When discussing space exploration with a group of second-graders in Lawrence Township, New Jersey, my mother was explaining how scientists were very excited to discover evidence that pointed to the possibility of life on Mars.
During the discussion, a seven year old student raised her hand.
“Mrs. Fowler, does this mean we can move to Mars when we use up the Earth?”
It is deeply troubling that future generations view the planet as an exhaustable resource, one that may very well be exhausted in their lifetime. If this little girl’s innocent question is representative of the population at large, we are truly in need of a revolution in thought. Rather than accept our current patterns of conspicuous consumption and look for a new planet to exploit, we need to protect the one we find ourselves on at the moment.
For the time being, however, I suppose it is a good thing we’re continuing to explore life on Mars.