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July 9, 2017

National Geographic Explorers Debate – Ocean or Mars?

“Pick one: Would you rather live in a colony on Mars or in the ocean?
In the coming years, both could be possible.” 

National Geographic Explorer

This was a huge win. Every year, the National Geographic Society hosts the Explorers Festival, bringing together the most fascinating and innovative scientists, conservationists, explorers, and storytellers from around the world.

This year, they sponsored my trip to give a panel talk at the festival about how we can save this planet by colonizing the seas, rather than abandoning Earth and fleeing to Mars.

I caused a stir. When I said our Polynesian Floating Islands should be available by 2020 and require no tax money, an astronomer called it “magical thinking,” compared it to “Staten Island,” and evoked “the decimation of Hawaiian populations.” By the time she claimed that colonizing Mars will provide “immediate, palpable benefits to people here on earth,” we had won quite a few seasteading converts among the live audience on social media.

Click the photo below to check it out!

We also connected with several celebrity scientists, including:
Neil deGrasse Tyson took the book home. Poor guy. Now he won’t get any sleep.
Deep sea explorer Bob Ballard, “Carl Sagan with gills” who discovered The RMS Titanic and calls for humanity to settle the seas, is featured in the book.
Ocean folk refer to Sylvia Earle as “Her Deepness.” This photo was taken immediately after she sat in the front row during my panel debate.
It’s amazing to see so much support from such highly respected members of the scientific community, as well as mainstream media outlets as large as National Geographic.