Toward a Sustainable Land Use Policy for Mars
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Looming prospects for Mars colonization, along with longer-term visions of broader space colonization, open up new territory for human settlement and raise new questions about how unsettled land should be allocated. This scenario has many analogs in human history when settlers in all parts of the world left their home in search of new land for hunting, farming, or exploration. Today no human on Earth can pick up and move to unclaimed land, but space colonization could make this possible again. Here I discuss some historical attitudes toward land appropriation and the shortcomings of these ideas when applied to the human colonization of Mars. This suggests the need for new policy solutions to guide the colonization of Mars prior to the arrival of the first humans.
KeywordsMars exploration Space colonization Environmental ethics Land use policy Outer space treaty
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