The main reason is that Mars is a very unhealthy place, not just for humans but for all life. Forget the temperature extremes. The biggest problem with Mars for maintaining life is that it has almost no protection against radiation. It has no iron core like Earth and thus it does not have the magnetic field that protects humans from cosmic rays and solar mass ejections.
Read this article for more information.
Six feet of soil can shield against cosmic rays as can a few centimeters of water. Since hauling water to Mars hardly seems practical, unless an ample water supply is found on Mars, the "explorers" will have to be satisfied with living and exploring under the surface.
Also, the human body is so adapted to our level of gravity that almost absent gravity (as in the space station) damages bone density. In a large space craft that rotates, you can use centrifugal force to simulate gravity, but how do you do that on the surface of Mars? Not exactly a vacation and no place anyone would want to live for long.
Terraforming isn't practical unless there's a way to give the planet a magnetic field. Otherwise, the atmosphere will simply be lost to space.
What do you think?
Religion is not a preciously fleeting commodity.
That's obfuscation and completely besides the point.
Are you saying there is not a trend towards increased sustainability in the younger generations (my general assertion)? Or towards fewer drivers (one random point I used to back up that assertion)?
Let me draw you a picture since you are too obstinately ignorant to just accept you are dead wrong. Here:
World petroleum consumption is on the rise - particularly in the East. That growth is outpacing any declines in the West. Even if we stopped those increases dead in their tracks, we are already past peak petroleum production, meaning production is decreasing - as in we are running out of oil. Do you understand it now, Einstein? Or would you like me to use smaller words?
Again you change the subject and refuse to answer simple questions that doesn't support your fabricated hypotheses.
Oil production since 1960, please find the peak:Also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predicting_the_timing_of_peak_oil#No_p...
Using 2006 data is telling about your ability to do research as it is a well known fact that there was a peak in '05. However, in 2011 production was again higher and this year is expected to increase even further.
As for the immediate future:
While oil production naturally will peak at some point, that point is still far off in the future. Of course, that there's plenty of oil doesn't mean it's a particularly a good idea to go along burning non-renewable energy in the long run.
So, since we are running out of oil, sooner or later, either because of excess demand or reduced/limited production, and we might like western civilization to continue, which should mean continued use of energy, with possible improvements in efficency, alternatives to present energy sources 'will' be needed, and a lead time for those sources to come on line will need to be factored into any cultural/technical plans to prevent social disruption? Sorry for the run on sentence, but I was trying to capture the rather obvious points being made with such heat. Is there anything wrong with my attempt at a summation?
You've hit the nail on the head, James - but some sacs of hammers just can't pound that nail. Not only are we running out of petroleum, we do not have anything up and coming that will provide us with such cheap, portable, dense energy anytime in the near future.
Sadly this 'seems' to be true at present. About 25 years ago there was talk of building a large solar array in the deserts of New Mexico/California/Utah. The first computation I heard was a 100 sq-mile area would supply most of the US electric power needs at that time, but a storage and backup technology(s) was needed. Wind and biomass could cover most of the imbalances with output from the main array, but 'the not-in-my-backyard(NIMBY)' would be a large social/political hurdle to over come.
Many people are working on alternative energy systems, some of which are on the wuwu side.
I have puttered with the theory and application of the Microbial Fuel Cell(MFC), with my first cell generating 218 mV at .5 mA, which is interesting, but not yet ready for primetime. So far, the the MFC's might be more useful for bioremediation, such as reduction of Selenium from ground water.
The MFC's might we very helpful for space exploration, with the ability to extract power directly from sewage/biomass, for low power applications, but there needs to be a several orders of magnitude improvement in power density and output. You would not be able to start you car with a battery using bacteria at present..;p(.
A secondary point, does any of this happen to affect our space faring future, and how? I consider the awareness of limitations as mostly a crisis of imagination, but I have backed into my own, rather serious limits, more than once.
If we focus on our awareness/perception of 'limits', are we failing to recognize our growing cultural and technical capabilities? If we are always hungry, and never travel far from our last meal, what other possibilities will we miss, just a little outside our present vision?
Well, taking that argument seriously, it becomes an argument not for pursuing Mars exploration, but rather an argument to drop everything we have to pursue every unknown.
Well if you got the time, why not. Atleast a few unknowns as time allows.
Spacefaring beyond our solar system is so unimaginably fraught with risks and difficulties as to be impossible. Should we place our bets on sci fi hopes and dreams or concentrate on practical solutions to problems on the only world we're really suited to living on?
RE: "Spacefaring beyond our solar system is so unimaginably fraught with risks and difficulties as to be impossible."
Let's rephrase that slightly:
"Sailing beyond our European continent is so unimaginably fraught with risks and difficulties as to be impossible."