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View Diary: New Curiosity Images Bring Home That Mars is a Real Place, We'll Be Seeing Soon With Our Own Eyes (283 comments)

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  •  In a nutshell (0+ / 0-)

    Technological optimism has always been a cargo cult. We need to understand nature, yes -- but we need to learn how to live within its limits. So long as we continue to delude ourselves that we are somehow not dependent on Earth's biosphere, we will continue to pursue our own extinction.

    •  We have vast unexplored terrain and (1+ / 0-)
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      and untapped resources below the surface of the sea, some of which is not mapped at all.

      When the undersea surface area is eventually measured and totaled it will be some multiple of the surface area above sea level.

      Most of what we know relies on an oxygen rich atmosphere and photosynthesis.  We have the chemical and engineering capability to build fully functioning colonies in the deep ocean, harvest minerals locally down there, and to synthesize every compound that homo sapiens need to survive and reproduce.  We have growing capability to find or create micro-organisms that do much of that chemistry very well and reliably.  

      Of course, living in such an environment for an extended period of time would select against traits that are currently very energy consumptive on the surface (strong bones, strong muscles, bright light, loud sounds).

      •  The oceans will also be affected by global warming (0+ / 0-)

        Higher levels of dissolved carbon dioxide are acidifying ocean waters and are implicated in coral reef bleaching. The biological productivity of the photic zone will probably be significantly reduced, and that would in turn affect productivity in the lower zones that depend on a rain of nutrients from above.

        The exception might be hydrothermal vent communities, but I don't see humans thriving on a diet of extremophile bacteria... Even sushi bars haven't yet experimented with that cuisine.

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