Note — Sep 04, 2022

Mars Is Irrelevant to Us Now

At Farsight, a short but excellent interview with Kim Stanley Robinson on what he can contribute to discussions about the climate crisis (“Three things: the future as subject for speculation; the syncretic combination of all the fields into a holistic vision of civilisation; and lastly, narrative as a mode of knowing.”), his fictional ministry for the future, legislation options, clean energy, geoengineering, coops, and some fun chiding of the interviewer at the end.

Geoengineering is a vague term that has been demonised, so it is perhaps not useful to keep using it. Each action proposed has different costs, potential benefits, and potential dangers, so they need to be discussed individually and not as a class. […]

Mars is irrelevant to us now. We should of course concentrate on maintaining the habitability of the Earth. My Mars trilogy is a good novel but not a plan for this moment. If we were to create a sustainable civilisation here on Earth, with all Earth’s creatures prospering, then and only then would Mars become even the slightest bit interesting to us. It would be a kind of reward for our success – we could think of it in the way my novel thinks of it, as an interesting place worth exploring more. But until we have solved our problems here, Mars is just a distraction for a few escapists, and so worse than useless. […]

[N]ature? You are nature, nature is you. Natural is what happens. The word is useless as a divide, there is no Human apart from Nature, you have no thoughts or feelings without your body, and the Earth is your body, so please dispense with that dichotomy of human/nature, and attend to your own health, which is to say your biosphere’s health.