Before then, it is an ecological and economic free-for-all. Already, as Impey pointed off to the AAAS panel, private companies are engaged in an area race of sorts. For the time being, the ones that are viable utilizing the blessing of NASA, catering right to its (governmental) needs. But if capitalism becomes the driving force behind space travel – whether through luxury vacations to the Moon, safari tours of Europa, mining asteroids for precious minerals, or turning alien worlds into microbial gardens we harvest for ourselves – the balance struck between preservation and exploitation, unless strictly defined and powerfully enforced, will likely be susceptible to shifting in line with companies’ profit margins. Given the chance, today’s nascent space industry may become the second oil industry, raking in the cash by destroying environments with society’s tacit approval.
In the world, it is inside our interest as a species to push away ecological meltdown – and still we will not put the brakes on our consumption of fossil fuels. It’s hard to believe ourselves to care about ruining the environment of another planet, especially when no sentient beings are objecting and we’re reaping rewards back on Earth that we could bring.
But maybe conservation won’t be our choice that is ethical when comes to alien worlds.
Let’s revisit those resistance-proof antibiotics. ادامه مطلب …