The ethics of “conquering” other planets

I’ve been knee deep in hard sci-fi stories like Red Mars and Babylon’s Ashes over the past few months, so I have a special affinity for stories about space colonization at the moment. David H. Grinspoon’s The logistics and ethics of colonizing the red planet is a really interesting take on the ethics of colonizing a new planet:

Today on Earth we are grappling with the fact that you cannot “conquer” a planet, even if — especially if — it is your home and your life support system. If we go to Mars with the idea that we can charge ahead and subdue a new world, our efforts are doomed. We should rather study how we might learn to help cultivate a Martian Biosphere that is balanced and self-sustaining, as is the Earth’s.