September 12, 2002

MARS NEEDS BUREAUCRATS! Governments must control Mars colonization, says British astronomer Sir Martin Rees, or it might turn out like America!

Once an infrastructure is established the costs of getting to Mars will go down, which could open up the possibility for different types of expeditions.

“If they were governmental or international (expeditions), Antarctic-style restraint might be feasible. On the other hand, if the explorers were privately funded adventurers of free-enterprise, even anarchic disposition, the Wild West model would be more likely to prevail,” he said.

Okay, the story’s a bit shy on context, so his remarks may be more reasonable than they sound. But some of us think the “Wild West” wasn’t so bad, and it’s, ahem, “insensitive” of non-Americans to treat it as a synonym for “bad.”

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