Sorry, Elon. There’s Not Enough CO2 To Terraform Mars

By John Wenz | July 30, 2018 10:00 am
Lockheed Martin's Mars Base Camp is part of a vision to bring astronauts to the Red Planet. But to enjoy living there longterm, many scientists have long dreamed of altering the planet's atmosphere. (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

Lockheed Martin’s Mars Base Camp is part of a vision to bring astronauts to the Red Planet. But to enjoy living there longterm, many scientists have long dreamed of altering the planet’s atmosphere. (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

Mars might not have the right ingredients to terraform into our planetary home away from home – even with the recent discovery of liquid water buried near its south pole.

Research published Monday in Nature Astronomy puts a kibosh on the idea of terraforming Mars. At the heart of the study is carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, is abundant on Mars — its thin atmosphere is made of the stuff, and the white stuff we often see on the surface is dry ice, not snow. CO2 is even trapped in the rocks and soil.

That abundance has long fueled visions of a fantasy future where all that trapped carbon dioxide is released, creating a thicker atmosphere that warms the planet. SpaceX founder Elon Musk has even proposed nuking Mars to make this happen.

But in this new study, veteran Mars expert Bruce Jakosky of the University of Colorado Boulder and Christopher S. Edwards of Northern Arizona University, surveyed how much carbon dioxide is available for terraforming the Red Planet. They combined Martian CO2 observations from various missions — NASA’s MAVEN atmospheric probe, the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter, as well as NASA’s Odyssey and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The results throw shade on the dreams of futurists.

Terraforming Schemes

The paper looks at two approaches that have been discussed. In the first, humans simply raise Mars’ atmospheric pressure until space colonists can walk around with a breathing apparatus instead of the full astronaut pressure suit used in spacewalks. The other scenario looks at creating an atmosphere that allows liquid water on the surface and roughly breathable air.

Either scenario needs plenty of CO2. And … there’s just not enough. The polar caps are actually quite shallow deposits of carbon dioxide, and even exhausting all of Mars’ existing CO2 resources still creates just 15 millibars of the atmospheric pressure — on Earth, roughly 1,000 millibars is considered average pressure at sea level. Even vaporizing Mars’ carbon rich sedimentary rocks, laid down when the Red Planet was watery, would only release about 12 millibars. None of the scenarios the scientists looked at could make much of a difference, even considering unlikely conditions like creating an artificial magnetic field.

Mars is a cold, nearly airless desert, and it seems likely to stay that way.

This may not affect plans for a pressurized Mars base, but it makes the idea of actually colonizing Mars a whole lot less appealing. And while some future ideas like redirecting comets could bring more gases and water to Mars, those are way, way beyond our current means.

Sorry, Elon Musk.

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  • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/EquivPrinFail.pdf Uncle Al

    Some 75% of known asteroids are C-type (carbonaceous). 10 Hygiea masses 8.67×10^19 kg. Earth’s entire atmosphere masses 5.148×10^18 kg. Elon Musk is hugely validated.

    .

    • davidsstrail

      Smashing carbon Asteroids into Mars is not going to release carbon dioxide to make an atmosphere

      • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/EquivPrinFail.pdf Uncle Al

        Vida supra

      • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

        Not at first it isn’t, but it could be a start.

        First you smash in the comets- about 1/3rd the current mass of the planet. Then you wait for the tectonics to settle a bit. Then you drop in probes to plant lichen. Then after another hundred years, you drop in probes to plant higher plants.

        In about ten thousand years, you MIGHT release enough carbon dioxide to create an earth normal atmosphere.

        • Mike Richardson

          Well, asteroids and comets likely contributed to the oceans and atmosphere of Earth, so why not use them to do the same for Mars?

          As for the magnetic field, why does it need to be on the surface of the planet? Place a large field generator at the Lagrange point between the sun and Mars, and use it to deflect the solar wind around Mars like windscreen.

          Yes, it’s technology for generations yet born to develop, but it isn’t physically impossible.

          • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

            “Well, asteroids and comets likely contributed to the oceans and atmosphere of Earth, so why not use them to do the same for Mars?”

            Because there aren’t as many asteroids in the solar system as there used to be? Which is a good thing, by the way, because otherwise we’d be in the middle of a heavy bombardment period.

            Or to be exact, Earth would be. We wouldn’t be here. Life couldn’t survive that.

          • Mike Richardson

            You make a valid point about the relative scarcity of asteroids and comets now versus then, better explained in your post to Theodore above. That’s a detail often glossed over in the discussions of terraforming I’ve read in the past. I appreciate reading posts from someone with professional expertise in hard sciences, which are admittedly more of an enjoyable hobby for me. I’ll have to adjust my thinking on this topic accordingly.

            Don’t let the foreign trolls run you off. We need more informed posts around here.

        • Erik Bosma

          And by then the sun would be well on the way to eroding this Cinderella atmosphere again. Again. Get it? There’s no magnetic field and very little gravity.

          • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

            So also drop iron, the second most common element in the asteroid belt, to increase both magnetic firld and gravity.

          • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

            The entire asteroid belt, put together, has just a fraction of the mass of our moon, which is itself much smaller than Mars. You will not be able to collect enough iron from that source to do what you want.

          • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

            The belt alone, yes. But there is more than one asteroid field out there, and you also have other sources of water and carbon and iron to consider.

          • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

            Sigh. You want to Harvest the Kuiper belt and Oort cloud, as well? First of all, as I pointed out above, your plan to harvest the main belt would be futile, that nuclear weapons will not do what you want them to do. Also, as I pointed out in that previous reply, this impossibility is a good thing, because if some reckless engineer who somehow gained access to enough firepower to move the belt, what we would get wouldn’t be a terraformed Mars. What we would get would be the end of all life in this system, from the heavy bombardment episode that would result.

            By the way, the Moon had magma oceans after the last one of those, and so would Mars, after this one. As would the other inner planets.

            OK, now instead of aiming from tens of millions of miles away, you want to go out billions? Tens of billions? Hundreds of billions? How much of the cloud do you want to grab? Because it’s not close, or dense. Even if you could get Pluto to drop onto Mars, and somehow magically make the heat of impact go away, you’d gain volatiles but relatively little iron, and nothing more than the mass of something grossly out-massed by our own moon.

            There aren’t any free lunches in Physics, Mr. Seeber.

          • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

            What makes you think we’d want the heat of the impact to go away? It’s a necessary ingredient in the terraforming process.

          • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

            Do you plan on having your colonists homesteading on top of magma, Theodore? THAT’S why we’d want the heat of impact to go away. If you drop a dwarf planet on top of a terrestrial planet, you don’t get nice weather. You melt the surface of the planet under the point of impact, and out to some considerable distance. Even if any solid surface remains, until that magma scabs over (by cooling), the atmosphere is going to be something that you would be ill-advised to breath or even touch.

            Seriously, I am just about ready to give up on you, Mr. Seeber. The words coming to mind as I read what you’re posting, at this point, are “Dunning-Kruger Effect.”

          • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

            No, I’m saying that Teraforming is a process that takes tens of thousands of years before colonists can land.

            The heat of the impact now, is what produces the nice weather 10,000 years from now.

          • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

            Yes. It’s Dunning-Kruger at work, all right.

            “The heat of the impact now, is what produces the nice weather 10,000 years from now.”

            This is the part that amazes me. You pull a number like that out of your own backside, and have such confidence in it. No calculations, no factual basis, you just think that you know these things, by magic, perhaps?

            Doing a quick search for the Hadean Eon, I found that (as the word “eon” would suggest), that this time in Earth’s past when the crust was molten lasted a bit more than 10,000 years. It started 4.6 billion years ago, ending 4.0 billion years ago, meaning that it lasted for 600 million years. For comparison’s sake, the non-avian dinosaurs went extinct 66 million years ago. Even taking into effect the fact that Mars is a much smaller planet, we’re still talking about a lot more than 10,000 years.

            Also, as I noted above (in points that you have failed to address), your plan for achieving this melting would not work.

        • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

          “First you smash in the comets- about 1/3rd the current mass of the planet.”

          Oh, that’s all! Would you care to tell me how you plan to move that much matter?

          “Then you wait for the tectonics to settle a bit.”

          Last I heard, Mars didn’t have plate tectonics,

          • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

            Nuclear bombs deorbiting matter from the Asteroid Belt. Big plus: clean up Earth of radioactive leftover unnecessary weapons at the same time.

          • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

            As I pointed out elsewhere, there isn’t enough matter left in the main belt to increase the mass of Mars by more than a fraction of the mass of the Moon, even if we drop the whole belt in.

            If you think that we can move Ceres with nuclear bombs, you both grossly overestimate the yield of those bombs and underestimate the degree to which the absence of an atmosphere will reduce the force of the blast caused by a nuclear detonation in space.

            Basically, there isn’t any, because there isn’t any noticeable amount of gas to carry a shock wave. Just the very, very thin interplanetary medium (a good, hard vacuum by terrestrial standards) and the material of the bomb, itself, after it gets reduced to a plasma by the heat of detonation. In space, a nuclear weapon is an energy weapon, and relative to their energy, photons don’t carry a lot of momentum.

            As anybody with a degree in Physics could tell you, this plan isn’t going to work. As for “ridding the Earth of unnecessary weapons”, even if the level of mutual trust needed to make that a safe option for all parties involved existed, you’d still be throwing away useful material. Weapons grade plutonium can be used as reactor fuel.

            Aside from all of that, you’re being awfully optimistic about the accuracy of the aim that would be achieved in this manner. Let’s say you had warheads enough to achieve this deflection. You won’t, but let’s say you did. A rock is not like a missile. Missiles are configured the way they are, because people made them, so we can know with a high degree of accuracy what the dynamical properties of a missile are. But asteroids were created by nature, and nature is never tidy.

            A slight error in our model of that asteroid would result in an error in the resulting trajectory for an asteroid, that would have tens of millions miles of travel ahead of it, as we aimed at a target (a planet) that is tiny compared to the system it is in. Even Jupiter is small on a scale of tens of millions of miles.

            What you would achieve through this miracle wouldn’t be a terraformation, but rather, a new heavy bombardment era that would leave every surface in the inner solar system massively re-cratered, and end all life on Earth.

            Mr. Seeber, please leave engineering to the engineers.

    • Nate

      Musk’s plan was using nuclear explosions, not cometary impacts. On that note though, I would like to see a study on how much kinetic energy we would add to a planet via bombardment to develop such an atmosphere. Are we adding enough mass to get to standard pressure, but then have to wait a few centuries for the tectonics to settle down?

      • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/EquivPrinFail.pdf Uncle Al

        The atmosphere comes from the added white hot carbon oxidized by local water, iron oxide, and perchlorate.

        • Nate

          What added carbon? Again, Musk’s plan just involved setting off nukes, reacting with local materials only, not asteroids. The bombardment idea isn’t attributed to him. Someone other than Musk is (potentially) validated

          • Jens Nielsen

            That was not Musk’s “plan”, just an option.

          • Nate

            “SpaceX founder Elon Musk has even proposed nuking Mars to make this happen.”

            Additionally I remember reading this as one of his brainstorms like 6 months ago.

          • cv

            This is a very old brainstorm that predates Musk’s birth.

          • Nate

            Obviously, this is a pretty established trope in science fiction going back decades. But in the context of this article and my argument, and to the knowledge of the greater news viewing population who likely heard it then for the first time, it is Musk’s

    • Small_Businessman

      True, but you still need the O2 to go with the carbon. And while there is water on Mars, is there enough? Do you want to use it all to create an atmosphere? Of course one answer to this would be to also redirect icy comets.
      But now that you have the water, you have to break it down into H2 and (2) O2 then combine the O2 with the carbon.

      It’s a lot of work, a lot of technology we don’t currently have, and would take a long time to do the terraforming. But I think it would be possible.

  • Rod Seel

    How would we create a magnetic field around Mars?

    • Kurtis Engle

      Step one, mine asteroids. So I suggest we start building a robot mining spacecraft.

      Step two, use that material to build a large deep space blast furnace.

      Step three, make a bunch of iron telephone poles, heavily magnetized and equipped with smart bomb giudance packages.

      Step four. drop them precisely into the poles. Still have no atmosphere, but at least what you add won’t blow away.

      Please note that there are no astronauts involved. That would be expensive. And no ones’ mother cries when robots die.

      • http://www.elijahs-armageddon.com Richard Schiller

        You cant even change this planet and you want to kill millions here for a Mars project

        • Kurtis Engle

          Clearly, you are having a conversation I am not involved in. I am not going to waste my time trying to figure out if your problem is crazy, or if it is stupid.

          • StanChaz

            Sir, we clearly need to provide you with a mirror.
            And a course in anger management.

          • Kurtis Engle

            Hi Stan. Thanks for coming out. Now, how about you go play on the freeway?

    • kontis

      According to NASA one MRI machine with less power than ISS’ solar panels is enough.

      We could give Mars magnetic protection decades ago.

      • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/EquivPrinFail.pdf Uncle Al

        Magnetic field EOS is the ideal Gas Law with appropriate substitutions. Energy is in kind (ΔP)(ΔV) = 101.325 J/liter-atm. The Earth’s magnetic field is a paltry 0.4 gauss (depending on location). Now then…tell us its volume and the resulting stored energy. Hint: Its more than a D-battery.

  • Some Where

    String huge tube between Earth and Mars, pipe greenhouse gases from Earth to Mars. Solves two problems at once!

    • Gary Anderson

      In less than six months the Sun would throw shade on that plan too! haha

    • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/EquivPrinFail.pdf Uncle Al

      *Elastic* tube re shifting orbital positions.

      • Maury Juana

        I *think* he’s referring to the fact that without an Earth-like magnetic field, Mars would quickly lose any hypothetical imported atmosphere to the solar wind. I could be wrong.

    • StanChaz

      How about utilizing the huge amounts of hot air produced by politicians such as Traitor-Trump?

      • DeBee Corley

        I’d like to see your design.

  • kontis

    Original research is about terraforming Mars being impossible with CURRENT technology.

    Huge difference.

    • http://www.elijahs-armageddon.com Richard Schiller

      so lets starve people Kuntis for a sci-fi game of imagine future technology

    • Steven Hunter

      Did you miss the subhead of the article? It’s a geological problem, not a technological problem. There’s no technology that will ever be able to create CO2 out of nothing, or out of rocks that contain neither carbon or oxygen.

    • StanChaz

      Oh yee of little faith.
      ALL things are possible – if you believe in Man,
      including his self-destruction and demise…

  • OWilson

    While it’s fun to speculate on terraforming Mars, the reality is that as a alternative to producing “affordable housing” for an overpopulated planet, it is a none starter.

    It would be a prohibitively expensive piece of real estate whether for scientific research, living, or just having a beer in the “great bars” that Musk would like to see there.

    For an elite few!

    • StanChaz

      Billionaires can presumably waste their money as they please.
      But even they don’t have the right to “nuke” another planet or use it as their personal plaything to further their schemes.
      Exploration is valuable, and speculation is fun, but resources that might be expended on these type of ventures would be better used to first improve and heal the earth instead.
      Otherwise we might find that other life entities in the universe might very well want to contain the all-too-human experiment and prevent it from spreading…

      • OWilson

        I would mostly agree, except we shouldn’t be wasting time worrying about what aliens might think!

        I’m sure they are not obsessing about you and me! :)

      • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

        You’re afraid that aliens will be so outraged by the sight of Elon Musk spending his own base to build a base on Mars that they’ll travel light years just to attack us?

        This seems unlikely. Aliens that aggressively paternalistic probably wouldn’t have advanced very far, themselves, and even if they had, the Universe is a vast place. Even the Galaxy is. Imposing one’s will on the whole region would be impractical and dangerous.

        Sooner or later, a more primitive race they chose to oppress for its own good would turn out to have a more powerful protector, and the aggressively paternalistic species would find itself being crushed. If one goes out in a universe too large to be known, always looking for a fight, sooner or later, one will find a fight one can’t win. The odds of being the most advanced, powerful race, anywhere, are very, very low.

    • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

      And that’s a lot more realistic. Best option – build underground. There are a number of ways one could do so.

      1. Find a lava tube with a skylight (a few of those would seem to have been found), go into the tube (it’s a long, volcanic cave) and once one is far enough from the nearest skylight for radiation levels to have dropped down to reasonably safe (more earthlike) levels, start digging into the cave floor. Get far enough underground that radiation is not a concern even in the long run, and build your first factory down there. Something one can use to produce the materials needed to set up shelters elsewhere on the planet.

      Underground shelters. Building on the surface would be insane.

      2. There is at least one frozen lake on Mars. Melt your way down into that, drop a few pods down into the bubbling meltwater, and then let it freeze again, before it all boils away. Although that might not be as much of a concern as it would have been, earlier. I hear that air pressure at that point is high enough that liquid water could exist at the surface. Interesting (and convenient) if true, because this would allow one to do construction work during weather that wasn’t quite as cold.

      Otherwise, one would need to think about doing this when it was cold enough for the water to refreeze quickly enough, and the colder the ice is, the harder it will be to melt.

      ——————-

      Growing food … there is ice on Mars. Not oceans worth of it, but one should be able to get enough to flood a small crater. Build greenhouse in crater, put transparent roof over crater, fill with water that has been boiled flat, water that has bee distilled, removing any nasty chemicals, with very little dissolved gas in it, because we don’t want bubbles. Did you do your distilling in a pressurized compartment? Then you need to worry about bubbles.

      What we’re aiming for is the kind of ice one sees in a glacier – glasslike in its transparency. Put a little a little more 20 feet of that ice on top of the large greenhouse-to-be at the bottom of the crater, and one will get as much protection from radiation as would be provided by a thick atmosphere. Just be sure that a layer of glass (or some other material that is transparent at visible wavelengths, but relatively opaque for ultraviolet light) is present, to cut down on the loss of ice to photodisassociation of water by UV photons.

      You now have a shelter in which you can grow food. Though you might want to set up some mirrors reflecting light down into the crater in order to boost the light up to more earthly levels. Being on Mars will cut light intensities in half, at the top of the atmosphere, and while it’s true that the Martian atmosphere (very much unlike our atmosphere) barely attenuates light at all (except during dust storms), even bubble-free ice is going to do some light attenuation, itself.

      Now start growing food down there. While the Martian soil is laced with laced with chemicals that do unpleasant things to plants, one can still do hydroponic gardening. The results will be pricey and bland, but Midwesterners have been living on that slop for ages. There’s a reason why we love our spice racks.

      In principle, you could have a self-sufficient colony. It would be a small one, certainly no place to drop off the Earth’s surplus billions, but at least it would be one that wouldn’t turn into a graveyard the first time a supply ship failed to arrive. After a while, one could probably start mulching plants one had grown hydroponically, and start making soil, much to the relief of settlers who would have long since started to forget the feeling of having one’s mouth water at the sight of food.

    • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

      I’ll repost this comment, because it was wrongly detected as spam. Probably because of false flagging by some of the people, here. Stay classy, guys.

      By the way, all I had to do was cut and paste. I can still see the original copy up on my profile.

      —————————–

      And that’s a lot more realistic. Best option – build underground. There are a number of ways one could do so.

      1. Find a lava tube with a skylight (a few of those would seem to have been found), go into the tube (it’s a long, volcanic cave) and once one is far enough from the nearest skylight for radiation levels to have dropped down to reasonably safe (more earthlike) levels, start digging into the cave floor. Get far enough underground that radiation is not a concern even in the long run, and build your first factory down there. Something one can use to produce the materials needed to set up shelters elsewhere on the planet.

      Underground shelters. Building on the surface would be insane.

      2. There is at least one frozen lake on Mars. Melt your way down into that, drop a few pods down into the bubbling meltwater, and then let it freeze again, before it all boils away. Although that might not be as much of a concern as it would have been, earlier. I hear that air pressure at that point is high enough that liquid water could exist at the surface. Interesting (and convenient) if true, because this would allow one to do construction work during weather that wasn’t quite as cold.

      Otherwise, one would need to think about doing this when it was cold enough for the water to refreeze quickly enough, and the colder the ice is, the harder it will be to melt.

      ——————-

      Growing food … there is ice on Mars. Not oceans worth of it, but one should be able to get enough to flood a small crater. Build greenhouse in crater, put transparent roof over crater, fill with water that has been boiled flat, water that has bee distilled, removing any nasty chemicals, with very little dissolved gas in it, because we don’t want bubbles. Did you do your distilling in a pressurized compartment? Then you need to worry about bubbles.

      What we’re aiming for is the kind of ice one sees in a glacier – glasslike in its transparency. Put a little a little more 20 feet of that ice on top of the large greenhouse-to-be at the bottom of the crater, and one will get as much protection from radiation as would be provided by a thick atmosphere. Just be sure that a layer of glass (or some other material that is transparent at visible wavelengths, but relatively opaque for ultraviolet light) is present, to cut down on the loss of ice to photodisassociation of water by UV photons.

      You now have a shelter in which you can grow food. Though you might want to set up some mirrors reflecting light down into the crater in order to boost the light up to more earthly levels. Being on Mars will cut light intensities in half, at the top of the atmosphere, and while it’s true that the Martian atmosphere (very much unlike our atmosphere) barely attenuates light at all (except during dust storms), even bubble-free ice is going to do some light attenuation, itself.

      Now start growing food down there. While the Martian soil is laced with laced with chemicals that do unpleasant things to plants, one can still do hydroponic gardening. The results will be pricey and bland, but Midwesterners have been living on that slop for ages. There’s a reason why we love our spice racks.

      In principle, you could have a self-sufficient colony. It would be a small one, certainly no place to drop off the Earth’s surplus billions, but at least it would be one that wouldn’t turn into a graveyard the first time a supply ship failed to arrive. After a while, one could probably start mulching plants one had grown hydroponically, and start making soil, much to the relief of settlers who would have long since started to forget the feeling of having one’s mouth water at the sight of food.

    • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

      I’ll repost this comment a second time, because once again it was wrongly detected as spam. Probably because of false flagging by some of the people, here, given that a few hours passed between the time of its first reposting and the time when it was “detected” by the spam filter. Stay classy, guys.

      By the way, all I had to do was cut and paste. I can still see the original copy up on my profile.

      —————————–

      And that’s a lot more realistic. Best option – build underground. There are a number of ways one could do so.

      1. Find a lava tube with a skylight (a few of those would seem to have been found), go into the tube (it’s a long, volcanic cave) and once one is far enough from the nearest skylight for radiation levels to have dropped down to reasonably safe (more earthlike) levels, start digging into the cave floor. Get far enough underground that radiation is not a concern even in the long run, and build your first factory down there. Something one can use to produce the materials needed to set up shelters elsewhere on the planet.

      Underground shelters. Building on the surface would be insane.

      2. There is at least one frozen lake on Mars. Melt your way down into that, drop a few pods down into the bubbling meltwater, and then let it freeze again, before it all boils away. Although that might not be as much of a concern as it would have been, earlier. I hear that air pressure at that point is high enough that liquid water could exist at the surface. Interesting (and convenient) if true, because this would allow one to do construction work during weather that wasn’t quite as cold.

      Otherwise, one would need to think about doing this when it was cold enough for the water to refreeze quickly enough, and the colder the ice is, the harder it will be to melt.

      ——————-

      Growing food … there is ice on Mars. Not oceans worth of it, but one should be able to get enough to flood a small crater. Build greenhouse in crater, put transparent roof over crater, fill with water that has been boiled flat, water that has bee distilled, removing any nasty chemicals, with very little dissolved gas in it, because we don’t want bubbles. Did you do your distilling in a pressurized compartment? Then you need to worry about bubbles.

      What we’re aiming for is the kind of ice one sees in a glacier – glasslike in its transparency. Put a little a little more 20 feet of that ice on top of the large greenhouse-to-be at the bottom of the crater, and one will get as much protection from radiation as would be provided by a thick atmosphere. Just be sure that a layer of glass (or some other material that is transparent at visible wavelengths, but relatively opaque for ultraviolet light) is present, to cut down on the loss of ice to photodisassociation of water by UV photons.

      You now have a shelter in which you can grow food. Though you might want to set up some mirrors reflecting light down into the crater in order to boost the light up to more earthly levels. Being on Mars will cut light intensities in half, at the top of the atmosphere, and while it’s true that the Martian atmosphere (very much unlike our atmosphere) barely attenuates light at all (except during dust storms), even bubble-free ice is going to do some light attenuation, itself.

      Now start growing food down there. While the Martian soil is laced with laced with chemicals that do unpleasant things to plants, one can still do hydroponic gardening. The results will be pricey and bland, but Midwesterners have been living on that slop for ages. There’s a reason why we love our spice racks.

      In principle, you could have a self-sufficient colony. It would be a small one, certainly no place to drop off the Earth’s surplus billions, but at least it would be one that wouldn’t turn into a graveyard the first time a supply ship failed to arrive. After a while, one could probably start mulching plants one had grown hydroponically, and start making soil, much to the relief of settlers who would have long since started to forget the feeling of having one’s mouth water at the sight of food.

      • OWilson

        You might want to look up “Biosphere 2” (Wki)

        A futuristic well meaning experiment in a “self contained” enclosed habitat here on good old terra firma, that failed miserably due to human foibles, such as cheating, jealousy, and power struggles, both within and without!

        It was abandoned early, but hey!

        More study needed! :)

        • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

          “An early attempt to do this failed, therefore it is impossible to do”

          This is actually your argument. By that logic, we are not having this discussion. As any student of Electronics knows, the original attempts to created semiconductor circuitry ended in failure. Therefore, by your own argument, all attempts to create semiconductor circuitry after that failed, the digital computer was never invented and there couldn’t possibly be such a thing as the Internet.

          “It was abandoned early, but hey!

          More study needed! :)”

          It’s a stupid argument.

          “You might want to look up “Biosphere 2″ (Wiki)

          A futuristic well meaning experiment in a ‘self contained’ enclosed habitat here on good old terra firma, that failed miserably due to human foibles, such as cheating, jealousy, and power struggles, both within and without!”

          Does that tell us anything about the possibility of creating self-enclosed habitats, or just something about the team? You don’t even seem to understand that this is a question.

          • OWilson

            When I did teach science there was no place in the curriculum for words like “scumbag”.

            Have a nice day!

          • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

            Rather convenient for you, as you would be the first person to whom it would be applied. But we’re not in class, Mr. Wilson and I’ve personally heard Nobel laureates (and others) using language a lot stronger than that.

            In fact, sometimes they were doing so in the classroom. I’d ask you if you have something of substance to contribute, but by now, I know that you don’t.

          • OWilson

            Here’s something of substance!

            You specifically quoted me as saying.

            “An early attempt to do this failed, therefore it is impossible to do”

            I said no such thing.

            That came out of your own deluded head, along with your conspiracy theories, as to where I actually live.

            Like your new pal Mikey, devious and dishonest!

  • cv

    One very old proposal is to hit Mars with a large asteroid in order to create a crater some dozens of kilometers deep. The CO2 would fill this enormous bowl so the pressure of the CO2 at the bottom would approach levels found on Earth.

  • nik

    It would be easier to ”Terraform” Antarctica than it would be Mars!

    • OWilson

      Not to mention that we have the blue ocean, just offshore. 75% of the Earth’s surface!

      Cheaper, and with everything readily available to support life!

      But there’s no need for haste. All the world’s population would fit comfortably into New Zealand!

      • nik

        70% of the Earths surface is Ocean, and is presently open real estate, for those that want to ‘stake a claim’!
        Mars can wait a while.
        However Mr. Musk is welcome to move to Mars, whenever he chooses.

      • StanChaz

        With all the ethnic, racial, religious and nationalistic strife that’s rampant nowadays, I’m sure that would be paradise. Pack them into New Zealand and watch the fireworks! And Traitor-Trump could light the fuse – he’s good at it.

        • OWilson

          Maybe your sanctuary cities are already the experimental precursors that will show the way? :)

          • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

            I was wondering if you were being hopeful or sarcastic, but looking at the other comments on your profile, I find that sarcasm seems the likelier of the two possibilities. I will respond accordingly.

            I live in a sanctuary city. After I get done replying to the fascinating comments on this article, I’m going to do as I so often will, grabbing my books and going out to read, enjoying the relative peace and quiet. You did not misread that.

            If you think that our cities are war zones, you’ve been taking fake news written by racists far too seriously. While there are places in Chicago you’d be ill-advised to visit, those places were dangerous before the most recent waves of immigration arrived. If anything, the war zones in Chicago have been shrinking during this century. Rebuilding has even started in Englewood, of all places.

            I keep running into people online who think that I’m stepping into the middle of a running gun battle every time I go outside, and their faith in that seems unshakeable. Very strange.

          • OWilson

            If you read a little history, you will see that human civilization thrives when people come together to create rules of law that are respected by most of the population.

            In the beginning, in Mesopotamia there was the “The Code of Hammurabi”. that organized society, rules that the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans followed.

            I wish sanctuary cities well, but they have not yet stood the test of time. :)

          • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

            “I wish sanctuary cities well, but they have not yet stood the test of time. :)”

            Sigh. You never tire of babbling, do you?

            The multi-culturalism of Chicago and the other sanctuary cities goes back for generations, centuries in the case of the older sanctuary cities. It is not a recent development.

            Middle Eastern and North African civilization is, itself, diverse and has been for longer than Western civilization has existed. Migration has taken place in that region for thousands of years. If diversity has not stood the test of time there, then NOTHING has stood the test of time in any Germanic speaking country.

            “If you read a little history, you will see that human civilization thrives when people come together to create rules of law that are respected by most of the population.”

            I notice that you were posting at length somewhere between 4 and 5 am US Central time (eight hours ago), suggesting that you are, in fact, in Europe, where the time would have been closer to noon. This fits in with the fact that you have not yet replied, which is what I would expect were it now 7:44 pm your time. You’re probably off eating supper or, perhaps, watching the sunset.

            Which leaves me with the question of where you get the idea that you know what you’re talking about, when you explain how life in an American sanctuary city is going to work to somebody who not only lives in one, but whose family has been in one for generations. But, of course, I already know the answer to that.

            Narcissism.

            So, once again, I’m going to explain to you why you don’t have a clue. Sanctuary cities do not work in the way you’ve decided to think that they do. Our migrants, who come to us from many different places in the world, some of them populated by Muslims (gasp!), are expected to abide by the laws of the United States, the state of Illinois, Cook County and the city of Chicago. There are no special cultural exemptions for following any of that.

            Cultural and ethnic diversity do not imply legal diversity.

            “In the beginning, in Mesopotamia there was the ‘The Code of Hammurabi’. that organized society, rules that the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans followed.”

            Anachronistic. Hammurabi died in 1749 BCE. Rome wasn’t founded until 753 BCE, almost 700 years later. There were no Romans wandering around his realm, because there was no Rome.

            But good job, sort of knowing who Hammurabi was. Grade school students know that, too, but OK. Go ahead. Try to make you shallow, ill-informed arguments sound profound by dropping that name. Sure, that will totally work. Or maybe not.

            “Even a shared religion, with all its faults and phony beliefs, can be the glue that holds society together,”

            How very European of you! Who but a European would slyly hint that maybe the establishment of religion (along with the persecution that implied) was a good thing after all, without directly saying anything that hateful, while showering contempt of those who believed.

            By the by – the United States, which has had a constitutional protection of religious liberty for centuries, has never had a religious war. How has Europe been doing in that area? Surely all of that imposed homogeneity which has “stood the test of time” would have guaranteed the peace, but the funny thing is that I keep hearing about something call “the wars of the Reformation” and the words “laid waste” seem to be showing up, a lot.

            Now, why would that be? Sure is a mystery, isn’t it? :)

            “but civilized society needs rules recognized by all.”

            And the sanctuary cities have those. You’re doing what the Alt-Right does best – you’re setting up a straw man. Instead of finding out what our actual position is, you’ll just invent one for us, and then respond, not to what we say or do, but rather, to your own flight of fancy.

            “More study needed!”

            You’re truly a legend in your own mind.

          • OWilson

            It’s fun watching deluded posters tell me where I live.

            Been down that road before with yer new pal Mikey!

            Scumbag?

            My my! :)

            Bye

          • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

            “‘Scumbag’?

            My my! What would Mikey think? :)”

            I was going to call you a “c*cks*cker”, but didn’t see any reason to tarnish the good name of sex workers everywhere by comparing them to you.

            “Now you’re telling me where I live? :)”

            I hazarded a guess, based on what I saw, and portrayed it as a guess, but let’s take a look. The system tells me that you posted that last comment two hours ago, which would be between 3 and 4 pm, my time, which would be between 10 and 11 pm in Rome, which is 7 hours ahead of us. Your rate of posting has dropped off, a ten hour gap coming between that last post and the previous one, which is what one would expect to see if you were posting right before you went to bed.

            Yes, I think that you’re in Europe. I could be wrong, but if so, you end up looking even dumber than you already have. How could an American not know about the history of immigration in his own country.

            “You must be new here! :)”

            Yes, I am, and I’m probably not going to stay here much longer.

            “Been down that road before with yer new pal Mikey!”

            I take it that you’ve been trolling? I got that impression about you and about most of the people in this forum. There’s a reason why I turned off the comments on my blog. What I’m seeing in these discussion is just how good the choice I made was.

            “Bye!”

            Not going to miss you.

          • OWilson

            Just for the record, and for the benefit of other trolls who may follow you down that rat hole conspiracy theory, your grossly mistaken assumption (not to mention irrelevance, Lol) of my European residence., is a myth!

            I have posted here for years, and all my posts are public.

            A very short time ago I responded to another like minded troll with a short brief bio and curriculum vitae which is available on DISQUS, and certainly a PhD student could find it in a few seconds :)

            I even offered a wager, so far refused, to that individual on its accuracy :)

            As of now I am on a brief sojourn from my Dominican Republic retirement home, to take care of some financial business in Toronto (same time zone)

            I rise early do all, my internet business, and go to bed early. You’ll find nothing inconsistent in my timeline.

            I post opinions, not shared by all. What other folks believe is no mi problemo, as we say down there!

            Adios!

      • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

        “All the world’s population would fit comfortably into New Zealand!”

        Sigh. Not that irrelevant point, again.

        The world’s population might comfortably fit into New Zealand, but it most certainly could not be comfortably sustained by New Zealand. Move seven billion people there, and leave them to live off the land, and you will see mass starvation on a level that would shock and horrify almost anybody.

        “Not to mention that we have the blue ocean, just offshore. 75% of the Earth’s surface!”

        And most of that is a sparkly, pretty wasteland in which relatively little life is to be found, until upwellings bring nutrients up from the sea floor. In real life, not to be mistaken with fantasy, the current levels of fishing are unsustainable. Not only are we getting all of the life support we can from the oceans, we’re getting more, and that can’t last.

        If we start taking more from the sea instead of less, the day of collapse will just come that much sooner.

        • OWilson

          Sigh! :)

          I was comparing the merits of “terraforming” Mars, with creating ocean habitats, above or below the waves, for an alleged over populated Earth.

          If you are really an engineer, perhaps you may be familiar with the concept of “affordable housing ?” :)

          Or maybe you are not aware of the actual growth of the world’s waterfront cities over the satellite era, with new urban land being created for parks, commercial and residential and industrial developments, airports and the like.

          Rural farm land is being reclaimed from marshes and the sea., Look at the Netherlands, look at Asia. S. Korea where a new city for 3 million people is being built on reclaimed ocean land!

          You see to have no faith in human ingenuity! :)

          Shipping folks to Mars, can get a bit complicated, like who gets to go, and who gets to stay here to turn out the lights? :)

          • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

            Quoting you back to yourself, this is what YOU wrote

            “But there’s no need for haste. All the world’s population would fit comfortably into New Zealand!”

            After I explained why that was a silly comment, you dealt with that by changing the subject.

            “with an allegedly over-populated Earth.”

            And your argument that the planet was not overpopulated was, as I point, based on an irrelevant consideration. Population isn’t capped by our ability to find floor space, but rather, by the supply of food and in some cases, that of water as well.

            “Rural farm land is being reclaimed from marshes and the sea., Look at the Netherlands, look at Asia. S. Korea where a new city for 3 million people is being built on reclaimed ocean land!”

            Given the fact that the average depth of the ocean is over two miles, already, lots and lots of luck reclaiming even half of that. Good luck putting up and maintaining a dike that’s even one mile high, much less two miles.

            Go look up the height of the world’s tallest building and compare that to the height of the dikes you propose, dikes that would have to go on for thousands of miles. Then ask yourself, after we displace all of that ocean, where’s the water going to go? How do avoid making the remaining ocean even deeper, forcing one to put up even higher dikes? What happens to the world’s carbon cycle once all of that ocean surface is gone? How about desert expansion, after you cut off the source of so much of the rainfall?

            “Or maybe you are not aware of the actual growth of the world’s waterfront cities over the satellite era, with new urban land being created for parks, commercial and residential and industrial developments, airports and the like.”

            Do you have a brain in your head? Are you seriously comparing the effort needed to recover a few square miles of land out of the shallow water near the shoreline with the effort that would be needed to turn portions of an abyssal plain into farmland? Again, quoting you back to yourself, this is what you wrote

            Not to mention that we have the blue ocean, just offshore. 75% of the Earth’s surface!

            and how disgusting it is that I have to do that – pin you down so you can’t dodge the point. How disgusting it is that I can’t count on you to refrain from trying to mislead the reader about the nature of your own earlier points.

            You see to have no faith in human ingenuity! :)

            Says the person who shared an anecdote about Biosphere II and acted like project failure proved that enclosed habitats could never be built. Through your actions, you’ve shown that you don’t believe in your own points. You’re just talking for effect, for the attention and I find that contemptible.

            But, to respond to that comment as if it were sincerely offered and not just an exercise in trolling, I’ll repeat something I said before.

            “Technology is not magic.”

            There are some things that really can not be done, and the process of finding those things is a legitimate part of what engineers do.

            If you are really an engineer,

            Yes, scumbag, I am.

            perhaps you may be familiar with the concept of “affordable housing ?” :)

            And I have been exploring the idiocy of your arguments regarding that, above. The ocean is not of uniform depth, so no, you can’t just keep pushing the landfill out as far as you want to go.

            I was comparing the merits of “terraforming” Mars, with creating ocean habitats, above or below the waves

            Compare the area of a planet with the area of the landfill and dike reclaimed seafloor areas, and do try to remember just how small the low countries are, before you try to act like that was a cogent argument.

            The great lesson of the Internet – most of the population does not deserve to be heard from. If anybody was offended by the “elitism” of that comment, tough.

          • OWilson

            Sigh!

            “Scumbag” ?

            You say: “Population isn’t capped by our ability to find floor space, but rather, by the supply of food”.

            World Food Production is setting records, year after year.

            The World produces more than enough food for the current population.

            The problem with inadequate food supplies is related to the difficulties in global distribution, and of course politics (see N. Korea vs S. Korea, Haiti vs Dominican Republic, and of course Venezuala)

            Western farmers are routinely paid subsidies by their governments to plow excess crops back into fields, and governments put systematic limits on livestock production (see chicken and livestock licensing quotas) in order to maintain prices for their farmers!

            Growing crops on Mars will be a extraordinary difficult and expensive prospect, and impractical for the forseeable future!

    • Mike Richardson

      Except that would mean drowning already heavily populated coastal areas. Of course, it looks like we’re already well on our way to doing that. Guess you’re right, unfortunately.

      • nik

        About 30m years ago, Antarctica was green!
        Thats why you can find fossil coral reefs half way up mountainsides.
        So, if the world warmed again, and sea levels rose, although coast areas would be flooded, huge areas that are presently uninhabitable, would become so.

        • Mike Richardson

          Too bad about Miami, New York City, New Orleans, Bangladesh, London, etc., right? And try reliably growing crops where the sun light never approaches levels we have temperate regions, and vanishes altogether for months every year. Not a very good trade off, I’m afraid.

          • nik

            Dont worry, the next Malenkovitch ice age is just around the corner, in fact the early symptoms are already apparent.
            When this is added to the Galactic Ice age that the Earth has been experiencing during the last 30+ million years, all worries of runaway greenhouse will evaporate.

          • Mike Richardson

            😏😏😏 Sure, why listen to the vast majority of climate scientists who disagree with everything you just said? Unfortunately, this isn’t Mars so drastically increasing our average global temperature because we listen to science denying rhetoric and wishful thinking would be a really bad thing. I’ll pass.

          • nik

            I doubt that you will find a climate scientist who will disagree.
            What you will hear is politicians claiming that climate scientists disagree.
            How do you know when politicians are lying?
            Their lips are moving!
            The present global temperature average is the lowest it has been for 270 million years, and so is CO2.
            The main cause of the present increase in global temperature, is probably more to do with deforestation.
            There is insufficient CO2 to have any effect on climate.
            The original pre- industrial revolution figure for CO2, quoted at 280 ppm is now known to have been severely flawed, due to it being sourced from ice cores. Ice is not impermeable, so gasses can and do leak away, giving a lower figure.
            More recent figures based on plant stomata, give results of 360-380 ppm.
            This small increase is more likely to be because the end of the ”little ice age” and the beginning of the industrial revolution coincided, and as the climate warms, the Oceans release more CO2.
            This is not ”science denying rhetoric,” its fact.
            Show me just ONE of the CO2/global warming predictions that have been shown to be true, and have in fact occurred.
            Famous quote,”If the observed facts do not fit the theory, then the theory is wrong!”
            The main test of any theory is, can it make accurate predictions? If not, then it fails. So far NONE of the CO2/global warming alarmist predictions have been shown to be true.
            Therefore the theory fails!

          • Erik Bosma

            Yet the Emperor still has no pants.

          • nik

            Dipstick!

          • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

            In a sense, that Ice Age is just around the corner, it’s just a very long corner by our standards.

            The estimate I’ve heard for the time of arrival for the next ice age was somewhere around 2000 years from now, if I recall correctly. Maybe nik is just more patient than us, comes from a very long lived family, something like that? 😏

            Yes, melting the caps would be a bad idea.

          • nik

            Inter ice ages last 10-15 thousand years.
            This one has lasted that long already.
            The change from inter ice age, to ice age can occur in as little as 20-50 years.
            The signs that indicate an approaching ice age are already present.

          • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

            “The signs that indicate an approaching ice age are already present.”

            I’ve seen ONE person say that. You.

            Sorry, no. I don’t believe you, and unless you can do a lot better than asking me to take your claims on faith, this discussion is over.

            A link to your friend’s website or Wikipedia won’t cut it. Let’s see some direct support from a credible source for your remarkable claim that the next ice age could be back in 20-50 years.

          • nik

            You will have to learn to read, AND understand what you read!
            I did not say that the next ice age could be back in 20-50 years. Read it again!

            From deep sea and lake bed core drillings, that show climate history over the last million years, [approx 10 ice ages,] ”the change over could happen in as little as 20-50 years.” ie. in the past it has happened that rapidly.

            Do you know what the signs of an approaching ice age are?
            If not, then refuting the statement is just the three monkeys reaction.

            For the last 20 years or so, the US has been preparing for mass anarchy. Hence all the efforts to disarm the population.

            Check it out, dont take my word for it. The evidence is there.

          • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

            “So, ‘if the observed facts do not fit the theory, the theory is wrong’ CO2 therefore does not cause global warming, never has done, and never will do.”

            LOL. Venus. Ever hear of it?

            Between that and listening to you both make a remarkable claim, before denying you made it and then doubling back down on it, I can see that I am not going to have a sensible discussion with you. Asked to cite sources, you’ve merely made more claims.

            “The reason you’ve seen no one else make the statements I make, is because I doubt that many others have spent the last ten years or so searching stuff out, as I have.”

            Oh, please. I’m a PhD student. Do you think we don’t know people and professors from other departments? Especially ones in the sciences? As for your alleged ten years of vaguely described reading of websites, if I had a dollar for every person I met with a story like that, I’d be a wealthy man.

            “If you’re clever, you’ll work out, or find out, what causes the Galactic Ice Ages.”

            Being reasonably clever, I have the good sense to not go off on another wild goose chase every time I meet yet another crank. You were not the first, you will not the last, and you don’t come close to being the most interesting.

            The guy who was going to create a starship using a fishing net still has you beat and no, I didn’t do a library search in response to that, either. My time is worth something to me.

          • nik

            OOh! A PhD STUDENT!

            OOh! I’m not impressed!

            Well sonny, you’ve got some years, and some studying to catch up with me.
            How did I guess that you would throw the ”conspiracy theory” term into the argument, obviously, because you have yet to produce anything of substance, to contradict my points, ”Conspiracy theory” doesn’t do it! Thats the ”Establishments” cop out, you’re not entitled to it.

            Obviously, you are also too stupid to work out what causes a galactic ice age, and to pig ignorant to look it up.

            It may also surprise you that I probably have more mixed race in my family than you, I have relatives in just about every major country in the world.India, Indonesia, Malaysia, etc etc. Not that that has anything whatsoever to do with the discussion.

            In addition, you still cannot read AND understand. You’ll have to try harder.

          • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

            “OOh! A PhD STUDENT!

            OOh! I’m not impressed!”

            Ignoramuses usually aren’t.

            “Well sonny, you’ve got some years, and some studying to catch up with me.”

            The years you’ve wasted watching junk TV and reading the conspiracy press?

            “How did I guess that you would throw the ”conspiracy theory” term into the argument”

            You talked about a plot to disarm the public, so get real. Yes, that was a conspiracy theory and you know it.

            “Obviously, you are also too stupid to work out what causes a galactic ice age”

            Namecalling, because I will not take your claims on faith. Impressive.

            “and to pig ignorant to look it up.”

            Let those who are listening in note that thus personal abuse comes in response to my challenge to this user to cite a reputable source backing up his remarkable claims, a challenge he has failed to meet.

            Nik, it is not my job to find your sources for you. Making your case is your job.

            “It may also surprise you that I probably have more mixed race in my family than you, I have relatives in just about every major country in the world.I”

            Sure you do. At this point, Mike Richardson’s comments about your lack of honesty come to mind, because I have seen you lie and lie and lie about comments made on this very page. Not unprecedented, but certainly a tribute to your trollish lack of integrity.

            I’m not taking your word for anything, because you are without honor.

            “In addition, you still cannot read AND understand.”

            I have read, I have understood, I have seen you for the pathological liar that you are and I have seen the motivation for your dishonesty – at least part of it. I really need to see the rest, because I’m not your therapist and figuring out why you are this messed up is not my responsibility.

          • nik

            I know Americans have trouble with the English language, for example what I said was; ”…the change CAN occur … ” that is not the same as ”…the change WILL occur…”

            As for stupidity and ignorance on your part, which you have amply illustrated, at the top of this page is a search box, if you put in the title of the article that I gave you, and press the return key on your keyboard, it should bring up the article I referred to.
            Too difficult for a phD student?
            I’ve read that University levels in the US have been dumbed down, and you’re the obvious example.
            Too stupid/dumb to even just Google the events I’ve described, to check them out.
            As for me being a liar, first you would have to prove that what I have posted is untrue, which you obviously cannot, as you cannot even find an article that I gave you the title of in this online magazine/blog.

            As for me telling lies, it never happens.

      • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

        Would that be because people 8n coastal areas are too stupid to build floodproof buildings? I would remind you that the coastal Japanese have been doing it for about 2000 years now.

        • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

          Are you a troll, or are you really this clue-impaired?

          If the entire antarctic ice cap melted, sea level would rise by hundreds of feet. “Flood proofing” the buildings in London won’t help much if all that remains of England are a few small islands, where said country’s highlands used to be.

          • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

            Hundreds of feet doesn’t matter if you build your buildings to float. You just proved to me that you can’t think outside the box.

          • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

            That’s not what you said, Theodore. Quoting you back to yourself

            “Would that be because people 8n coastal areas are too stupid to build floodproof buildings? I would remind you that the coastal Japanese have been doing it for about 2000 years now.”

            You seriously want to argue that the Japanese have been building all of their buildings to float, for 2000 years?

            “Hundreds of feet doesn’t matter if you build your buildings to float.”

            It wipes out the countryside, you incredible moron. It wipes out the cities that already exist. Building a pack of floating structures on top of the former site of London would give us back the city that had been lost – nay, the country that had been lost.

            “You just proved to me that you can’t think outside the box.”

            No, you moved the goalposts, replacing one idiotic suggestion with another. Having drowned England, along with most of the world, what exactly would be the point of marking the grave of a lost city, this way?

            Also, how is this an improvement? There would be less land on the planet after the cap melted than there would have been before and the new land gained would (unlike the land lost) be rocky and desolate, devoid of soil. Just to form an inch of that takes a very long time.

            You’re either a troll, a narcissistic imbecile or both. I think that this is where we part company, Mr. Seeber. You’re not worth talking to, or hearing from.

  • http://www.elijahs-armageddon.com Richard Schiller

    well isn’t it nice our taxes have already given $3 billion to NASA fo this stuff that can’t be done. Demons rule this planet, from Obama to Trump to NASA

    • StanChaz

      Yeah, let’s have more huuuge tax cuts for the angelic rich & their corporations instead…

    • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

      Wow, you’re insane.

      NASA wasn’t even mentioned in the article. Elon Musk doesn’t work for NASA. He’s an independently wealthy (very wealthy) man spending his own money. And you got that figure of $3 billion dollars given to NASA for a project that NASA isn’t involved in, how?

      Did the voices give you that figure, Richard?

  • nik

    It would be easier to terraform Antarctica than to terraform Mars, which is colder, has less sunlight, on average, and no surface water that plants can utilise.
    In fact its just all-round toxic.

    • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

      Nik, let it go. The world is not going to agree to melt the icecaps and drown entire nations, just so you can live your SciFi fantasy of sunbathing on the Palmer Peninsula.

      As I keep reminding some of you people, if one melts that cap, one loses more land than one gains, and the land one gains will have no soil on it, so this is a dumb idea, all around.

      • nik

        LOL!
        You seem to have lost the plot entirely.
        There is ZERO chance of the icecaps melting in my lifetime, yours, or the whole of humanity, for that matter.
        The oldest humanoid artefacts found to date are just 3 million years old.
        This Galactic ice age started some 30 million years or so ago, and has at least that long or more to go.
        Contrary to popular myth, the Antarctic ice is advancing, and not retreating, as claimed, by the mainstream propaganda press. This was recently illustrated by an incident where a complete colony of penguins faced extermination, because the ice had advanced so far, so rapidly, in summer, that they had been stranded miles from the sea, too far for them to waddle to reach it.
        In another event, a group of Australian scientists had charted a ship to visit and photograph the receding ice in Antarctica. However, the ice advanced so rapidly, again in summer, that their ship was trapped in the ice. Two ice breakers were sent to free them, but one of the ice breakers also became trapped and the scientists had to be rescued by helicopter.
        Before the ”Little ice age,” which started around 800-900 a.d., the
        ”Northwest Passage” through the Arctic north of Canada was free of ice every summer. Nearly a thousand years later when it was ending, several groups died trying to rediscover it. It is only now becoming open again, briefly, during the summer. This is because the Arctic is over water, not land, as is Antarctica, and is warmed by the warm ‘Ocean Conveyor’ current.
        So presently, climate things have just been returning to what was considered normal about a thousand or so years ago.

        • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

          No, Mike, I haven’t “lost the plot.” I’m just not gullible enough to believe every random shitposter I hear from on the Internet. That kind of credulity is what brought us the Flat Earthers.

          • Mike Richardson

            Please don’t confuse nik for me. Thanks.

          • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

            Oops! So sorry, Mr. Richardson. I can not believe I made that mistake. The two of you could not be more different.

            I haven’t been out, yet, so I haven’t had any food yet, today. What’s worse, I haven’t had even a drop of tea. I don’t know what I’m doing.

          • Mike Richardson

            No worries. I’ve been around here for a while, and it takes some pretty deliberate and repeated insults to offend me. In the case of at least one poster here, it was that and the recurring dishonesty that led me to conclude he wasn’t worth any more written responses. But you’ve more than adequately dealt with him.

          • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

            “But you’ve more than adequately dealt with him.”

            Thank you.

            “it was that and the recurring dishonesty that led me to conclude he wasn’t worth any more written responses.”

            Yes, I got treated to a little of that dishonesty, just now. I blocked him and put an end to our encounter. One has to set priorities.

            We’re probably going to have fireflies out, tonight. I can’t sit inside on the computer and miss that.

          • Mike Richardson

            In my case, I was referring to Ol’Wilson, but nik’s pretty much the same. No, if you’ll check out his latest response to you, he goes into detail describing himself and where he says he lives. He also brags about his posts being public, which was actually a bad thing for him when I caught him misrepresenting himself as an American on a political blog. Not the first time he’s lied, but it is interesting to see how differently he portrays himself on the political blog, where he spends his time mentoring angry young misogynistic incels and comiserating with other elderly bigots. Take a look at his profile page yourself and you’ll see what I mean. Those views, unfortunately, spill over onto the Discover blogs he visits, and he allows his prejudices and assumptions to prevent him from accepting new information or thinking critically.

            Case in point – his argument about the failure of Biosphere II, which ignored one of the primary problems and lessons learned from the experiment. What I’m referring to is the issue of CO2 buildup which apparently resulted from the concrete mixture in the structures reacting with and absorbing oxygen in a way which was unforeseen, threatening asphyxiation to the crew and forcing them to allow outside air in. This “failure,” however, provided insight into the importance of knowing how building materials react with their environment prior to using them. That’s something that will be considered going forward, and does not mean we can’t build future enclosed biospheres on Mars, contrary to what Ol’Wilson so confidently declares.

          • OWilson

            For someone who you say is”best ignored”, I’m flattered by the great deal of attention you pay to my posts here and in other places.

            On the contrary, that defines you as a “follower” :)

            Of course, as usual, your logic fails you again, because you must frequent this overtly “political blog” yourself to be able to collect all this information about my posts.

            Not to mention spending time desperately upticking responses to my posts there, and presumably, unless you are lying in your stated exhortation to your fellow trolls on Discover, to “downtick” me, doing that too.

            Lol. Public record Mikey!

            As for the generic “we” you just used that yourself above. I didn’t take that to mean you were masquerading as a “builder of enclosed biospheres”, Lol

            I have occasionally used “we” as in Trump supporters and conservatives, as opposed to “they”, leftists, regardless of where they come from but never “we voters” or “we Republicans”, or “we Americans” I far more often use the term “your country” and “your voters”.

            In fact, at the same time you and your newest pal,have berated me for claiming that my permanent residence is Dominican Republic via Canada, Lol

            Weird stuff, indeed!

            Likewise, your newest pal went to some fruitless attempt to put me in Europe, by checking the timelines of my posts. At least he is honest enough to finally admit he “could be wrong”!

            But for now I’ll call him a “follower” too, Lol!

            As for your constant bleat about “lying”, you know I have offered to wager a bet that my life is as I’ve described it.

            Although you don’t seem to have the confidence, to put it politely, to put your money where your mouth is, Lol.

            Adios por ahora Mikey!

          • OWilson

            Editing your post to remove the “we” which was the substance of your previous posted criticism of me, and substituting “humanity”, AFTER my response is cheap and devious, Mikey, even for you :)

          • nik

            Its ALL verifiable, check it out!
            Alternatively keep believing in the carbon tax religion, together with fairies, leprechauns, and hobgoblins.

          • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

            “Its ALL verifiable, check it out!”

            Check what out? You’ve cited no sources. You’ve merely made claims and asked us to take them on faith. Claims that run contrary to what I’ve heard from people far more knowledgeable on this particular subject than I am.

            “Alternatively keep believing in the carbon tax religion,”

            In other word, your scientific claims are valid because you like their political implications? That is not a valid methodology. The Universe doesn’t care about our preferences.

            “together with fairies, leprechauns, and hobgoblins.”

            There is no empirical evidence for the existence of any of these creatures, and plenty for the existence of the greenhouse effect. What in effect you have just told us is that you want us to believe in a soon to arrive ice age, because that belief will lead us to not concern ourselves with greenhouse gas emission, leading people to support policies you happen to care for.

            Why should that autobiographical detail be of concern or even interest to me? Even if I agreed with the notion of adopting a post-factual stance for the sake of somebody else’s emotional or ideological needs (and I do not), what makes you think that your emotional needs would be the ones that I would find to be of interest? Or were you hoping to bully me into submission?

            If so, I’d say “so sorry to disappoint” if I didn’t think that the sarcasm would be lost on you.

          • nik

            Actually, I have cited a source, but you’ve obviously missed it.
            like I said, you’ll have to learn to read AND understand what you read.
            There are too many sources to cit all that I’ve located over ten years.
            If you cant be bothered to look at even the one that I’ve given you, then there would be no point posting more, would there?

          • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

            “Actually, I have cited a source, but you’ve obviously missed it.”

            No, you didn’t. You made vague, handwaving allusions to news stories, but without a link, author or title to be found in any of that mess. Those aren’t cites, those are anecdotes.

            If you don’t understand the difference, not only do you not belong in a scientific discussion, but you need to go back to grade school. Small children know how to put together bibliographies. An adult should have no problem handling the concept of a cite, because he made them every time he wrote a paper for class.

          • nik

            Still too stupid to read AND understand!
            Try harder.

          • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

            This conversation is over, Nik. You’ve had plenty of opportunity to provide a relevant citation, and all you’re produced has been lies, abuse and an obnoxious celebration of your own ignorance.

            By the way, I see my reference to Venus went right of your head. Much like the math needed to compute your last bar tab, I would guess. Look up “Venus” and “Greenhouse Effect” using a .edu search, and go away.

            You don’t merit my attention.

          • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

            I just blocked nic, doing so too late to catch tonight’s sunset, but better late than never.

            I’ll block the other cranks, now.

          • nik

            As for ”Venus” the comment, it did not ”go of sic. (over) my head.”
            {Still having trouble with English I see.}
            I ignored it, as it is totally irrelevant.
            The atmosphere of Venus contains massive amounts of sulphuric acid which reflects the trapped heat. the CO2 is secondary.
            If CO2 had much of a greenhouse effect, then Mars with its atmosphere of 96% of CO2, even if the atmosphere is thin, should be a greenhouse. It isn’t.

            As for my ”ignorance” you obviously dont understand the meaning of the word. A little education for you, it comes from ”ignore”!

            As for not providing a citation, I did, but you’re to dumb to recognise it, and continue to pretend that I have not.

            Go back to gazing at the sunset, its about your limit.

  • EquusMtn

    With respect to colonizing Mars, the factor no one seems to want to address is that the surface gravity there is only about 38% of earth’s. We don’t know what long term effects such weak gravity would have on humans, although we know that zero g for any significant length of time causes major health issues. Assuming this is a serious problem (and my guess is it probably is) the only solution I can think of would be that Mars colonists would have to spend a lot of time in centrifuges to simulate 1g. Other thoughts?

    • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

      Muscle and bone would weaken. As for centrifuges, they could be built, but this would get difficult and really expensive. The figure I heard cited for how wide a spacecraft would need to be before the difference in simulated gravity between head and feet would cease to be a problem was 100 m (over 300 feet). It wasn’t a professional source, but it was a respectable scientific popular press site, so I think that figure will probably turn out to be right.

      Picture trying to spin something the size of a mid-sized office building. I’m sure it could be done, but who is going to pay the bills for the construction and upkeep on that? What seems likelier is that colonization would be a one-way trip: become a Martian colonist, and you never get to return to Earth. Factoring in the impracticality of terraforming the place, and becoming a colonist begins to look like an exercise in masochism.

      Even prisoner with life sentences will someday get to go out into the prison yard, look up and see the Sun and the sky, and breathe the fresh air. A Martian colonist would have no hope of seeing any of that, ever again, and his children would never have the choice of knowing it, at all. They’d spend their whole lives trapped indoors, or outside in spacesuits, briefly (owing to the radiation) which, to be honest, doesn’t seem like a big improvement. Instead of being in a bigger shelter, one is moving around in a much smaller one.

      I think I’ll stay on Earth.

      • EquusMtn

        I think I’ll stay on Earth, too. But to be intellectually honest, some of the problems you cite do have solutions.

        On the centrifuge, if its radius was 100 meters, a 2 meter tall person would experience only a 2% difference in “gravity” between his/her head and feet. I doubt if you’d even notice. And once you got the thing started, it wouldn’t take that much energy to keep it going. (I’m assuming there would be enough colonists to make use of it most of the time. If you’re talking about a spaceship, once started, it would actually take energy to stop it. Much easier to have it spinning all the time.) If you can successfully simulate Earth gravity, the return trip issue goes away.

        I agree that the domed surface structures you always see depicted for Mars colonies (as well as on other bodies like the Moon and asteroids) are fanciful. If the radiation problem isn’t bad enough, you’ve got the meteorite issue. Seems to me that without atmospheric protection, it’s just a matter of not-very-much time before a big or small rock flies in and destroys your dome, along with everyone under it. The obvious solution for radiation and meteorites is to go underground, and apparently both Mars and the Moon have plenty of natural caves and lava tubes to facilitate that. But how many humans want to regress to being troglodytes?

        I’m all for space exploration, but I think it’s imperative that we focus far more attention to maintaining Planet Earth.

        • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

          “I think I’ll stay on Earth, too. But to be intellectually honest, some of the problems you cite do have solutions.

          On the centrifuge, if its radius was 100 meters, a 2 meter tall person would experience only a 2% difference in ‘gravity’ between his/her head and feet. I doubt if you’d even notice.”

          Did you read what I wrote? I’ll repeat myself

          “The figure I heard cited for how wide a spacecraft would need to be before the difference in simulated gravity between head and feet would cease to be a problem was 100 m (over 300 feet).”

          That would be a 100 m diameter. How did you read that, and conclude that I was saying that a 100 m radius would be inadequate, given that the diameter (the width) is twice the radius? A 100 m radius would give us a width of 200 m.

          “If you’re talking about a spaceship, once started, it would actually take energy to stop it.”

          You are missing the point. Obviously, it wouldn’t be a spaceship, if it is being used to keep Martian colonists in shape. Ferrying them to and from orbit on a regular basis would be neither affordable nor safe, in the long run. Every launch is an expensive potential crash.

          The lower limit for the radius of a space ship spun for gravity should give us some idea of the minimum radius of a surface structure spun to the same end. We begin with the .38g provided by nature, in the form of Martian surface gravity and must simulate an additional .62 g by spinning, which would be done along a banked surface, so that the combination of simulated and real gravity creates something that seems to be perpendicular to the floor. You’re going to need a big structure.

          100 m is roughly the height of a 33 story building. We’re not going to need the whole 100 m, because mars gives us .38g for free, but we’re going to need a large fraction of it.

          “And once you got the thing started, it wouldn’t take that much energy to keep it going.”

          What makes you say that? Given the dusty environment of Mars, I should think that lubrication is going to be a problem. Do you want to build this spinning structure underground? I wonder how strong the vibrations it generated would be, and what they would be doing to the rock overhead. But you’ll have to ask a mechanical engineer about that.

          “f the radiation problem isn’t bad enough, you’ve got the meteorite issue. ”

          Amplified by the relative proximity of the asteroid belt. More meteorites, worse odds.

          “But how many humans want to regress to being troglodytes?”

          Probably not many, and not on those terms. The old cave men atl east got to go outside.

          “I’m all for space exploration, but I think it’s imperative that we focus far more attention to maintaining Planet Earth.”

          Agreed. Mars would offer a miserable life for a few. An interesting question is whether or not it could ever sustain a large enough colonial population to avoid inbreeding, in the long run.

  • StanChaz

    Hey Elon, want to rapidly increase Martian CO2 levels and drastically warm the planet?
    Just hire Donald Trump and his henchmen as advisors.
    They’ll surely do the trick for you. I hear they have lots of experience…

    • OWilson

      Add Al Gore to provide cheap hot air? :)

  • StanChaz

    I remember the good old days when Musk was just a cologne and traitor-Trump was a bankrupt businessman seeking loans from Russia.

  • http://www.skincare-fanatic.com tjrich

    Why Mars??? Venus is roughly Earth sized. Does Venus have a magnetic field? Why not put up a big sun-blocker in space between the Sun and Venus. Once the sun’s ray stop striking the planet wouldn’t the run away green house effect begin to end? Or would a giant sun blocker be shifted around by the solar wind?

    • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

      “Why not put up a big sun-blocker in space between the Sun and Venus.”

      Oh, that’s all you want! A parasol the size of a planet, constructed using who knows what, and we’re going to deal with the light pressure that would tend to push that megastructure outward HOW? Would next week be soon enough?

      “Or would a giant sun blocker be shifted around by the solar wind?”

      Uh, huh. Yes, it would, but that’s OK, because there’s NO WAY anybody could build that structure for you. Such a headache I’m getting, reading these comments. For the sake of scientists and engineers everywhere, please repeat after me:

      “Technology is not really magic. Honestly, it isn’t.”

      You know those movies in which a scientist has a breakdown, and before you know it, somebody’s brain is getting eaten or whatever? Are you people trying to make one of those movies happen for real? Are you actually trying to make the whole scientific community go insane?

      Build a structure almost as big as the planet we’re on – oh, wow. Would you like a few faster than light starships to go with that?

      Oy. Why are people like this?

      • http://www.skincare-fanatic.com tjrich

        So don’t read them DUFUS!!! If imagination is beyond you it’s beyond you.

        • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

          Hey, DUFUS – I’m an engineer who has an actual degree in Physics and what are you? Oh, yes, a dork who has read too much science fiction and is now going to explain technological progress to me.

          “Imagination” doesn’t get things built. That has to be done in the real world, so how about putting down the crack pipe?

          • http://www.skincare-fanatic.com tjrich

            You know what? JFK wasn’t an engineer but he was the one that made a trip to moon a reality by simply getting rid of arrogant bright-boy engineers who said it couldn’t be done because they were so busy patting themselves on back at how smart they were, and replaced them with those Who could accomplish things. Too bad your Physics degree so blatantly wasted on chump like you!!

          • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

            “You know what? JFK wasn’t an engineer but he was the one that made a trip to moon a reality by simply getting rid of arrogant bright-boy engineers who said it couldn’t be done”

            Uh, huh. You think that anti-intellectualism is what makes progress happen? That we advance on our ignorance? Who do you think designed those ships, stupid? Some loudmouth with a skincare business in Barrie, Ontario?

            “because they were so busy patting themselves on back at how smart they were”

            Feeling threatened, little boy?

            “and replaced them with those Who could accomplish things.:

            Please, keep on going with the narcissistic rage. It’s so impressive.

            “Too bad your Physics degree so blatantly wasted on chump like you!!”

            Because the only reason you don’t get to see all of your fantasies come true is because of evil “bright boy” chump engineers who will tell you the truth instead of the bullshit you want to hear.

            When do you plan to grow up? Or at least reach the age of reason?

          • http://www.skincare-fanatic.com tjrich

            LOL- got you!!!

          • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

            What, you’re going to tell me now that you were just trolling?

            If you’re going to choose to talk like a fool, the only person you’re “getting” is yourself.

          • http://www.skincare-fanatic.com tjrich

            I post legitimate comments and if a self important A-hole derides those comments (A jerk that’s full of himself). I like to kick them down notch. It certainly is very clear why you are “Under Employed” – Attitude! . HA HA HA

          • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

            “I post legitimate comments”

            They weren’t legitimate. They were silly, I explained why they were silly and you feelings got hurt.

            “and if a self important A-hole derides those comments (A jerk that’s full of himself).”

            I have a graduate school education. You sell skin care supplies. Like it or not, our opinions are not of equal value, because I’m better informed than you are.

            “I like to kick them down notch.”

            Really? You think you accomplished that by acting like a crazy person and making a fool of yourself?

          • http://www.skincare-fanatic.com tjrich

            I didn’t act like a crazy person. I reacted to an arrogant insult. You think you are better informed – and you may well be. And it’s perfectly legitimate to charge that some is wrong – if you believe it is. But you don’t do that by belittling someone’s comments pounding your chest yelling Blah Blah blah about your education. Let’s face it no one is really interested in your education. They would be interested in you. Yes you have the knowledge to teach students math – which I don’t. My comment was really a question asking what would happen if the Sun’s light was blocked from hitting Venus. What would happen to the greenhouse effect? You attacked like a frenzied dog. You didn’t explain – you arrogantly pontificated. You used language and attitude you wouldn’t DARE use to my face. That’s my complaint. Arrogance is a fault not an attribute. I do apologize for my nasty language – I should not had done that. I said some things I would not have said to your face. So I should have not said them in the first place. And BTW I closed the skin care business it was just a part time online fun thing.

          • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

            “I didn’t act like a crazy person”

            Yes, you did.

            “I reacted to an arrogant insult.”

            No, you didn’t. I am getting VERY TIRED of having to quote people back to themselves, but your dishonesty forces this. You said this in your initial remark.

            “Why not put up a big sun-blocker in space between the Sun and Venus.”

            If anything, I was too gentle with you in response to that suggestion. What you got out of me was the weary exasperation of a professionally trained individual who got to hear yet another impossibly impractical suggestion coming from a layman who would have to do precisely 0% of the work needed to make his pipe dream a reality. What I should have said was something about your parents being brother and sister. And then wondered out loud which species they belonged to, and why it wasn’t extinct, yet.

            “You think you are better informed – and you may well be.”

            One of my degrees (and I have more than one) is in Physics. I’ve studied Engineering at the grad school level. There’s no maybe about this. I am better informed than you. I worked d**ned hard to be so, putting myself through school, and I view your misplaced sense of entitlement with the resentment it merits. You want to get equal credit without doing equal work.

            How very Canadian of you.

            “And it’s perfectly legitimate to charge that some is wrong – if you believe it is.”

            You weren’t just wrong. You were insane. I can pardon you for not knowing about light pressure, but for thinking that one could build a structure the size of a planet? Common sense should have told you that was a non-starter.

            This is not a matter of belief. This is a matter of reality and sanity.

            “But you don’t do that by belittling someone’s comments pounding your chest ”

            You mean, like you’ve been.

            “Blah Blah blah about your education.”

            If you’re going to talk about an engineering project, that education is relevant. If you can’t cope with hearing that, that’s your problem.

            “Let’s face it no one is really interested in your education.”

            Somebody whose head was not up his a**, would, when talking about a subject of this nature.

            “They would be interested in you.”

            Yeah. That’s the standard that applies when you’re selling face cream, or otherwise doing something that doesn’t require much in the way of intelligence or education. You were proposing an engineering project. That’s a bit different.

            “Yes you have the knowledge to teach students math – which I don’t. ”

            You’re actually doubling down on your cluelessness. I’m a PhD candidate, not a high school teacher. That’s a degree for doing research and once again, I have more than one degree.

            And you what – went to high school? Did you even finish? We’re not equals. Not in this matter.

            “My comment was really a question asking what would happen if the Sun’s light was blocked from hitting Venus. What would happen to the greenhouse effect?”

            You suggested building a planet sized megastructure. To be exact, you would have been suggesting that somebody ELSE build it. Guess which profession would get stuck with this fool’s errand if enough of the public took a liking to it.

            “You attacked like a frenzied dog.”

            No, as I said above, I expressed weary exasperation, as the use of the word “oy” should have suggested to you. YOU attacked like a frenzied dog.

            “You didn’t explain – you arrogantly pontificated.”

            You are unbelievable. No, I didn’t, and stop trying to shift the blame for your own lack of self-control.

            “You used language and attitude you wouldn’t DARE use to my face.”

            Yes, I would. By the way, I’m over 6’7″ – that’s 2 meters, in Canadian terms – and I’m originally from the West Side of Chicago. I think I could handle some whiny little skin care salesperson.

            “That’s my complaint.”

            And a pathetic one at that.

            “Arrogance is a fault not an attribute.”

            Yes, it is. So stop displaying it.

            When I pull professional rank on you, I merely give myself credit where it has been earned. You expected to be taken seriously in a field in which you had not done the work and in no way earned any credibility, just because you were willing to make noise.

            This sort of behavior is why Canadians are hated throughout the Midwest. You are terrible neighbors.

            “I do apologize for my nasty language – I should not had done that. I said some things I would not have said to your face. So I should have not said them in the first place.”

            After a page of gaslighting, you decide to slip in that insincere apology? Forget you. Apology not accepted. I’d like to drop you into my solvent tank and try a little xylene on you, see if it really works as advertised. Sad to say, some silly state law would get in the way of that, but a boy can dream.

            “And BTW I closed the skin care business it was just a part time online fun thing.”

            I don’t care. Go away. You’re a worthless human being.

          • tjrich

            I also asked would the solar wind pressure cause the sunblock to move.

          • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

            “It certainly is very clear why you are ‘Under Employed’ – Attitude!”

            “Attitude” is, indeed, the problem – Narcissism, not so different from the sort we’re seeing out of you, is widespread in business.

            Some years ago, Forbes published an article in which the author argued that since new employees made errors that made them costly to their employers during their first few years on the job, that businesses should leave the job of breaking in new employees to their competitors and then hire those employees away, once they were trained.

            It was an absurd suggestion on the part of the author, that called for the businesses to engage in a form of free riding. The suggestion was for the businesses to draw from the pool of trained employees without doing any of the training, themselves – “training” in this case not meaning “education”, but rather, on the job experience.

            “What if everybody does that” is the question that never got asked, and so a cyclical management fad arose, that of stubbornly refusing to hire recent graduates until they magically got 2-5 years of experience, without having jobs at the time.

            This makes no sense and does real harm to corporate America, which keeps running out of junior professionals and going sobbing to Washington, asking to be helped out of the problem it has, once again, gotten itself into by its insane insistence that recent graduates manage to transcend the bounds of space and time in order to get their first jobs. We are expected to have work experience before we get our first jobs – a chronological impossibility.

            When the absurdity of this expectation is explained to management, with as much patience as can be mustered, management will usually reply with the same level of rationality and maturity that we just saw out of tjrich – they’ll fly into narcissistic rages because like TJ, they feel that validation is their birthright.

            Also, let’s face it, Baseball is not the American national pastime. Substance abuse is. When one goes on job interviews, the symptoms of “nose candy” use can become obvious, when one looks at the interviewers. Rationality in decision making is not to be expected, under the circumstances.

            This has been a recurring problem for recent graduates. Companies will back off on this position for a few years but, managerial narcissism being what it is, the bad idea will return because the suits will never bring themselves to admit that they were wrong.

            The better educated the graduate, the harder he gets hit if he enters the job market when this management fad has made its most recent comeback, because he runs into the overqualification issue at a time when only low skilled jobs are being offered. I’m a PhD candidate, so I got hit hard, leaving me underemployed.

            That’s not exactly the same thing as being unemployed. I patch together a living of sorts out of math tutoring, catering, substitute teaching and other odd jobs. Eventually, I’ll have enough money to buy some supplies, do a little tinkering and come up with a simple product to market.

            Contrary to the assumptions people usually make about me because of my surname, I am a Jew, and my people have a long tradition of dealing with discriminatory hiring practices. I will be delayed in my search for success by the insane behavior of the American corporate community, but I will not be denied.

            The Jewish shopkeeper is a cliche for a reason.

            “HA HA HA”

            Have you thought of going back on whatever medication you skipped, TJ?

          • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

            This is the first reposting of this comment, which was wrongly “detected as spam” by Disqus’ defective and easily gamed filter. I reinserted it using cut and paste.

            “It certainly is very clear why you are ‘Under Employed’ – Attitude!

            “Attitude” is, indeed, the problem – Narcissism, not so different from the sort we’re seeing out of you, is widespread in business.

            Some years ago, Forbes published an article in which the author argued that since new employees made errors that made them costly to their employers during their first few years on the job, that businesses should leave the job of breaking in new employees to their competitors and then hire those employees away, once they were trained.

            It was an absurd suggestion on the part of the author, that called for the businesses to engage in a form of free riding. The suggestion was for the businesses to draw from the pool of trained employees without doing any of the training, themselves – “training” in this case not meaning “education”, but rather, on the job experience.

            “What if everybody does that” is the question that never got asked, and so a cyclical management fad arose, that of stubbornly refusing to hire recent graduates until they magically got 2-5 years of experience, without having jobs at the time.

            This makes no sense and does real harm to corporate America, which keeps running out of junior professionals and going sobbing to Washington, asking to be helped out of the problem it has, once again, gotten itself into by its insane insistence that recent graduates manage to transcend the bounds of space and time in order to get their first jobs. We are expected to have work experience before we get our first jobs – a chronological impossibility.

            When the absurdity of this expectation is explained to management, with as much patience as can be mustered, management will usually reply with the same level of rationality and maturity that we just saw out of tjrich – they’ll fly into narcissistic rages because like TJ, they feel that validation is their birthright.

            Also, let’s face it, Baseball is not the American national pastime. Substance abuse is. When one goes on job interviews, the symptoms of “nose candy” use can become obvious, when one looks at the interviewers. Rationality in decision making is not to be expected, under the circumstances.

            This has been a recurring problem for recent graduates. Companies will back off on this position for a few years but, managerial narcissism being what it is, the bad idea will return because the suits will never bring themselves to admit that they were wrong.

            The better educated the graduate, the harder he gets hit if he enters the job market when this management fad has made its most recent comeback, because he runs into the overqualification issue at a time when only low skilled jobs are being offered. I’m a PhD candidate, so I got hit hard, leaving me underemployed.

            That’s not exactly the same thing as being unemployed. I patch together a living of sorts out of math tutoring, catering, substitute teaching and other odd jobs. Eventually, I’ll have enough money to buy some supplies, do a little tinkering and come up with a simple product to market.

            Contrary to the assumptions people usually make about me because of my surname, I am a Jew, and my people have a long tradition of dealing with discriminatory hiring practices. I will be delayed in my search for success by the insane behavior of the American corporate community, but I will not be denied.

            The Jewish shopkeeper is a cliche for a reason.

            “HA HA HA”

            Have you thought of going back on whatever medication you skipped, TJ?

          • tjrich

            Actually, I can’t argue with your issue about discriminatory hiring practices. And I would never criticize a man for doing what it takes to get by. But I did lose my temper and respond with some nasty stuff to your arrogant insulting manner. I tried to apologize and you decided in your infinite wisdom it was insincere. So be it.

          • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

            This is the second reposting of this comment, which was wrongly “detected as spam” by Disqus’ defective and easily gamed filter. I reinserted it using cut and paste.

            I shouldn’t have to keep doing this, but I do, because of an issue that Disqus has been aware for years, and has stubbornly refused to address.

            “It certainly is very clear why you are ‘Under Employed’ – Attitude!”

            “Attitude” is, indeed, the problem – Narcissism, not so different from the sort we’re seeing out of you, is widespread in business.

            Some years ago, Forbes published an article in which the author argued that since new employees made errors that made them costly to their employers during their first few years on the job, that businesses should leave the job of breaking in new employees to their competitors and then hire those employees away, once they were trained.

            It was an absurd suggestion on the part of the author, that called for the businesses to engage in a form of free riding. The suggestion was for the businesses to draw from the pool of trained employees without doing any of the training, themselves – “training” in this case not meaning “education”, but rather, on the job experience.

            “What if everybody does that” is the question that never got asked, and so a cyclical management fad arose, that of stubbornly refusing to hire recent graduates until they magically got 2-5 years of experience, without having jobs at the time.

            This makes no sense and does real harm to corporate America, which keeps running out of junior professionals and going sobbing to Washington, asking to be helped out of the problem it has, once again, gotten itself into by its insane insistence that recent graduates manage to transcend the bounds of space and time in order to get their first jobs. We are expected to have work experience before we get our first jobs – a chronological impossibility.

            When the absurdity of this expectation is explained to management, with as much patience as can be mustered, management will usually reply with the same level of rationality and maturity that we just saw out of tjrich – they’ll fly into narcissistic rages because like TJ, they feel that validation is their birthright.

            Also, let’s face it, Baseball is not the American national pastime. Substance abuse is. When one goes on job interviews, the symptoms of “nose candy” use can become obvious, when one looks at the interviewers. Rationality in decision making is not to be expected, under the circumstances.

            This has been a recurring problem for recent graduates. Companies will back off on this position for a few years but, managerial narcissism being what it is, the bad idea will return because the suits will never bring themselves to admit that they were wrong.

            The better educated the graduate, the harder he gets hit if he enters the job market when this management fad has made its most recent comeback, because he runs into the overqualification issue at a time when only low skilled jobs are being offered. I’m a PhD candidate, so I got hit hard, leaving me underemployed.

            That’s not exactly the same thing as being unemployed. I patch together a living of sorts out of math tutoring, catering, substitute teaching and other odd jobs. Eventually, I’ll have enough money to buy some supplies, do a little tinkering and come up with a simple product to market.

            Contrary to the assumptions people usually make about me because of my surname, I am a Jew, and my people have a long tradition of dealing with discriminatory hiring practices. I will be delayed in my search for success by the insane behavior of the American corporate community, but I will not be denied.

            The Jewish shopkeeper is a cliche for a reason.

            “HA HA HA”

            Have you thought of going back on whatever medication you skipped, TJ?

          • http://joe-dunphy.tumblr.com Caffeination / Joseph Dunphy

            This is the third reposting of this comment, which was wrongly “detected as spam” by Disqus’ defective and easily gamed filter. I reinserted it using cut and paste.

            I shouldn’t have to keep doing this, but I do, because of an issue that Disqus has been aware for years, and has stubbornly refused to address.

            “It certainly is very clear why you are ‘Under Employed’ – Attitude!”

            “Attitude” is, indeed, the problem – Narcissism, not so different from the sort we’re seeing out of you, is widespread in business.

            Some years ago, Forbes published an article in which the author argued that since new employees made errors that made them costly to their employers during their first few years on the job, that businesses should leave the job of breaking in new employees to their competitors and then hire those employees away, once they were trained.

            It was an absurd suggestion on the part of the author, that called for the businesses to engage in a form of free riding. The suggestion was for the businesses to draw from the pool of trained employees without doing any of the training, themselves – “training” in this case not meaning “education”, but rather, on the job experience.

            “What if everybody does that” is the question that never got asked, and so a cyclical management fad arose, that of stubbornly refusing to hire recent graduates until they magically got 2-5 years of experience, without having jobs at the time.

            This makes no sense and does real harm to corporate America, which keeps running out of junior professionals and going sobbing to Washington, asking to be helped out of the problem it has, once again, gotten itself into by its insane insistence that recent graduates manage to transcend the bounds of space and time in order to get their first jobs. We are expected to have work experience before we get our first jobs – a chronological impossibility.

            When the absurdity of this expectation is explained to management, with as much patience as can be mustered, management will usually reply with the same level of rationality and maturity that we just saw out of tjrich – they’ll fly into narcissistic rages because like TJ, they feel that validation is their birthright.

            Also, let’s face it, Baseball is not the American national pastime. Substance abuse is. When one goes on job interviews, the symptoms of “nose candy” use can become obvious, when one looks at the interviewers. Rationality in decision making is not to be expected, under the circumstances.

            This has been a recurring problem for recent graduates. Companies will back off on this position for a few years but, managerial narcissism being what it is, the bad idea will return because the suits will never bring themselves to admit that they were wrong.

            The better educated the graduate, the harder he gets hit if he enters the job market when this management fad has made its most recent comeback, because he runs into the overqualification issue at a time when only low skilled jobs are being offered. I’m a PhD candidate, so I got hit hard, leaving me underemployed.

            That’s not exactly the same thing as being unemployed. I patch together a living of sorts out of math tutoring, catering, substitute teaching and other odd jobs. Eventually, I’ll have enough money to buy some supplies, do a little tinkering and come up with a simple product to market.

            Contrary to the assumptions people usually make about me because of my surname, I am a Jew, and my people have a long tradition of dealing with discriminatory hiring practices. I will be delayed in my search for success by the insane behavior of the American corporate community, but I will not be denied.

            The Jewish shopkeeper is a cliche for a reason.

            “HA HA HA”

            Have you thought of going back on whatever medication you skipped, TJ?

  • Lorie Franceschi

    There is always one that has to make some stupid political statement.

  • Tom Farrell

    Crash some comets on the surface Elon

  • Erik Bosma

    And it gets constantly pounded by lots of nasty radiation – so sorry Elon.

  • DeBee Corley

    NASA: You can’t land rockets on their tail, impossible. Musk: I read a rocket book. I am now chief scientist, because no chief scientist would work for me. I designed the reusable rocket on the back of a napkin.

    Me: Can we crash water asteroids onto Mars? Robot with 3d printer does the work.
    NASA: IMPOSSIBLE.

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