Posted by: rogermitchell | February 23, 2021

Why the NASA Mars initiative bothers me

I just turned off BBC newsnight as Emily Maitliss began a very upbeat introduction to their item on the Mars landing and the extractive investigation of the solar system that it embodies. She said that it was a good antidote to staring at our restrictive four walls in the pandemic lockdown. I found myself wondering why I immediately and quite aggressively turned it off and what my irritation was based in. After all I believe the whole cosmos to be the outworking of the loving intentions of an amazing creator whose image we share. Why am I not overwhelmingly intrigued and motivated by such an extraordinary scientific achievement and the opportunity to see photographs of Mars never previously seen?

It didn’t take me long to articulate why, and here I am writing it down. We are in the middle of a climate emergency of humungous proportions Our extractive engagement with our own planet is currently destroying it and we need all the scientific expertise and finance available to solve this now, for our planetary coinhabitants and our children’s children. Hands off Mars and the rest of the solar system until we have proved ourselves capable of writing the wrongs done by humanity to our own planetary home. I suppose it is remotely possible to argue that if we discover that there was intelligent life on Mars in the past we might discover that they too ruined their planet and how and why. But how much more urgent to act on what we know already about what we have done to our earth and do what we already know we need to do to remediate it before it is too late!



  1. Why was last summer so hot? Why has this winter been so cold? My opinion is that the pandemic lockdowns caused substantially fewer particulates to be released into the atmosphere from cars, trucks, planes, and factories, thus causing fewer clouds. Clouds bounce more sunlight back into space in the long days of summer, and bounce more heat back to earth during the long nights in winter. The carbon dioxide buildup has been helping increase crop yields: commercial greenhouses add it on purpose. I suspect particulates affect climate on a much more immediate time scale than carbon dioxide, and perhaps even more importantly.

    • Thanks Blaine for pointing out this redemptive aspect of the lockdowns.

  2. I wholeheartedly agree!

  3. Exactly right!

  4. Couldn’t agree more Rog – albeit belatedly!!


    Marjie x

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