless it is coupled with and directed toward a plan to connect with the power that can make a difference.

Let’s face it. Mom was right.

Yeah, I know – I always got mad at her too – at first. Until I grew up and realized she was right. The point is. I grew up, then I took her advice, then I got things done – all because I REALLY wanted to.

PS. Yes, I realize there have been "Mars Words" spoken recently from on high. But let me ask you a question. Have you seen any Mars Ship plans or heard about any Mars Ship contracts out for bid? No? Me either. And in any government, where their is no money - there is no real plan, period. You can believe in the tooth fairy if you wish, but how many times in the last 20 years have we heard about Mars "plans" and then seen it all disappear after the next election? It's called the hot air of politics. Show us the money or stop lying.