Textile industry in Bangladesh

Buyer Inspection System in Garments Sector

Data for Occupations Not Covered in Detail
Excludes "Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers" May conduct inspections and enforce adherence to laws and regulations governing the health and safety of individuals. Includes sensing devices, computer controls, sprinkler heads, piping or plumbing, pumps, visual and audible alarms, alarm control panels, heat and smoke detection devices, fire escapes, fire doors, emergency exit lighting and signage, and wall mounted fire extinguishers necessary for the protection of the building. Instruct preschool-aged children in activities designed to promote social, physical, and intellectual growth needed for primary school in preschool, day care center, or other child development facility. Retrieved 21 December Lost in the Queue: Operate data entry device, such as keyboard or photo composing perforator.

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Price system

Repair percussion, stringed, reed, or wind instruments. May specialize in one area, such as piano tuning. Repair, clean, and adjust mechanisms of timing instruments, such as watches and clocks. Includes watchmakers, watch technicians, and mechanical timepiece repairers. Install, service, adjust, or repair coin, vending, or amusement machines including video games, juke boxes, pinball machines, or slot machines.

Work below surface of water, using scuba gear to inspect, repair, remove, or install equipment and structures. May use a variety of power and hand tools, such as drills, sledgehammers, torches, and welding equipment.

May conduct tests or experiments, rig explosives, or photograph structures or marine life. Repair tears, holes, and other defects in fabrics, such as draperies, linens, parachutes, and tents. Repair and open locks; make keys; change locks and safe combinations; and install and repair safes. Set up or repair rigging for construction projects, manufacturing plants, logging yards, ships and shipyards, or for the entertainment industry.

Install, inspect, test, maintain, or repair electric gate crossings, signals, signal equipment, track switches, section lines, or intercommunications systems within a railroad system. Help installation, maintenance, and repair workers in maintenance, parts replacement, and repair of vehicles, industrial machinery, and electrical and electronic equipment.

Perform duties such as furnishing tools, materials, and supplies to other workers; cleaning work area, machines, and tools; and holding materials or tools for other workers. Directly supervise and coordinate the activities of production and operating workers, such as inspectors, precision workers, machine setters and operators, assemblers, fabricators, and plant and system operators.

Work in slaughtering, meat packing, or wholesale establishments performing precision functions involving the preparation of meat. Work may include specialized slaughtering tasks, cutting standard or premium cuts of meat for marketing, making sausage, or wrapping meats. Lay out reference points and dimensions on metal or plastic stock or workpieces, such as sheets, plates, tubes, structural shapes, castings, or machine parts, for further processing. Format and proof text and images submitted by designers and clients into finished pages that can be printed.

Includes digital and photo typesetting. May produce printing plates. Set up and operate digital, letterpress, lithographic, flexographic, gravure, or other printing machines. Includes short-run offset printing presses. Bind books and other publications or finish printed products by hand or machine. May set up binding and finishing machines. Operate or tend washing or dry-cleaning machines to wash or dry-clean industrial or household articles, such as cloth garments, suede, leather, furs, blankets, draperies, linens, rugs, and carpets.

Includes spotters and dyers of these articles. Operate or tend sewing machines to join, reinforce, decorate, or perform related sewing operations in the manufacture of garment or nongarment products. Construct, decorate, or repair leather and leather-like products, such as luggage, shoes, and saddles. Operate or tend a variety of machines to join, decorate, reinforce, or finish shoes and shoe parts.

Sew, join, reinforce, or finish, usually with needle and thread, a variety of manufactured items. Includes weavers and stitchers. Operate or tend machines to bleach, shrink, wash, dye, or finish textiles or synthetic or glass fibers. Textile knitting and weaving machine setters, operators, and tenders. Set up, operate, or tend machines that knit, loop, weave, or draw in textiles. Textile winding, twisting, and drawing out machine setters, operators, and tenders.

Set up, operate, or tend machines that wind or twist textiles; or draw out and combine sliver, such as wool, hemp, or synthetic fibers.

Includes slubber machine and drawing frame operators. Extruding and forming machine setters, operators, and tenders, synthetic and glass fibers. Set up, operate, or tend machines that extrude and form continuous filaments from synthetic materials, such as liquid polymer, rayon, and fiberglass. Draw and construct sets of precision master fabric patterns or layouts. May also mark and cut fabrics and apparel. Construct full-size and scale wooden precision models of products.

Includes wood jig builders and loft workers. Plan, lay out, and construct wooden unit or sectional patterns used in forming sand molds for castings. Distribute or process gas for utility companies and others by controlling compressors to maintain specified pressures on main pipelines.

Petroleum pump system operators, refinery operators, and gaugers. Operate or control petroleum refining or processing units. May specialize in controlling manifold and pumping systems, gauging or testing oil in storage tanks, or regulating the flow of oil into pipelines.

Operate or tend equipment to control chemical changes or reactions in the processing of industrial or consumer products. Equipment used includes devulcanizers, steam-jacketed kettles, and reactor vessels. Separating, filtering, clarifying, precipitating, and still machine setters, operators, and tenders. Set up, operate, or tend continuous flow or vat-type equipment; filter presses; shaker screens; centrifuges; condenser tubes; precipitating, fermenting, or evaporating tanks; scrubbing towers; or batch stills.

These machines extract, sort, or separate liquids, gases, or solids from other materials to recover a refined product. Includes dairy processing equipment operators. Crushing, grinding, and polishing machine setters, operators, and tenders. Set up, operate, or tend machines to crush, grind, or polish materials, such as coal, glass, grain, stone, food, or rubber.

Grind, sand, or polish, using hand tools or hand-held power tools, a variety of metal, wood, stone, clay, plastic, or glass objects. Includes chippers, buffers, and finishers. Set up, operate, or tend machines to mix or blend materials, such as chemicals, tobacco, liquids, color pigments, or explosive ingredients. Use hand tools or hand-held power tools to cut and trim a variety of manufactured items, such as carpet, fabric, stone, glass, or rubber.

Set up, operate, or tend machines that cut or slice materials, such as glass, stone, cork, rubber, tobacco, food, paper, or insulating material. Extruding, forming, pressing, and compacting machine setters, operators, and tenders. Set up, operate, or tend machines, such as glass forming machines, plodder machines, and tuber machines, to shape and form products, such as glassware, food, rubber, soap, brick, tile, clay, wax, tobacco, or cosmetics.

Operate or tend heating equipment other than basic metal, plastic, or food processing equipment. Includes activities, such as annealing glass, drying lumber, curing rubber, removing moisture from materials, or boiling soap.

Operate or tend machines to prepare industrial or consumer products for storage or shipment. Includes cannery workers who pack food products. Perform any or all of the following functions in the manufacture of electronic semiconductors: Photographic process workers and processing machine operators. Perform work involved in developing and processing photographic images from film or digital media. May perform precision tasks such as editing photographic negatives and prints.

Operate or tend bonding machines that use adhesives to join items for further processing or to form a completed product. Processes include joining veneer sheets into plywood; gluing paper; or joining rubber and rubberized fabric parts, plastic, simulated leather, or other materials. Cleaning, washing, and metal pickling equipment operators and tenders. Operate or tend machines to wash or clean products, such as barrels or kegs, glass items, tin plate, food, pulp, coal, plastic, or rubber, to remove impurities.

Operate or tend equipment, such as cooling and freezing units, refrigerators, batch freezers, and freezing tunnels, to cool or freeze products, food, blood plasma, and chemicals. Engrave or etch metal, wood, rubber, or other materials. Includes such workers as etcher-circuit processors, pantograph engravers, and silk screen etchers. Photoengravers are included in "Prepress Technicians and Workers" Mold, shape, form, cast, or carve products such as food products, figurines, tile, pipes, and candles consisting of clay, glass, plaster, concrete, stone, or combinations of materials.

Set up, operate, or tend paper goods machines that perform a variety of functions, such as converting, sawing, corrugating, banding, wrapping, boxing, stitching, forming, or sealing paper or paperboard sheets into products. Help production workers by performing duties requiring less skill. Duties include supplying or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment. Apprentice workers are classified in the appropriate production occupations Supervise and coordinate the activities of ground crew in the loading, unloading, securing, and staging of aircraft cargo or baggage.

May determine the quantity and orientation of cargo and compute aircraft center of gravity. May accompany aircraft as member of flight crew and monitor and handle cargo in flight, and assist and brief passengers on safety and emergency procedures. First-line supervisors of helpers, laborers, and material movers, hand.

First-line supervisors of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators. Directly supervise and coordinate activities of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators and helpers. Ensure the safe takeoff and landing of commercial and military aircraft. Duties include coordination between air-traffic control and maintenance personnel; dispatching; using airfield landing and navigational aids; implementing airfield safety procedures; monitoring and maintaining flight records; and applying knowledge of weather information.

Ambulance drivers and attendants, except emergency medical technicians. Drive ambulance or assist ambulance driver in transporting sick, injured, or convalescent persons. Assist in lifting patients. Operate subway or elevated suburban trains with no separate locomotive, or electric-powered streetcar, to transport passengers.

Operate and tend bridges, canal locks, and lighthouses to permit marine passage on inland waterways, near shores, and at danger points in waterway passages. May supervise such operations. Includes drawbridge operators, lock operators, and slip bridge operators. Service automobiles, buses, trucks, boats, and other automotive or marine vehicles with fuel, lubricants, and accessories.

Collect payment for services and supplies. May lubricate vehicle, change motor oil, install antifreeze, or replace lights or other accessories, such as windshield wiper blades or fan belts. May repair or replace tires. Conduct field studies to determine traffic volume, speed, effectiveness of signals, adequacy of lighting, and other factors influencing traffic conditions, under direction of traffic engineer.

Inspect equipment or goods in connection with the safe transport of cargo or people. Includes rail transportation inspectors, such as freight inspectors; rail inspectors; and other inspectors of transportation vehicles, not elsewhere classified. Provide services to ensure the safety and comfort of passengers aboard ships, buses, trains, or within the station or terminal.

In June after a two-year investigation homicide charges were filed against 42 people in the collapse of a factory Rana Plaza that killed more than 1, people in April Sohel Rana , the building owner, Refat Ullah, mayor at the time of the incident along with owners of five garment factories located in the Rana Plaza, and "dozens of local council officials and engineers" were charged with culpable homicide, "which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison under Bangladeshi law.

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association BGMEA is a recognised trade body that represents export oriented garment manufacturers and garment exporters of the country. The fundamental objective of BGMEA is to establish a healthy business environment for a close and mutually beneficial relationship between manufacturers, exporters and importers, thereby ensuring steady growth in the foreign exchange earnings of the country.

In its final report BGMEA pinned the blame on inspection officials who granted permits to factory owners to install heavy machinery on the two floors not authorized to exist in the first place and on local officials for neglecting to ensure proper oversight of building plans. The report also indicated that building owner Sohel Rana may have been able to corrupt municipal officials by offering bribes. On 9 May eight people were killed when a fire broke out at a textile factory in an eleven-story building in the Mirpur industrial district owned by Tung Hai Group, a large garment exporter.

The president of the politically powerful textile industry lobby group, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association BGMEA , told Reuters that "the Bangladeshi managing director of the company and a senior police officer were among the dead.

Around companies - mostly from Europe - international and local trade unions, Bangladeshi employers, exporters and government are part of this agreement.

A spokesman stated that "Ten factories have been submitted to the Government Established Review Panel and most have been either closed completely or partially. In addition, international pressure from human rights organizations, labor organizations, NGOs, and consumers from Western nations pushed corporate retailers to play a larger role in protecting worker safety. The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh , a legally binding document, obligates retailers to cooperate with safety inspections and provide financial assistance to building owners in order to ensure that the standards of such inspections are met.

It is a five-year independent and legally binding agreement between 26 North American companies that is still being enforced. So far, at least 25 cases have been brought to the alliance for review and four factories have officially been closed. One of the main concerns after the crises is the structural integrity of RMG and textile factories.

The Government of Bangladesh has made changes in this regard. Many factories have been inspected since these changes were made, but there are still about 1, factories that have not been checked either because they are not registered with any organization or they have listed the wrong address which takes time away from inspectors. He suggests that the RMG manufacturing and supply industry should not only depend on the prescriptions of the global buyers but also adopt a 'new governance' approach in the local regulation framework of this industry.

Takahiro Fukunishi and Tatsufumi Yamagata, experts in international development, state that the garment industry "was the main factor of globalization" for Bangladesh. Throughout the s and continuing into modern day, the increase in total exports matched the increase in garment exports, indicating that this sector is responsible for a significant portion of Bangladesh's economic growth.

The European Union and the United States are the biggest importers of Bangladeshi garments, making up The garment industry has been praised by many as a major contributor to poverty reduction in Bangladesh. Proponents of this view argue that entry-level wages were enough to keep workers above the local poverty line, even if they were paid much less than other textile and garment factory workers comparatively.

The overwhelming majority of workers, about two-thirds, in the textile and garment industries of Bangladesh are women. In fact, the birth of the industry essentially created the entryway for a "whole generation of young, unmarried females, mainly from rural areas, into the industrial labor force. A limitation on poverty reduction effects provided by the textile industry is the obvious work hazards associated with working in a factory.

Welfare of garment workers is compromised by "long working hours, insufficient sanitation and medical facilities, dust and heat, as well as abuse and discrimination. As of the industry was adopting greening standards.

There are government and private textile engineering colleges under universities that offer B. The institutions are as below:. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Bangladesh textile industry. For textile arts, see Textile arts of Bangladesh.

Muslin trade in Bengal and Bengal Subah. Most of the ready made garments factories have ETP to save the environment. Retrieved 9 June Archived from the original on 3 November Retrieved 29 October Retrieved 7 August Sajib, Enamul Hafiz 6 August The role of textile and clothing industries in growth and development strategies PDF Report.

Retrieved 9 May Bangladesh James Heitzman and Robert Worden, editors. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain. The Process of Economic Development. Tong , Finance and Society in 21st Century China: Lancashire, India and shifting competitive advantage, " PDF. International Institute of Social History.

Department of Economics, University of Warwick. Retrieved 5 December The Bangladeshi Textile Industry". In Ravi Ramarmurti; Raymond Vernon. Privatization and Control of State-owned Enterprises. In the World Economy. Lessons from Bangladesh" PDF. The Public Sector Innovation Journal. An Era of Globalization and Neo-Liberalization".

Middle East Journal of Business. Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Review. Archived PDF from the original on 18 October The New York Times. Retrieved 5 June Structural assessment of RMG factory buildings".

International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. Australian Journal of Asian Law. Brooklyn Journal of International Law. Journal of Asia-Pacific Business. Growth trends and the Post-MFA challenges". Proceedings of a National seminar on ready-made garment industry: Rags, Riches and Women Workers: Women in Informal Employment: The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics.

The role of policy reforms and diffusion of good practices". Maruf Hossan, and Mohammed A. Garment Industry in Low-Income Countries. The End of Textiles Quotas: A Case Study of the Impact on Bangladesh. The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 11 February The Hindu Business Line. Retrieved 5 August Retrieved 3 May Child Labor in Export Industry: Bureau of International Labor Affairs.

Archived from the original on 31 January Retrieved 3 June Lost in the Queue: Global Trade Regime and Women Employment: Dynamics, Dilemmas and Downturns. Archived from the original PDF on 23 September Globalization, Women Workers, and Voice".

You can point out that Mars is currently far more like the Moon than it is like Earth in terms of habitability, with its laboratory vacuum for an atmosphere similar to Earth's atmosphere at 30 kilometers upwards , hard radiation, and extremes of cold. You can point to the additional issues of the global dust storms that can sometimes blank out the sun for weeks on end, and harmful perchlorates in the dust. I think everyone agrees with all those points.

The difference is that prospective colonists see them all as challenges to be overcome, rather than as reasons not to colonize the place. They will point you in the direction of Robert Zubrin's books explaining how it would be done. You can go on to ask, would that really work as a place where a million people, or even a thousand people could live and be self sufficient without constant expensive resupply from Earth?

Would we really colonize the near vacuum extreme conditions of Mars, when we don't even colonize deserts on Earth? However, a keen Mars colonization enthusiast will answer "Yes! Somehow all these problems will be solved, they say, and we will have colonies on Mars. I found, when writing this book , that the Moon is resource rich, and often beats Mars in habitability comparisons. Yet photos of Mars released to the press look so much more Earth-like, because of the brightening of the landscape and boosting of blue in the scene white balancing done to help geologists read the rocks.

Many of them even have blue skies instead of the grayish brown skies natural to Mars. So, what if we did the same with photos of the Moon, gave it blue skies too, like many of the Mars press photos? It's easy to do because the surface is already lit up just as it would be for a sunny day on Earth. We don't need to do anything else, just colour the sky blue instead of black, and it looks Earth-like already.

I was amazed at what a difference such a simple change makes to the feel of the scene. You can read it as if illuminated on a sunny day, which is indeed what it was like for the Apollo astronauts. So, here they are.

These images are not altered in any way. All I've done is to crop them, and replace the black skies with photographs of blue skies and clouds from Earth. For more examples, see my article: It suddenly looks much more Earth-like.

Yet it's a vacuum there. The thing is that of course it was a sunny day for the astronauts - you tend to forget when you see the black sky. On Earth some of the light comes to the landscape from the sun and some reaches us indirectly from the blue sky and the clouds. On the Moon, much of the light comes from the sun, but a lot of light also comes indirectly from the landscape itself. That's why you can see detail in the shadows, and why they aren't completely black on the Moon.

So - it's not quite so surprising as you'd think, but fun. You can make the photos look even more like Earth by reducing the contrast - shadows are not quite so contrasty on Earth. I tried that and it worked. You could also fuzz the edges of the shadows as they are never so sharp edged on Earth, and you'd need to do something about the black sky reflected in astronaut's helmets. However I'm not trying to simulate an Earth illumination on the Moon.

I don't have the skills anyway, there are graphics designers, artists, 3D modelers etc who could do a much better job. But that wasn't my aim here. The aim was to show how the Moon is as Earth like as Mars in photographs, and indeed more so, with minimal processing, not even the white balancing they use for Mars photos. So to do additional processing to make it look more Earth like would rather defeat the point in the article.

Perhaps others will do that in the future. It's similar on the Mars surface, it is nearly as much of a vacuum as the Moon as far as humans are concerned.

The moisture lining your lungs would boil there. Mars is not really significantly more "Earth like" than the Moon, I think. This is a colour enhanced Mars image as you would see it in most press photos - enhanced for the purposes of geologists, so that the rocks look like the same types of rocks under Earth illumination. There are two ways to do this. The most common method is white balancing which takes the brightest patch in the scene, and adjusts it in brightness and hue until it is white.

The other method, occasionally used, is natural colour which uses a calibration based on photographs of a colour swatch on Curiosity that was previously photographed on Earth. This is what Mars would look like to a typical smartphone camera, the raw image from Curiosity both these photos are of Mount Sharp. I think the Moon would be a more interesting landscape to a human eye.

Much brighter - which tends to make humans feel cheerful. While the sunlight on Mars at its brightest is half the illumination of Earth, and as well, it's a dull brown in colour with the Mars dust suspending in the air filtering out the blue.

It has no blue sky except around the sun at sunset. Also there is very little variation in colour in the landscape. It's mainly dull grayish browns, with no blue and none of the bright glints catching the sunlight we have on Earth.

I think that any Mars colonists would have a tendency towards depression just because of the rather gloomy sky and dull coloured landscape. I'll go into other aspects of this later on, but perhaps we should address this right away as it's become the top reason to attempt to colonize Mars for many people. Elon Musk has been promoting it strongly. Stephen Hawking has also said this is an important reason to go multiplanetary. In this account of an interview with Elon Musk, the author Ross Anderson presents it as:.

We could swing into the path of a rogue planet, one of the billions that roam our galaxy darkly, like cosmic wrecking balls. Planet Earth could be edging up to the end of an unusually fortunate run.

But there are no figures here. So let's supply them. Calculation indented, and coloured dark red, to make it easy to skip:. Our sun has approximately 4. Neptune's semi major axis is 4. That makes it about one chance in 2.

There may be twice as many rogue planets as stars , so that means one chance in 1. Neutron stars are even more unlikely. So we don't need to worry about any of these on the thousands of years timescale. The chances is less than one in a billion in the next thousand years that another star gets as close as Neptune. Gamma ray bursts are possible also, but would not make humans extinct, even if very close.

Our atmosphere completely shields us from gamma rays, which is why gamma ray telescopes have to be flown in space. We can only see gamma ray bursts at all with space observatories.

The main effect is on the upper atmosphere and particularly the ozone layer. There was a theory at one point that this could through various interactions lead to increased nitrous oxide levels which could then lead to elevated ozone layers at ground level and so cause extinctions.

However that theory has been shown to be false by more detailed modeling. Research announcement from NASA here: Paper itself is here. The gamma ray burst not only reduces the amount of ozone in the upper atmosphere.

It also creates ozone depleting nitrogen oxides. They took the example of a gamma ray burst which hits the south pole most severely, as that has down drafts of air constantly. Those would bring the nitrogen oxides down to the lower atmosphere which is why you see the red regions descending with time. This causes a series of pulses of ozone depletion in the upper atmosphere which then leads to increases of ozone at sea level as the red regions let more UV through to the lower atmosphere.

So could this raise the ozone levels enough to be harmful to life? The answer from this study was no. A very nearby gamma ray bursts could raise the ozone levels at ground level temporarily to 10 ppm.

To be harmful to animal life it would need to reach 30 ppm. It is also not enough to be harmful to ocean life. Even if all the ozone created at ground level got absorbed in the sea, it would not be enough to be harmful to ocean life. So this disproves the hypothesis that a gamma ray burst could be the cause of the late Ordovician mass-extinction.

The idea that gamma ray bursts could cause extinctions at all, on any scale, is now not easy to establish. The main effect would be elevated levels of UV for a number of years. At any rate, if perhaps some other species were affected, they would not make humans extinct. Also the young Wolf Rayet stars which are gamma ray burst candidates are rare and of the hundred or so known, only one seems to be pointing our way.

That's WR, 8, light years away. It looks as if it is facing us nearly face on. It's the same also for a nearby supernova. They are short, violent events, and again we are protected by our atmosphere from the worst effects, equivalent to ten meters depth of water in mass above us. And for more details, the paper here: Could a nearby supernova explosion have caused a mass extinction?

They find that a supernova within 32 light years ten parsecs , which should happen every few hundred million years would not heat up Earth significantly, would not be bright enough to harm the ecology through the light alone.

Also, are there any nearby supernova candidates? We can't predict when a star will go supernova exactly, but the only stars that can go supernova are ones that are at a particular stage in their life, and they have to be massive too, for Type II supernovae, and for type Ia it needs a white dwarf companion.

Our sun can't go supernova at all, it's too light. The Type II supernova candidates are easiest to see, bright massive stars, larger than our sun, which collapse to a neutron star or black hole at the end of their lifetime.

Betelgeuse will explode some day, and we know this for sure. It could be today, but much more likely to be a long time into the future. It could be a million years from now. But it is far too far away to be any problem for Earth, nor is it close enough to be a second sun in our sky. It will just be a very bright star for us. It will be an interesting sight for astronomers, as a great chance to study a supernova close up. For everyone else, just a very bright star.

Briefly, the brightest star in the sky. Betelgeuse will explode someday. Eta Carinae is another star that can go supernova. This is a very young, super hot star 8, light years away and it may explode in the next few hundred thousand years. The other type of supernova is a Type Ia supernova with some variations on it.

A red giant star dumps gas on a white dwarf companion. These used to be the "dark horses" which we couldn't detect easily, leaving the possibility that there might be a nearby one that would cause problems.

But with all the modern sky surveys, we now know that there are no nearby candidates for a type Ia supernova either.

The closest is IK Pegasi which at light years away is far too far away to harm us. It would need to be within 30 light years to be harmful. There are type Ib and type Ic supernovae too, These happen when a star loses its outer envelope, for instance to a companion star - and then the naked core collapses.

Type Ib and Ic supernovae. But there are none of those nearby either. Here is a list of the nearby List of supernova candidates See also: The closest supernova candidate? We get supernovas quite often and they leave rather beautiful remnants. Roughly once a century, though many are so obscured by dust and gas that they can't be seen with the naked eye from Earth. For more details see my Debunked: Earth is threatened by a supernova.

For those that worry about such things, I'd like to just add, that both of these are extremely unlikely events , and there are no known stars likely to go supernova close enough to be a hazard right now.

The next supernova is most likely to be thousands of light years away, since we can spot them so far away. They are rare events that happen occasionally in an entire galaxy, and can be seen from an immense distance, and are most often spotted in distant galaxies as well. The important thing is, that none of these would make Earth less habitable than Mars. It would still have its oceans, its oxygen rich atmosphere, its protection from cosmic radiation, its land, its plants and surely fish and shellfish and animals also.

Even after the extinction of the dinosaurs, birds, dawn sequoia, river turtles, small mammals and many other plants and creatures survived. Many species would go extinct after a gamma ray burst or a large asteroid impact, but humans are great survivors and can survive anywhere from the cold Arctic to the hot and dry Kalahari desert, with only neolithic technology.

So some of us, surely, would survive. And there is no realistic chance of a significantly larger asteroid, as there are no impact craters that large anywhere from Mars inwards dating from later than 3 billion years ago. If your "backup" is on Mars, then after something devastating happens, obviously you'll have rebuilding Earth as your top priority, as it is going to be far easier to restore Earth than to attempt to terraform Mars.

So you've got your backup in the wrong place, six months travel by space from the place you will need to help rebuild. You could do a much simpler backup, if you think it's necessary, by simply setting up your Mars base on Earth, in three different locations, say, in order to make sure they aren't all destroyed at once. Most of the technology you need for Mars is not even required. By putting your backups on Earth, the inhabitants don't need to worry about the need to maintain a breathable atmosphere, and can go outside and repair their habitats without spacesuits, and don't need to cover the habitats with meters of regolith to protect from cosmic radiation and solar storms.

It would cost only a fraction of the cost of a Mars facility to set up such facilities on Earth, and the facilities. Even if they go everywhere in biocontainment suits, it's far easier than using spacesuits.

So, it just doesn't seem to add up. Extinctions are happening, and will surely continue, many of them human caused. But humans themselves going extinct? I can't see it. And surely the Martian colonist, so highly dependent on technology, would be the most vulnerable of us all if we somehow have a breakup of society and lose our ability to use technology? I don't see that happening anyway, but if it did, why would it be restricted to Earth, and Mars be immune?

Without modern technology they would have no chance at all on Mars. That is, unless we go extinct through misuse of technology. But that's partly because he is one of those who think the "singularity" is a possible future scenario, complete with mind uploading and boot strapping super intelligences who might take over the world.

He also thinks that we might be living in a simulation which gets switched off. Elon Musk also thinks those are possible, as you can tell from the interview. Myself, I think those are both science fiction scenarios that probably don't correspond to anything in reality. In any case both of those scenarios would impact both Mars and Earth equally.

I see the greatest potential risks as from synthetic biology, for instance experiments to modify living cells to use something else in place of DNA, or from return of an extraterrestrial biology to Earth. In any case, if the main risk of extinction is from our own technology, then how can the solution be to set up a new society in space that is more dependent on technology than any other society that there's ever been?

The Martian colonists could well be the ones that create the devastating technology in the first place, if such is possible at all. This could even increase the risk, by deflecting attention and money away from preserving Earth, and if done rapidly, even by causing conflict situations in space too. A war between space colonies would surely end quickly with nearly everyone dead, with such powerful technology and fragile habitats. And as for quarantine ideas - if it is quarantine that is the safety net, it would be easy to set up our "backups" on Earth with quarantine periods.

And the six months voyage to Mars would surely get shorter, weeks, maybe even go down to days eventually, as transport gets better. Examples of fast ways to get to Mars currently in development: The Z-pinch fusion idea would also get us there in about six weeks. There's the photonic propulsion idea as well , which they say could take light spacecraft to Mars in three days and take humans to Mars in a month. So you'd take a little over two days to get to Mars at a comfortable one g acceleration and deceleration.

So we can't rely on the distance to Mars for quarantine. Anyway, if it's a disease spread naturally, then if it is too virulent it doesn't spread far. It's not in the interest of a disease to kill its host, especially quickly.

As a result there's usually some natural immunity. Even the great plague didn't kill everyone. The diseases also needs some way to get transmitted, for instance through sneezing, carried by rats as in the case of the great plague or whatever.

It's surely very unlikely that some plague like that would kill everyone on Earth without exception. It is possible if something else reduces our population to a small number, say a few thousand, first in a "human bottleneck". That may have happened to humans in sub-saharan Africa, before they spread to Europe and India, as recently as 70, years ago , just locally.

At that point the human population may have been reduced to as low as 2, This extinction event of course does not apply to the other hominids that had left Africa millions of years ago in the case of Homo Erectus and hundreds of thousands of years ago in the case of H.

Heidelbergensis, likely ancestor to modern humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans. There were plenty of intelligent hominids living outside Africa at the time, and they didn't go extinct until much later as a result of competition with modern humans. It's just that they were Neanderthals and Deinsovans rather than Homo Sapiens.

How likely is it that some global catastrophe causes all humans to lose their knowledge even of agriculture? Meanwhile any colonists on Mars might be the very people that introduce extra terrestrial microbes from Mars to Earth, or develop some synthetic biology to use on Mars that gets out of hand.

Also if somehow civilization collapses, e. We could get by on Earth, it would be a nuisance, but many would still survive here without computer chips. The space colonies would be the first to go in that situation I think, as it's hard to imagine a space habitat functioning without computer chips.

It will be a while probably before they can make computer chips. And if they can survive the collapse of civilization on Mars, surely there will be communities on Earth that survive too, and end up in a much better situation, materially, than the Martian colonists with their small pocket of technology on a barren planet.

So, it seems that the technology dependent humans on Mars will go extinct much more easily than humans on Earth in the event of our civilization somehow forgetting technology. If they can't import computer chips from Earth and either don't have the ability to make computer chips on Mars, or somehow have lost that ability, that's probably the end of them.

But on Earth we could get by without computer chips. After all we managed without them right up to the middle of the twentieth century. Early twentieth century humans could not possibly have survived on Mars. We could make do here without radio, without television, even without internal combustion or steam engines, still many would survive on Earth.

Nobody could survive for long on Mars without late twentieth century technology, and continual resupply from Earth, or some future twenty first century technology that we don't have yet. So, I think as far as preserving our civilization, space settlement and colonization is pretty much neutral. It might help in very rare situations, might make things worse in other situations, or might make no difference at all.

But as a backup, it's doing nothing. Not at current levels of technology. So, I don't see this as a good motivation for sending humans into space. Rather, it's a motivation for setting up backups on Earth, if you think this is a serious risk. Plus taking great care about new technological developments that could lead to any kind of an extinction risk, such as synthetic biology, or return of extraterrestrial life to Earth. Carl Sagan expressed a similar sentiment in Pale Blue Dot. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate.

Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand. Maybe half a billion years from now it will be a priority to set up habitats elsewhere, for whatever intelligent creatures have evolved on Earth by then, or they might have other solutions to the future hotter sun, such as shades in orbit, or moving Earth, but it's not urgent right now. To be clear, this is not at all an argument against settlement. I think settlement in space is likely to happen, and can be beneficial if done well.

But I think the motivation for it matters. More on this below under Earth is the best place for a backup , where I link to some of my other articles as well.

This argument might be a good motivation for setting up backup libraries and other archives, but if so, the aim would be to restore Earth after a disaster, so those would be best as close as possible, for instance on Earth itself, or on the Moon, for this, see Backup on the Moon - seed banks, libraries, and a small colony.

Some enthusiasts say, that no matter what happens, whether it makes Mars better for humans or not, that it would be the most wonderful thing we could do, to introduce Earth microbes to Mars, and more generally, spread Earth life throughout the universe in this way. This is similar to the idea of introducing rabbits to Australia.

The Victorian Acclimatisation Society released 24 rabbits on Christmas Day to hunt for sport and to help settlers feel more 'at home'. In the 60 years following , rabbits invaded 4 million square kilometres of Australia, making it one of the fastest colonising mammals anywhere in the world. So, they did it for similar, and understandable reasons. To help settlers to feel at home and because they felt rabbits were good things to have in Europe to hunt for sport, and so would be in Australia too.

They had no idea what the consequences would be for Australian wildlife and indeed for Australian farmers too, They say in that same fact shee t that. Many other animals have been introduced to Australia and cause problems , even large animals like camels and donkeys, which are hard to control over such a large continent, and including the feral cat. Again it might seem wonderful to introduce the friendly lovable kitty to Australia, but it has made small species of mammals extinct or set back attempts to help them to recover.

The domestic cat is listed as a key threatening process for Australia. It may seem wonderful to introduce the familiar Earth microbes to Mars, but when you think through the consequences, it might not be as wonderful as you think. It's important to look ahead and look at the consequences of your actions. Rabbits have been eradicated from islands, and they are easily visible, large creatures. They can be kept out of smaller areas with fences.

In principle you could even remove them from Australia in its entirety, and even more so the camels, donkeys etc. However, if we introduce a microbe to Mars, and it is able to survive in some habitat on there, then there is no way it can be removed again, ever, for all future time, for as long as Mars remains habitable to them. Also there is no way to fence off part of Mars to keep it out.

If we look at the many possible consequences of introducing Earth microbes to Mars, some of them lead one to pause and wonder if this is such a good idea as it might seem at first. Both for humans on Mars and for any native life there as well. The repercussions, I think, could be far worse than the repercussions of introducing rabbits to Australia to make the settlers "feel at home". Before I go any further, I'd better introduce the idea of " Planetary protection ", as I talk about it a lot here.

Some of you might think it's protection from meteorites and such like disasters. And yes that's important and I'll cover that too, but usually the phrase is understood in the sense of the Outer Space Treaty, and particularly article nine, as referring to harmful contamination of other bodies in the solar system by materials from Earth, and adverse changes in the environment of Earth from return of extraterrestrial matter:.

States Parties to the Treaty shall pursue studies of outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, and conduct exploration of them so as to avoid their harmful contamination and also adverse changes in the environment of the Earth resulting from the introduction of extraterrestrial matter and, where necessary, shall adopt appropriate measures for this purpose. All space faring nations and most with space faring aspirations, all have signed it and nearly all have taken the additional step of ratifying it formally indicating its consent to be bound by the treaty, a process that varies according to the country but for most democracies involves passing a bill in parliament.

The only states with space faring aspirations who haven't ratified it yet are the United Arab Emirates, Syria and North Korea. It's signed and ratified by states so far in total. There's no sign that anyone wants to evade these provisions, and indeed even those who haven't ratified the treaty are keen to abide by the provisions.

Cassie Conley said recently on the Space Show that she was approached by the UAE who have ideas for a robotic mission to Mars, asking for advice to make sure they comply with the planetary protection provisions of the OST. Also, it already it has the status of customary international law because of the consistent and widespread support of its fundamental tenets, and because it is based on a declaration that was adopted by consensus in the UN National Assembly. This means that it is binding on all states, even those who have neither signed nor ratified it.

See page of this paper. The central phrase here is "harmful contamination". All of our planetary protection policies are based on interpretations of that phrase. The currently widely accepted customary interpretation is that. The treaty covers all forms of contamination, but most especially, the aim is to protect other planets from self replicating Earth life and to protect Earth from extra terrestrial life returned from space. Discussions focus on microbial life transferred in either direction.

Carl Sagan worked out the earliest recommendations with other researchers in the s such as Joshua Lederberg , Nobel prize winning microbiologist, and one of the first astrobiologists. He was one of the first astrobiologists, indeed he coined the word "exobiology".

The guidelines evolve to meet new situations, and details are now hammered out in international workshops of scientists. Every two years they meet to work out details of what is required for all the places we send spacecraft to, or may send them to in the future.

The US has a planetary protection office , and a planetary protection officer, Cassie Conley. All space faring countries follow these guidelines when they send their spacecraft to vulnerable places in the solar system. Planetary protection just makes sense here. It's easy to find life in habitable places in our solar system; just bring it with you.

But that would be the worst possible anticlimax of all our searches to try to find life on Mars or elsewhere in our solar system, and would greatly diminish the scientific interest of Mars. Mars is a high risk target category IV in the forward direction, from Earth to Mars, and our robotic missions have to be sterilized if they land on the surface.

There are several levels of sterilization depending where you go on Mars , with the highest level, IVc, for missions that approach places on Mars which could be habitable to Earth life. Curiosity is not sterilized to this highest standard so if it found a potential habitat on Mars, it could only observe it from a distance. Indeed, the team are facing this quandary right now, as there's a potential flow of seeps of salty liquid on the higher slopes of Mount Sharp which is within its range.

But because Curiosity is not sufficiently sterilized, they will only be able to photograph them from a distance, and even then it's a decision that needs careful thought, to go close enough to photograph them. The only requirement is to document anything you land on the Moon, including any crash landings and deliberate impacts. We have sent Earth life to the Moon already, in all our spacecraft as hardy spores clinging to the equipment, and as human wastes also in the case of the Apollo spacecraft.

But that's no problem. The scientists believe that it will stay where you left it, or not be transported far in the processes that operate on the Moon, and as long as you document what you did clearly, follow up missions will be able to allow for it. The Moon is large enough so that some organic human wastes in one place will not matter for other missions even just a few kilometers away.

So there's no problem sending humans to the Moon. Before they could publish these guidelines, they would need to meet to discuss what planetary protection measures are needed. And actually, there have been several meetings already of this type, and they all concluded that we don't yet have sufficient data for detailed guidelines.

I think actually that if asked to approve a mission as soon as the s, there might be a divergence of views. There is no way they'd have enough data by then to be able to make an authoritative decision, not unless we manage to send dozens of robotic missions to Mars in the next couple of decades unlikely.

I go into this in a fair bit of detail in the section on Searching for a non confrontational way ahead. In the other direction, backward contamination, returning materials from Mars, it is classified as restricted category V.

This means that many precautions need to be taken in the case of a sample returned from Mars, also new laws would need to be passed, domestic and international, to protect Earth from Mars life. Depending on what we find on Mars, it could be that Mars life would do us no harm at all for instance in an early life scenario, long made extinct by DNA life on Earth , or it could be that we need to take great care. For instance, if there is independently evolved advanced microbial life on Mars, the risk from a sample return could be similar to that of releasing new synthetic forms of microbial life into the wild from our laboratories.

For these reasons and others, I think that the search for life on Mars is also best done in situ at present - you may be interested in the reasons given there. So, with this background, you can also ask the advocates for humans on the Mars surface, why land trillions of Earth microbes on Mars when you are searching for life there?

With our robotic missions, we continue to sterilize as carefully as before, with no sign of any suggestion that we can relax the planetary protection requirements. Indeed, for robots, the trend is towards more rather than less by way of planetary protection. So, what is special about all the microbes that hitch a lift in human occupied spacecraft? Why give them special treatment? Would it not be more sensible to keep them well away from the planet too, until we know what effect they will have?

That may seem far fetched, that Earth microbes would matter to Mars.

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