I think that Mars rover is as cool as you do. It was a feat and a triumph to get it there. I am especially pleased that they didn’t add many extra billioins of dollars to send a person along, who would have been too big to ride on the little machine anyway.

But the rover, as cute and chaming as it is, isn’t as cute or charming or exciting as this. A new species of monkey discovered on one of the planets! Which planet? Oh, the boring one we already live on. Here we are exulting over the search for dead bacteria on a dead planet, and pretty much ignoring the incredible, INCREDIBLE biological riches we have already RIGHT HERE. But no, we’re not exactly ignoring them. We’re killing them off. Just imagine if such a monkey had been found in a cave under a rock on Mars. Image the news stories. Imagine if we found ANY of the living species of earth on Mars. Oh what a treasure they’d be! Here? Bush meat!

I know people aren’t rational actors, except in the short term, and oftentimes not even then. But come on. Here we have ONE planet with life. There are likely others out there somewhere, but they are WAY too far away for us to ever know much, if anything, about. No, we have one. Full of beautiful, beautiful living things. Including us. And what are we doing to it? What are YOU doing to it? Or for it?