Musk has one supreme talent: the ability to extract billions of dollars from over-eager and gullible venture capitalists. When we look at the rest of the portfolio, however, he consistently disappoints. Tesla: never designed to be build profitably, never mind meet production quotas. SpaceX: probably a decent modestly profitable business, delivering payloads to the ISS and launching satellites. Everything else: hilariously inept.

Musk wants to build a billionaire’s panic room on Mars and he’s willing to overlook the hundreds of reasons why this is not only a very bad idea but also pointless. As so many grew up on StarTrek etc. most people are unaware of the reality of moving outside of the one planet we’re actually evolved to live on. But when we look at the reality instead of the teenage boy scifi dreams, we see very clearly that anyone off to Mars is in for a very, very bad time indeed — and this assumes the best-possible scenario in which absolutely everything works as planned.

Perhaps it’s time we stopped indulging in teen fantasies about space exploration and started being more serious about not f*cking up the one place we can actually live. Or maybe that’s just too boring for the videogame/streaming entertainment generation to care about.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.