Does humanity deserve to survive, after all the harm we've done? This is one of the main issues tackled in a fascinating interview with Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX. published today in Aeon magazine. Musk has a pretty eloquent answer.
Image via SpaceX
Ross Anderson wrote about meeting Musk at his SpaceX offices. While discussing Musk's plans to put a million people on Mars, the billionaire space industrialist tells Anderson:
I think there is a strong humanitarian argument for making life multi-planetary, in order to safeguard the existence of humanity in the event that something catastrophic were to happen, in which case being poor or having a disease would be irrelevant, because humanity would be extinct. It would be like, "Good news, the problems of poverty and disease have been solved, but the bad news is there aren't any humans left."
It's funny. Not everyone loves humanity. Either explicitly or implicitly, some people seem to think that humans are a blight on the Earth's surface. They say things like, "Nature is so wonderful; things are always better in the countryside where there are no people around." They imply that humanity and civilisation are less good than their absence. But I'm not in that school. I think we have a duty to maintain the light of consciousness, to make sure it continues into the future.
Read the whole article at Aeon