Obama Slams Plan to Escape Earth by Colonizing Mars

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Say Again

Earlier today, SpaceX attempted to launch and land its Starship spacecraft for the third time, setting a new benchmark in CEO Elon Musk's highly ambitious plans to make humanity interplanetary by establishing colonies on Mars.

The goal, per the billionaire, is to build a civilization on the Red Planet, facilitated by a fleet of Starship rockets covering the interplanetary trek.

"My plan is to use the money to get humanity to Mars and preserve the light of consciousness," he tweeted back in 2021.

But not everybody agrees with Musk's desire to move humanity to the surface of a distant and largely inhabitable planet. Critics of that plan, including former US president Barack Obama, have long pointed out that we shouldn't abandon the Earth after making a possibly irreparable mess of its climate.

During a renewable energy conference in Paris this week, Obama slammed the plans of Silicon Valley "tycoons, many of whom are building spaceships" that could get humans to Mars, as quoted by Agence France Presse. While he didn't mention Musk specifically by name, it was almost certainly aimed directly at him.

"But when I hear some of the people talk about the plan to colonize Mars because the Earth environment may become so degraded that it becomes unliveable, I look at them like, what are you talking about?" he added.

Scorched Earth

Obama argued that the Red Planet simply isn't a good fit for humanity.

"Even after a nuclear war, Earth would be more liveable than Mars, even if we didn't do anything about [climate change] it would still have oxygen — as far as we can tell, Mars does not," Obama said.

Meanwhile, Musk suggested back in 2015 that we should "drop thermonuclear weapons over the poles" to terraform Mars.

To the mercurial CEO, civilization on Earth is doomed to fail due to "population collapse" caused by low birth rates, global warming — and of course evil AI that is "far more dangerous than nukes."

Clearly, that kind of fearmongering isn't sitting well with Obama. Instead of abandoning a ravaged Earth, the former president argued that we should "invest in taking care of this planet here."

"We were designed for this place, and it would be good if we kept this place in a way that's liveable," he added.

More on Musk and Mars: Elon Musk Says Starship Will Spin for Artificial Gravity