By now, you have probably heard that Kentucky’s full-time coal baron-slash-part time state senator Brandon Smith is also an amateur planetologist.

“I won’t get into the debate about climate change,” said Sen. Brandon Smith, a Hazard Republican. “But I’ll simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that. Yet there are no coal mines on Mars. There’s no factories on Mars that I’m aware of.”

In fact, temperatures on Mars can vary anywhere from a pleasant 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the daytime down to a blistering Siberian Winter at night. But Smith is correct that even without coal mines or tailpipes, Mars certainly does have a much higher percentage of carbon dioxide in its atmosphere. Yes, the overall atmospheric pressure of Mars is far lower than Earth, but let’s not confuse the issue: no one on Mars is complaining about global warming. Mars is not just the Red Planet, but potentially the ultimate red state.

Inasmuch as we marvel at the capacity of Fox News viewers and World Net Daily readers to live in a world parallel to our own, maybe it’s time we discussed letting them actually live on their own planet — one where excess carbon dioxide is beneficial, even key to survival. If life did exist on Mars at one time, there may even be reserves of coal or oil in the crust.

Martian colonization ought to be every oil and coal baron’s daydream. Furthermore, Mars is perfect for the sort of people who hoard ammunition against the day when jack-booted government thugs come to ticket them for “rolling coal” in their diesel pickup trucks. A virgin planet with no government whatsoever, Mars is perfect for the Bundy Ranch demographic. Why are we not funding this mission already?

This needs to become a national priority. Our survival as a species, to say nothing of the survival of the Blue Planet, may depend on the commercialization of space travel in the next generation.