The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Antarctica should be colonized before Mars

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/10/2013 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,439 times Debate No: 34664
Debate Rounds (4)
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Votes (1)




In the first round, we'll start by stating our opinion, why, and then starting in the second round, the real debate will start.

My opinion is that we should start colonizing Antarctica before Mars. I say this because it is much easier to colonize Antarctica than Mars. This is because you can actually breath in Antarctica, there is an abundance of fresh water, and there are already bases in Antarctica that have temporary tenants.


I accept.

We should colonize Mars because the potential is much greater than that of Antarctica. Our tenative inhabitence of Antarctica is all humanity needs from it.

Debate Round No. 1


It is much cheaper to colonize Antarctica than Mars. Not to mention, colonizing Mars is many generations away from being possible. Colonizing Antarctica is very possible right now. They could use wind turbines for electricity for heat and lights and they'd be able to receive help if needed easily from other people. Also, there is little fresh water at the polar ice caps at both ends of Mars but there is an abundance of fresh water on Antarctica. Infact, Antarctica has about 70% of the fresh water on Earth. Not to mention there is some coal and other mineable resources found in the Transantarctic Mountains that split Antarctica into two unequal pieces.


-- My Case --

A. Potential

Mars has infinitely more potential than Antarctica. The surface area of Mars is roughly 28% of the Earth's, however since there is no oceans on Mars this would nearly double the usable dry land for humanity. [1] Also, there is an innumerable amount of resources on Mars that humans could use. Everything from deuterium, an isotope of hydrogen used for nuclear fusion, to platinum, gold, silver and iron. [2] Considering we have an entire planet to mine and exploit the potential for humanity is mind numbing.

In fact, this possibility is not far off. While a colony now could not be self sufficient (no colony is when they first start, including colonies here on Earth), the technology to erect shelter, mine, grow food in greenhouses and store air and water is not impossible. In time, with continued effort and growth a colony on Mars would be possible and perhaps even self sufficient giving humanity a second world to inhabit.

Contrast this infinite potential for growth, exploration and human development to Antarctica. There is nothing for humanity in Antarctica that requires colonization. While Mars could be turned into a viable place to live with effort and time, Antarctica simply cannot be. The potential to terraform Mars is a technological possibility while you will never be able to change the climate of the South Pole. It will always be cold and windy and if it isn't then the ocean levels will rise with the melting of the poles. The few humans we have in Antarctica is plenty and might even be too much.

a) Example

Take for example the British Empire, they have the option of colonizing a tiny barren rocky island off the coast of Britain or they can invest and wait and strive for colonizing America. Obviously, the choice they want is America. The only good argument that can be made for colonizing the barren island is that it's closer or easier. Neither are very good arguments when looking at a vast wealthy new land such as America.

-- My Opponent's Case Refuted --

Much like in my example, Pro's case simply is that it's easier. He simply claims colonizing Antarctica is "cheaper" and then makes a weak argument that colonizing Mars is "generations" away. I'd like to point out that say we took all the money, infrastructure, willpower and time we'd put into colonizing Antarctica (which would be a lot considering the climate and locale) into creating a program to establish a small colony on Mars and I think we wouldn't be far off. Generations is a big word. We said we'd go to the moon in 10 years and guess what, we did it and we did it when no American had ever been to space before.

Also, my opponent basically admits that a colony in Antarctica might not be self sufficient by saying "they'd be able to receive help if needed". Why have a non self sustaining colony in a barren and difficult part of the world when we can have one on Mars with infinite potential?

Also, my opponent mentions coal and water as resources as a reason to colonize. However, as I already pointed out, Mars has the potential to have rarer isotopes for power, silver, gold, platinum and even some water of it's own. [2] If we want to colonize a difficult place for resources, Mars is the place to focus.

-- Conclusion --

When you compare the two places, the potential of Mars far outstrips the potential of Antarctica. The only good reason for colonizing Antarctica first is that it's easier. But we'd get little to no benefit from colonizing there so why bother? Why not colonize the North Pole and the barren rocks in the South Atlantic while we're at it just because it's possible. Possibility does not equal practicality. Therefore, Antarctica should not be colonized at all and future colonization efforts should be focused on Mars for its vast potential.

Debate Round No. 2


garretthmck forfeited this round.


Extend all arguments.
Debate Round No. 3


garretthmck forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Stephen_Hawkins 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: FF