Conscious Choice cover

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

A glacier filled canyon on Mars?

Large glacial flow exiting Mamers Valles
Click for full image.

The photo to the right, rotated, cropped, and reduced to post here, was taken on September 9, 2020 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). It shows the northern half of a 15-mile wide canyon on Mars whose floor appears to be completely filled by a glacier. The full picture shows both the north and south rims, and captures the canyon’s outlet from the southern cratered highlands into the chaotic terrain of Deuteronilus Mensae, the region of Mars I like to call glacier country. This region of canyons and mesas forms the transition zone down to the northern lowland plains, and is a region where almost every MRO image shows glacial-type features.

The size and age of this glacial feature is what makes it stand out. First, note the craters on its surface. The glacier has to be quite old and inactive for a long time for those craters to still exist as they appear. Any movement would have distorted them, and they show little distortion.

The overview map below gives a sense of this glacier’s size.

Overview map

The black rectangle shows the area covered by the full image. Mamers Valles is a 300 mile long canyon that drains into Deuteronilus Mensae at this point. Today’s full image covers the full width of its eastern outlet, showing that this glacier fills the canyon. Other MRO images further up the canyon to the west (here and here) show the same thing, even though to the west Mamers Valles widens considerably. Yet, it is still filled with this glacier-like flow. (See also this earlier post on Mamers Valles.)

There is a lot of buried ice here, and it has been here for a long time. Such data has suggested to scientists the possibility that many of Mars’s meandering river-like canyons like Mamers might not have been formed by fast-flowing liquid water, but by slowly flowing glacial ice. We do not know this yet, and there has only been a few studies pointing in this direction. Still, the evidence is enticing, and if true could help explain the biggest geological mystery of Mars. It shows a lot of surface features and geology that suggests the past existence of liquid water. Yet its thin atmosphere and cold temperature make flowing liquid water impossible. And no model has yet convincingly created the right climate conditions in the Martian past to have made liquid water possible.


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