What are the facts from Mars really telling us? We have been engaging our greatest technologists to design missions to Mars to discover whether the "canals" are full of water or whether we have extraterrestrial cousins. But what is the really big question?
We know that there is water on Mars. NASA recently reported that laboratory tests aboard their Phoenix Mars Lander clearly identified water in a soil sample. William Boynton of the University of Arizona, lead scientist for the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer, suggested that "this is the first time Martian water has been touched and tasted."
Mars is smaller than earth so has less gravity. It is believed that any atmosphere that Mars once had has disappeared; dissipated into space. So with little atmosphere and no ozone layer the Martian surface is exposed to high levels of ultraviolet radiation; without an atmospheric buffer the surface temperature is cold. In the same report, Mark Lemmon of Texas A&M University, lead scientist for Phoenix's Surface Stereo Imager camera stated that "the details and patterns we see in the ground show an ice-dominated terrain as far as the eye can see".
Does Mars contain the answers we need? Are we about to suffer a cataclysmic end due to the effects of global warming or can we save the planet? Our little green men and women, the prophets of doom that dominate our environmental movement, would have us cease all activity to save the planet from climate change. They would have us believe that our utopian world is moving away from its "natural state" into a man-made apocalypse. Have our dark satanic mills brought retribution down upon our planet just as sinning against the Catholic Church did for medieval man?
But what does the condition of Mars really show us? That despite the non-intervention of man, despite the lack of a corrupting influence, global climate change still occurs. At one time Mars was a warmer place just as at one time the Earth was a colder place. Mars' geomorphology indicates that is colder now than it was. The Earth is warmer.
The Viking Lander did not detect life on Mars; not even an organic molecule that might be a precursor to life. So who do we blame for the Martian climate change? If we earthlings are the agent of change on Earth does climate change on Mars then prove the existence of life on Mars? Or can the facts from Mars suggest that climate change occurs due to much more fundamental or indeed elemental forces than the industrial development of man.