Some of you may be familiar with the BBC Astronomy programme The Sky At Night, the Beeb’s longest running show presented once a month by Patrick Moore. It’s generally a relaxing watch, with plenty of photos of deep space and so on, a balm to the senses in providing a brief escape from the repetitive round of humans on planet earth.
Anyway, there was an anniversary edition a couple of weeks back and a number of astronomers were asked what they hoped for in terms of the future of Astronomy and the study of space. My stomach turned at their answers: all of them were eager for bases and colonies on the moon, missions to Mars and, of course, the prospect of humanity colonising the solar system seemed to have them creaming their trousers with anticipation.
No, I thought, please, NO! The main reason it’s calming to look up at the night sky is because it provides a release and escape from human woes and allows us to put our own puny lives in perspective. I, for one, could never look at the moon again knowing there was a colony of humans up there, sullying it with its presence. Humanity, leave Space alone! Keep your plague and your curse and your meaninglessness and your restlessness and your egotism and your violence to the rock where you spawned and will perish. Don’t destroy the silent beauty of the stars with your filth and disease!
Leave Space alone!