I recently saw a banner headline on a social media site (which shall remain nameless) that said: “Mars Terraforming Not Possible.” This instantly annoyed me. I am familiar with the science, and happen to know that terraforming Mars is within the realm of future science. So, I followed the link and found an article titled: “Mars terraforming not possible using present-day technology.” A very different message! The article refers to a lack of CO2 sources on Mars, which isn’t news. In fact, the article is based on a study published in Nature Astronomy titled: “Inventory of CO2 available for terraforming Mars.” It is merely a more accurate assessment of potential greenhouse gas sources on the planet. So, not news; it has long been understood that terraforming Mars would almost certainly require an outside source of CO2, among other problems like its lack of a magnetic field. Schemes exist to address these issues, but require a more advanced technology than what we have today. In summary, terraforming Mars remains what it always has been, a someday project, not a now thing.
So once again, social media deceives us with sensationalist headlines that distort the truth. If the point was simple click bait, then congratulations, you made me click. But what is the deeper reason we are flooded with a constant barrage of such distortions? Modern Luddites? Talk about oxymorons! Or is it simply unhappy people getting a kick out of fooling people? It seems there is a rich vein of psychology to be mined here. Perhaps it already has been. Anyone want to share a theory?