Is Elon Musk's Mars Colonization Idea an 'Obscenity'? German Filmmaker Werner Herzog Thinks So

While Jack Ma once criticized Elon Musk's idea of building a city on Mars, an Oscar-nominated German filmmaker also believes that it is a mistake.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wants to set up a human colony on the Martian surface and the company is currently focusing on developing a special rocket for a manned Mars mission. But a German film director believes that the idea to build a self-sustaining city on Mars by 2050 is a "mistake".

SpaceX is currently working on the development of the Starship rocket, which is a stainless-steel ship designed to take humans to the Red Planet and beyond. In December, a prototype set a new flight record after it soared to a height of 41,000 feet but while landing it exploded.

According to Werner Herzog, who acted in some well-known TV series including The Mandalorian and was nominated for the 2009 Academy Awards, going to Mars for scientific exploration is a good idea. But he described Musk's plan to build a human colony on the red planet as "an obscenity".

Mars colonization Pixabay

The Musk City on Mars

Despite several environmental challenges on Mars, the SpaceX head wants to gradually build a base on Mars to support a city of one million people. This is an extremely science-fiction idea which many have noticed in movies. Turning it into a reality would be extremely difficult considering the current environment of Mars. But if somehow, the idea becomes a reality, it would let humans have a second home outside the Earth, which is currently struggling to cope up with climate change effects.

But Herzog said, "I disagree with him [Musk] when he postulates and preaches about colonizing Mars. And I have to tell not only Elon Musk but everyone. And so I say it as straightforward as it can be... it is an obscenity. The thought alone is an obscenity."

werner herzog
Werner Herzog, German film director Wikimedia commons

He added that the humans should not be like the "locusts", leaving the Earth after destroying the planet. According to him, "our century very quickly will bring to an end technological utopia like colonizing Mars". Herzog is not against the Mars mission though. He even suggested that he would like to take a camera and a film crew to explore the Red Planet. But when it comes to colonization, he doesn't think that it would be a good idea.

The director has also made a documentary called Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds, which is about how meteorites influenced human history and how they could solve ancient mysteries. While many people are concerned about the near-Earth asteroids and some conspiracy theorists share fake claims about the doomsday meteorite, Herzog is less concerned about such catastrophe but that doesn't mean that people should not be worried about their own extinction. According to the German filmmaker, meteorite caused destruction could take place in millions of years, but there are several other things that could wipe out humanity before a doomsday asteroid.

Criticism Against Musk

There are several social media users who are hardcore critics of Musk but the billionaire has become habituated to such criticism. He was once criticized by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, former executive chairman of Alibaba Group, regarding the Mars colonization idea.

In 2019, he told Musk that "we need heroes like you, but we need more heroes like us working hard on the Earth, improving things every day". But Musk responded by saying that "it is important for us to take the set of actions that are most likely to continue consciousness into the future".

This article was first published on December 20, 2020
Related topics : Elon musk Space Spacex