By now you should know Elon Musk. If you don’t know him by name, you almost definitely know his companies: Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity. Companies that are doing good in the world, right? Well, it certainly appears that way right now, but…
Musk wants us to nuke Mars. Sure, his intentions are good – nuking Mars would warm the planet up, making it possible for humans to one day live there, says Musk – but still, and Stephen Colbert agrees, that’s definitely the kind of thing a supervillain does.
Musk assures us that he just wants to do good, and as far as billionaires go, he certainly *seems* trustworthy. But the ease with which he suggests nuking a planet definitely seems to suggest some supervillainery lurking within him somewhere.
Maybe it will be us that induces his final supervillain form by refusing his idea to nuke the Red Planet, turning him from full-on Tony Stark to raging Doctor Doom.
And while we’re slightly mocking Musk’s idea here, it definitely *could* work. The carbon dioxide and water trapped in Mars’s poles could be vaporised by the nukes, causing the atmosphere to get thicker and the greenhouse effect to begin – meaning the sun’s energy would become trapped within the planet. The theory says that eventually, the planet would heat up enough for liquid water to exist – and while Musk says this is the “fast” way, it would probably still be pretty slow, like a couple of centuries slow. Of course, the physics is so unpredictable that this whole thing could actually make the planet cooler, so it would be a risk.
There are alternatives to nuking the planet – afterall, we don’t want to start an inter-planetary war with beings we didn’t know existed until we seriously angered them, with our typically human arrogance. For instance we could try and redirect an asteroid towards Mars with the same affect as a nuke, only it would look like an accident. And of course all of this presupposes that we’ve decided one day humans will definitely be living on Mars.
Either way, for now it looks like we’ll have to wait and see what Elon Musk’s final form will be.