If you’ve been paying attention to any kind of space news over the past few years, you already know that the race to Mars is heating up in a big way. Elon Musk and SpaceX regularly talk about the possibilities of not only traveling to the Red Planet, but actually making it livable for humans, and NASA is slowly piecing together plans for the very first manned missions to our planetary neighbor.
It’s an exciting time… as long as you’re not Bill Nye, apparently. In a recent interview with USA Today, the longtime show host and bow tie aficionado shot down dreams of humans on Mars in intense fashion.
“This whole idea of terraforming Mars, as respectful as I can be, are you guys high?” Nye told USA Today. “We can’t even take care of this planet where we live, and we’re perfectly suited for it, let alone another planet.”
I mean, he does have a point there. We humans are essentially suffocating our home planet, and while there’s a lot of concern over the sustainability of the path we’re on, the vast majority of people seem content to roll the dice and hope future generations find a way to fix what we’ve ruined.
However, Nye’s criticism of Mars habitation goes beyond our inability to clean up our act on Earth. He also had a few things to say about how difficult it would be to make Mars a comfortable place for life.
“Nobody’s gonna go settle on Mars to raise a family and have generations of Martians,” Nye explained. “It’s not reasonable because it’s so cold. And there is hardly any water. There’s absolutely no food, and the big thing, I just remind these guys, there’s nothing to breathe.”
That’s all true. Even the most optimistic plans for habitation on Mars really don’t have an answer for how we’ll find the things we so desperately need to sustain ourselves. Yes, recent research has shown that Mars soil might be just enough to do a bit of farming in, but that’s just one piece of a massive puzzle that we haven’t even begun to solve.
Even still, Nye is reportedly in favor of astronauts visiting Mars to conduct science. He just doesn’t want us to get ahead of ourselves.