I went outside with my son to look at a beautiful, bright full moon hanging in a sky full of stars. It had been raining most of the week and this was a welcome sight. So peaceful and awe-inspiring. It was a very wonderful view and I hate that most cameras (at least the unsophisticated kind I have) can never capture the image the way we see it.
But standing there with my son, talking about the moon, it dawned on me that he will not have this experience again in his lifetime. That is, by the time he is grown and has a family of his own and is standing outside looking up at the full moon with his own child, it will be populated with human colonists. Within just a decade or so we begin our serious push outwards into space with the colonization of the Moon and Mars. I told him that I imagine he will be able to see lunar cities, or at least lights on the Moon from the human settlements. It will be a totally different view.
I hope that our future colonists and their corporate sponsors (because that seems to be the concession we have made in this country) do not see fit to put giant advertisements on the surface of the Moon for the benefit of an Earthly audience. I do not wish to ever see some company’s logo blazing on the surface of the Moon. But I know, given Mankind’s past and proclivities, it will probably come to pass. I can’t wait to see what obnoxiousness they get up to with the first Lunar Superbowl or Olympics.
I guess what I see as a “spoiled natural view” will become the norm for the next generation. Just as the Native American Indians of wild Manhattan Island would not now recognize the blazing light of Broadway in the heart of towering skyscrapers which we call iconic New York, New York. Things change and hopefully they will change for the better. But I guess mine will be the last generation looking up at a barren, natural moonscape.
Hope we Humans do not spoil it too bad.