Elon Musk is on a mission to make humans a multi-planetary species by building an independent city on Mars.
The billionaire technology mogul has said that the spaceship Starship designed by his rocket company, SpaceX, could launch on its first flight to Mars as early as 2024. Eventually, he hopes the rocket will shift people to the red planet en masse. His goal is to build a city of 1 million Martians by 2050.
Legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog believes it would be “a mistake.”
“I think Elon Musk is stylizing himself as a kind of technological visionary,” Herzog told Inverse. “Because he has to sell his electric cars. Wonderful that he does. He has to sell his recyclable rockets. Wonderful that he does.”
But, he added, “I disagree with him when he postulates and preaches about the colonization of Mars.”
Humans should “not be like the locusts,” Herzog said, but should instead “look to keep our planet habitable.”
Musk has argued that the Earth cannot be habitable forever and that the human species should survive it. If the climate crisis does not make our planet unavoidable for human life, an asteroid effect could easily do so. Although we are lucky, in a few billion years the rising sun will boil off the Earth’s garden and eventually expand to devour our planet completely.
For Musk, colonization of Mars is the first step in escaping this fate. But Herzog told Inverse he is not convinced.
“I have to tell not only Elon Musk, but everyone,” he said. “It’s an obscenity. The thought alone is an obscenity.”
He compared the plans of the entrepreneur to the rise and fall of communism and fascism in the 20th century.
“Thank God, both of these gigantic utopias were brought to an end,” he said, adding that the same would happen to Musk’s Mars city. “Our century will very quickly end technological utopia like the colonization of Mars.”
Still, Herzog said he would “love to go.” [to Mars] with a camera with scientists. “