Toward a Sustainable Land Use Policy for Mars
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
- Callicott, J. B. (1989). In defense of the land ethic: Essays in environmental philosophy. New York: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
- Collins, D. (2008). Efficient allocation of real property rights on the planet Mars. Boston University Journal of Science and Technology Law, 14, 201–219.Google Scholar
- Gruner, B. C. (2005). A new hope for international space law: Incorporating nineteenth century first possession principles into the 1967 space treaty for the colonization of outer space in the twenty-first century. Seton Hall Law Review, 35, 6.Google Scholar
- Hargrove, E. C. (1989). Foundations of environmental ethics. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
- Haqq-Misra, J. (2014). The transformative value of liberating Mars. http://arxiv.org/pdf/1404.2315v1.pdf.
- Leopold, A. (1949). A sand county almanac, and sketches here and there. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Locke, J. (1690). Second treatise of government. Project Gutenberg, Salt Lake City, UTGoogle Scholar
- Lovelock, J. (2006). The revenge of Gaia: Earths climate in crisis and the fate of humanity. Basic Books.Google Scholar
- Rolston, H. (1988). Environmental ethics: Duties to and values in the natural world. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
- Sullivan, W. T. (2013). Planetocentric ethics: Principles for exploring a solar system that may contain extraterrestrial microbial life. In C. Impey, A.H. Spitz & W. Stoeger (Eds.), Encountering life in the universe: Ethical foundations and social implications of astrobiology (pp. 167–177). Arizona: University of Arizona Press.Google Scholar
- Taylor, P. W. (1986). Respect for nature: A theory of environmental ethics. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar