Naked Fantasy

I watched Naked Science last night.  The show was about sending a manned mission to Mars.  Interesting, though I can do without the collectivism “we as a race need to…”  That’s just a call to steal my money–by force–so that they can pay for their mission to Mars.

Just get out of the way, and a private effort will go to Mars (if there is any actual, you know, value in doing so)!  I’ve heard that some private companies have estimated they could do it for a billion dollars, which is 1/55 what this show said NASA would spend.

Anyways, what made me mad enough to write this blog entry was the part about terraforming the planet.  Scientists believe that, in its past, Mars was warm enough to have liquid water on its surface.  If modern engineering can re-start whatever caused that to be, then the planet could support life without pressurized domes.

OK, fine, this is just standard 20th century science fiction.  They presented how this might be done.  The money quote is when this guy notes that CO2 and other greenhouse gases dumped into the atmosphere would make the planet warm up.  “We know how to do that!” he declared!

Do we know, you twit?  If so, it hasn’t been proven in a real atmosphere of a real planet yet!

At most, temperatures taken at a few sporadic surface stations have shown, perhaps, 0.6 degree of warming.  And even that is suspect because of urban warming.  We don’t have comprehensive satelite temperature data for a very long period, but what we have shows no warming.  Greenhouse gases will warm Mars right up!  Yeah right, buddy!

But what’s even more silly is that Mars’ atmosphere is largely CO2!  It already is loaded with a so-called greenhouse gas!  Why isn’t it overheated??

The other money quote is when this junk scientist declared that we could build chemical factories on Mars that would put other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, “only without the ozone-depleting side effects.”  Then I knew that I was watching a priest recite his litany of canon.  Every child knows how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, how much the tooth fairy pays, and how many reindeer pull Santa’s sleigh!  And children also know that ozone-depletion is related to global warming.  Err, sorry, warmening.  Somehow.

Now I lay me down to sleep,

I pray dear lord my ozone not to deplete.

And if the climate should get 100 degrees hotter before I wake,

I pray the lord from 200-meter walls of water,

to make me safe!

The Martian atmosphere is CO2.  It does not have an ozone layer.  There is nothing to deplete.  And by the way burning fossil fuels is not even alleged to deplete the ozone (CFCs are alleged, but far from proven).

Either this twit really doesn’t know some of this stuff, in which case it is an act of fraud on the part of the Science Channel to put up a buffoon on their show as if he was an expert.  Or he does know it, but commits fraud because he feels it’s politically expedient to say what he knows is untrue for the sake of his future ability to get funding.

How can an engineer a 55 billion-dollar mission to Mars if he believes in political expedience over reality??


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