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Saturday, January 08, 2022


by John Whitney Steele

NASA’s Retiring Top Scientist Says We Can Terraform Mars and Maybe Venus, Too —The New York Times, January 2, 2022

Imagine the red planet with an atmosphere,
replete with plants and animals. It isn’t hard to do. 

A couple billion years ago Mars lost its air,
its water too, and so it is no longer blue.

But should we choose to live there, we could change it,
claims NASA’s top scientist. All we’d have to do

is terraform the planet—that goes for Venus too.
Put up a magnetic shield, block the sun, retain

more heat, and watch Mars turn from red to blue.
The solar system’s ours. Imagine life on Mars 

while back on planet Earth we churn out CO2.

John Whitney Steele is a psychologist, yoga teacher, assistant editor of Think: A Journal of Poetry, Fiction and Essays, and graduate of the MFA Poetry Program at Western Colorado University. His chapbook The Stones Keep Watch was published by Kelsay Books in 2021. His full length collection Shiva’s Dance will be released in 2022. Born in Toronto and raised among the pines and granite cliffs of Foot’s Bay, Ontario, John lives in Boulder, Colorado where he encounters his muse wandering in the mountains.