A Project for Better Journalism chapter
2016 Presidential Election, Current Events, Learning, News, Opinion

Deport Capitalism To Mars

Anyone who’s been paying attention to the election results and the issues that were on the ballot knows that climate change reform just got drop-kicked out of the White House. Republican presidential nominee, Trump, did not express any concerns about climate change throughout his entire campaign—unsurprisingly—and has even said that climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese to suppress U.S. manufacturing. His agenda for the White House includes appointing staunch climate change deniers to his cabinet, such as Steve Bannon for chief strategist; defunding or even abolishing the EPA; and unleashing capitalism to its extreme by lowering corporate tax rates and withdrawing support for the Paris Climate Agreement. With the Republican Party in control of all three branches, environmentalists have no congressional voice or veto power to stop energy companies from demolishing the inhabitability of Earth. (So much for trying to protect all those descendant fetuses.)

While most giant, polluting corporate tyrants are bouncing at the thought of a conservative White House, there is the notable exception of Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, PayPal, and Tesla Motors, who has made significant efforts to advance the transition to sustainable energy on Earth and who is also currently orchestrating the first manned mission to Mars. Musk and many other scientists believe that Mars has great potential for inhabitability with the success of a few key factors: development of underground infrastructure to shield humans from radiation, the technology to harness Mars’ abundant supply of carbon dioxide for fuel, and the ability to warm the atmosphere to a temperature where ice will convert to flowing water.

Ironically, terraformation of Mars will be led by the polar opposite objective that we have on Earth: creating the greenhouse effect. The plan for Mars once our first interplanetary pioneers have settled down is to quickly and efficiently release enormous quantities of fossil fuels into the atmosphere. The only drawback is that this process will take an extremely long time and, at the predicted rate, it’s not likely that anyone alive today will be witness to naturally occurring streams on Mars.

So how can the rate of climate change be increased? In two ideal worlds, all of the fossil energy companies on Earth would be transported across the solar system to Mars, along with all of the world’s climate science deniers and pollution-enablers. Really, this would be the best of both worlds for democrats and republicans since earthlings would have the legislature and funding to develop a sustainable-energy-based economy, while freedom from carbon taxes would allow martians to pollute like no tomorrow. Sadly, this won’t happen.