How To Talk To Your Children About…Mars

Is there life on Mars?

Well with the recent discovery of water on the planet’s surface we’re one step closer to finding out.

Then why does the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX want to blow it up?

What Elon Musk was trying to say on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert was that by pulverizing the polar ice caps with nukes, water and carbon dioxide would be released into the atmosphere and, hypothetically speaking, create an ozone layer essential to sustaining life on Mars. It’s called “terraforming”.

Terraforming?

Ya, I learned about it in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

But why do people care about having living things on Mars?

A couple of reasons. One, to prove that we are not alone in the universe and that extraterrestrial life does and can exist. Secondly, due to the potentially irreversible impact of climate change Earth’s natural resources and atmosphere will become so barren that human beings won’t be able to live on this planet anymore and in order for our species to survive we would have to find another world to inhabit.

You said ‘potentially irreversible impact of climate change’ so does that mean there’s a chance people can stay on Earth?

Yes, and we’re slowly making progress but unless the global economy and certain┬ápolitical parties accept the fact that humans are responsible for our changing climate then it’s already too late.

But Dad, I’ve seen previews for The Martian, can’t we just have Matt Damon “science the shit” out of Earth?

Well we can certainly ask.